What is the very first thing customers do when looking to make a large purchase? In most cases, they begin with reading reviews and looking for feedback from their friends and family. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from acquaintances more than any traditional advertising.

Word-of-mouth marketing (or crowd marketing) is the most effective tool in business development. Brands can promote themselves, build a positive image, and find new customers without spending a dime. In this article, we’ll tell you about word-of-mouth marketing and viral traffic you can get out of it in detail, and share tips that will allow you to benefit from this approach!

 

What is word-of-mouth marketing?

Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is a free form of verbal or written advertising shared through satisfied customers and their feedback.

Everyone was impressed by a fancy restaurant, a cozy spa on the beach, or a new smartphone at least once in their lives. Surely, you wanted to share your experience with friends, family, or subscribers. This is the simplest and most quintessential example of crowd marketing. It is considered an organic model of advertising, because the discussion of a brand, organization, product, or event happens naturally, without it being forced onto a consumer. And it can help you to enjoy viral traffic on your website, social media account, or app.

In a linear model, marketers interact directly with opinion leaders to engage an audience, and create a positive image around their product. If you are about to ask yourself how to go viral with the crowd marketing approach, learn more about its forms.

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Types of word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing

1. Buzz marketing is a form of advertising, in which consumers are the main source of marketing activity. A product is presented discreetly but is so widely discussed that consumers can’t resist buying it. For instance, Apple products are always a topic of discussion during new releases. People continuously talk about them, thus fueling interest.

2. Viral marketing is an advertising approach that promotes products by their target audience. People create buzz around a new product by spreading viral content. A great example is a viral video that demonstrates the power of a Blendtec blender by its ability to crush an iPhone.

3. Social media marketing is the main platform for word-of-mouth marketing because social networks offer both great coverage and informal communication. For instance, on World Book Day, we posted a thematic photo collection and created a poll on the Depositphotos Facebook account, asking subscribers to share their favorite books.

 

Advantages of crowd marketing

  • Free promotion. You don’t have to pay for organic word-of-mouth marketing. In that case, your products are promoted by clients. This form of promotion is even more effective because many people don’t like traditional advertising (84% of millennials).
  • Building a positive image. Why do advertisers use testimonials? Positive customer reviews earn consumer trust and loyalty.
  • Creating a community. Loyal customers will eventually become advocates for your brand.
  • Effective Reach. Unlike other advertising campaigns, word-of-mouth marketing always reaches a target audience because it involves direct communication.
  • Increasing sales. After receiving a great product or service, customers will be happy to recommend you to their friends, who then become your potential customers.
  • Feedback. If you don’t manage to obtain new customers instantly, then word-of-mouth will provide valuable feedback on how you can improve your product.

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What makes people share and why do advertisers use testimonials?

To promote your business effectively, you need to understand consumer psychology. Jonah Berger, a renowned marketing expert, describes 6 principles that encourage word-of-mouth marketing in his bestselling book “Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age”. They are called STEPPS (an acronym for the names of the principles: Social Currency, Triggers, Emotions, Public, Practical Value, Stories).

6 principles of the popular products and ideas

Principle #1 Social currency. If you want to motivate people to talk about your product, provide information in a way that makes it feel exclusive, and showcase it.

Principle #2 Triggers. The more often people think about a product or idea, the more they talk about it. It’s important to trigger discussion.

Principle #3 Emotions. Create messages that will resonate with your audience on an emotional level, and they’ll be more likely to share them.

Principle #4 Public. It’s important to show your products to your audience. The more often you demonstrate them, the more likely they’ll become popular.

Principle #5 Practical value. People like to be useful. If you can prove that your product will improve lives or save people’s time and money, then this information will be shared.

Principle #6 Stories. People don’t just share information, they tell stories. Engage your audience by delivering information through narratives.

These are the top six principles that motivate people to share information. Follow them to improve the efficacy of your word-of-mouth marketing campaigns.

stock photo two boys looking at mobile screen

 

How to generate crowd marketing for your business

1. Offer a high-quality product or service

To get the most out of WOM marketing, let your products speak for themselves. Provide customers with the highest quality product or service, and motivate them to come back and share their experience. Live interactions with customers also influence the overall image of your brand.

2. Create the Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The modern market is drowning in new products, which makes it difficult to impress consumers. Think about the unique experience you can provide. Remember the benefits customers will receive by choosing you. If they are interested in your offer, they will probably want to tell others about it.

3. Motivate users to create content

Consumers trust other people’s opinions more than ads. According to an Adweek infographic, 85% of the audience find user-generated content more informative than branded content. How do you involve users in creating it? Offer to showcase how they use your product, plan a themed contest, or run a challenge or hashtag campaign with giveaways and discounts.

4. Ask for feedback

What do testimonials mean? Testimonials are customer reviews shared in various forms including texts, comments, and videos. Reviews are extremely influential when it comes to buying a product or service. They showcase how reliable your brand is as a whole. Many people trust reviews on the Internet. Motivate customers to share their opinions by offering a discount or other bonuses. This approach has two pros at once: it doubles your chances of receiving feedback, and it encourages customers to make purchases.

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5. Create a referral program

This is another way to encourage your audience and offer them real benefits. Customers share information about you with their friends, their friends buy your product, and get rewarded for it (often the invited party also gets a nice bonus). This approach allows you to target satisfied customers. Also, referral programs evaluate the effectiveness of your promotions.

6. Collaborate with opinion leaders

Influencer marketing is still popular in 2021. 62% of people say they were interested in a product or service after seeing it on social media. By collaborating with opinion leaders with similar values, you can deliver a message and gain loyal customers. If your budget is limited, consider micro and nano-influencers. They may have fewer subscribers, but they’re more loyal than opinion leaders with over a million followers.

 

To sum it up

Crowd marketing is one of the most effective forms of advertising and viral traffic generation, but its potential is often underestimated. How do you generate it? Provide high-quality products, services, and impeccable customer support, make communication with customers a priority, and motivate them to share their feedback.

You can invest a lot of money into targeted social media ads, but that doesn’t mean you’ll see any returns. However, if you offer your customers a premium experience, your brand will get the chance to expand its audience.

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