Brands are ready to capitalize on the power of real word of mouth

Ashutosh Harbola -Buzzoka-CEO & Co-founder, Buzzoka1200.

Over 90% of consumers will believe on a product recommended by friends and their network over advertisements. What is the primary lesson learnt from this number? That behind the success of every brand are customers who love that product. Customers who appreciate the quality that the brand offers and are vocal in its praise. While brands around the world might be spending millions over marketing strategies, they surely can’t ignore the power that word-of-mouth promotion commands.

How would you define word-of-mouth? – Its ‘given or done by people talking about something or telling people about something.’ For any brand, its communication strategy is of key importance. And word-of-mouth is a force primarily driven by genuine, honest consumer interactions and conversations about brands.

90 times. That’s how much on an average week, a consumer will discuss and name specific brands!

Consumers are in charge of the consumption process. They are constantly collecting, analyzing, decrypting brand experiences and referring them to their network. Actually, in today’s modern world where digital connectivity and easy data access has led to brand ads finding their way everywhere, its impact we might say has dampened. Data curated by HubSpot even suggest that around 75% of people do not accept advertisements as truth.

As a brand reading through this, the importance of understanding and leveraging the benefits of word-of-mouth becomes even more crucial. When a form of outreach holds such control over the decisions of consumers, capitalizing on it is the need of the hour. So, what are the few types of word-of-mouth marketing strategies that brands should be ready to integrate into their system are:

User Generated Content: Here’s a form of communication that’s for the people, by the people and of the people. Brands that ace their UGC test thrive as identities that are trusted by consumers by giving them the voice they seek. Today, the young and tech-savvy millennial spends around 5.4 hours a day with content created by their peers and network. As a brand if you could find your way into that circle, chances of potential consumers exploring you further increases multiple-folds.

Customer Testimonials: If as a brand you are looking to gain the trust and belief of the next batch of customers, there’s no one of more help than your current customers. They are the building block for your brand driving expansion, reach and growth. People trust customer testimonials as much as network referrals, if not lesser. And depending upon the industry they function in, brands can explore various methods of customer testimonials – be it videos, quotes, reports etc.

Product Ratings: The best judge of a product is always the customer who used it recently. And as a brand if your product quality, research and end result is expected to be amongst the best, the easiest way to find out is by letting your customers take a call. In fact, word from the consumers command a greater impact than that from the brand. Studies show that customer reviews are 12 times more trusted than communication put forth by the brand!

Referral Program: As we discussed earlier on the importance of word-of-mouth referrals, brands can tap into its reach by bringing it into the digital sphere. Online referral programs serve as an equally great way to begin brand explorations. And similar to face-to-face referrals, online referrals also add an element of trust to the brand.

Influencer Marketing: This is one of the most rapidly growing forms of word-of-mouth marketing strategies in the modern marketing sphere. Individuals with a trusted clout and strong influencing skills are being roped in by brand as their official representatives. And the benefits of it are for all to see. It’s rare to see an outgoing and customer-facing brand who isn’t experimenting with this method. In fact, more than 70% of brands have already allocated budgets in their system for influencer marketing.

Word-of-mouth is one of the oldest and thus most trusted forms of communication. Even long before the widespread use of marketing and advertisements across a multitude of platforms, word-of-mouth was the way consumers interacted and gained belief in brands.

As brands look to capitalize on the power and reach of word-of-mouth in 2020, the market will continue to become a more interactive, interesting and trusted playground for the modern consumer.