You can’t control it, and its results depend upon your overall marketing strategy and execution. If done right, it could become one of your most powerful marketing channels.
Let me introduce you to the present often overlooked marketing channel that has had an enormous impact on our business: word-of-mouth marketing.
So follow along and replicate our success.
What is word-of-mouth marketing?
The terms “word of mouth” and “word-of-mouth marketing” are sometimes used interchangeably. But they’re not equivalent, and we have to define the primary to know the second.
Word of mouth (WoM) is the act of telling people a few products or a brand. For the aim of this text, we’ll only mention positive WoM.
Word-of-mouth marketing (WoMM) is the process of influencing and inspiring natural discussions about a few products, services, or companies. It refers to the incentivization of WoM.
Why is word-of-mouth marketing important?
Research from Nielsen shows that 83% of individuals trust recommendations from their friends and family.
It’s simply the foremost trustworthy and authentic marketing channel that you simply can’t beat regardless of how great your marketing communication is.
But it’s not just people you recognize personally who can have such an impression on your product choices.
Authorities and influencers can play an identical role. for instance, a well-known SEO authority, Matthew Woodward, brought us quite 500 new customers in 2020:
And these numbers are lowballing the WoM impact.
That’s because all of those are recalled attributions. many of us don’t remember how they acknowledged Ahrefs, or they only don’t tell us.
Flywheel principle behind word-of-mouth marketing
WoMM doesn’t become an important part of your marketing mix the instant you begin focusing your attention and resources thereon. It takes time, tons of your time, and flywheels can explain why.
WoMM is often mentioned as a self-reinforcing marketing channel. within the beginning, you won’t see any huge effects. But as you go along, it becomes much easier to urge the results. the consequences can even start compounding.
You can basically use a flywheel as an analogy here. Rand Fishkin popularized the term “marketing flywheel.” you’ll see one among the flywheels containing WoM
Truly, the most marketing driver behind Ahrefs’ growth is the long-term compounding effect of WoMM combined with SEO and content marketing.
And this brings us to the ideas.
tried and tested tips for word-of-mouth marketing
Everything listed here is what has worked for us. You’ll generally do pretty much if you apply these practices to your marketing, but it’s not an exhaustive list of tactics. I’ll reference other noteworthy tips within the “final thoughts” section.
Tip 1. Have an outstanding product offering
I’ll break it to you directly. you would like an excellent product to incentivize WoM.
All the opposite tips and tactics won’t structure for it if you don’t.
The Ahrefs product has been at the forefront of our marketing from the beginning.
We penetrated the SEO tools market as a backlink analysis tool back in 2010.
From there, we quickly built our reputation of being the simplest within the market. a couple of years and lots of features later, we’ve become one of the 2 most used all-in-one SEO toolsets.
Your product positioning, i.e., how you portray your product to potential customers, also plays a task here.
The key to the present is proper marketing research that ought to guide both the merchandise roadmap and your positioning.
Last but not least, if you’re within the SaaS industry as we are, it also helps to supply trials and/or a freemium version of your product.
For example, introducing the free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools has helped us increase product awareness and valuable WoM for our Site Audit tool.
We faced some challenges when many SEOs didn’t consider Ahrefs as a technical SEO solution.
But that’s not the case anymore
Tip 2. Manage your brand properly
WoM consists of how people experience your products and the way they perceive your brand. the purpose here is that folks are unlikely to recommend an honest product if they don’t just like the company selling it.
I can’t even remotely fit a guide to brand management here, so I just want this to be a reminder that you simply should believe the larger picture and plan for the end of the day.
In fact, research shows that the majority of companies would achieve the best marketing effectiveness if they invested around 60% into brand-building and 40% into sales-boosting campaigns
You already realize it, and lots of other marketers realize it too—the product comes first in Ahrefs. and that we don’t recoil from emphasizing this in somewhat unique ways.
It’s much easier said than done, but do your best to be a likable brand.
Invest in your online reputation management. the higher you’re at this, the more WoM you’ll get from your audience. That group is usually much larger than your customer base.
Tip 3. specialize in product-led content marketing
Content marketing is the process of making and distributing content to draw in and retain customers. Our content is the most vital marketing asset we’ve because it generates around 1 million visits monthly from organic search alone
What might not be so obvious is that it’s also the most driver of our WoMM. Let me show you what I mean.
Us becoming an SEO industry authority and a go-to learning resource is really intertwined with our rapid business growth.
That’s because the content we produce is product-led. Since the Ahrefs toolset can assist you to solve all kinds of SEO and marketing problems, it’s easy and natural for us to pitch the merchandise in our content.
Remember the flywheel principle? In our case, the more traffic our content gets, the more people are conscious of how Ahrefs can help them, and therefore the more they begin recommending both our product and learning resources. That results in more mentions, more links, and more traffic.
Then the circle starts again.
These are the four steps to successfully replicate this tactic:
Step 1. Do keyword research
I’m sure you’ll come up with many problems your product can solve or help with. Some are more common than others, and keyword research will assist you to identify those.
For example, the keyword “word of mouth marketing” is looked for approximately 11K times a month globally
Since I can create a valuable piece of content with unique information (our own experience with WoMM) and naturally pitch Ahrefs at an equivalent time, it’s an excellent topic to focus on.
Step 2. specialize in topics with high business potential
Your keyword research will reveal plenty of content ideas. You’ll get to prioritize them, so here are the standards to assess:
High business potential in order that you’ll easily pitch your product
High traffic potential in order that you’d get tons of organic traffic if you ranked well
Low Keyword Difficulty (KD) score in order that it’s relatively easy to rank well
Let’s be real, though. You’ll almost never encounter topics that meet all three of those criteria. But out of these three, we generally prioritize high business potential. Because if your content isn’t product-led, your WoM will likely end at recommending your content, not your product.
We use the subsequent scale to classify the keywords, and i recommend you employ an identical approach
Step 3. Double down on proper content distribution
Creating great content takes tons of your time and energy. However, clicking the “Publish” button is merely half the battle.
You should have a correct content distribution strategy that creates the use of multiple marketing channels to realize traction on your content even before it manages to rank within the SERPs.
Here’s what we generally do with our content:
Share it on our company and private social media accounts
Include it in our newsletter
Repurpose it into stand-alone social media posts and/or videos
Promote it with ads
I’d also highlight launching an outreach campaign here. We rarely roll in the hay lately.
But outreach is often essential to your success, especially when you’re not that documented within the industry yet.
Getting your content ahead of media and industry authorities can get you excellent backlinks and recognition if it’s done right.
Step 4. Optimize, rinse, and repeat
Of course, creating superb product-led content isn’t a panacea to your SEO and WoMM. You’ll need tons of patience.
Also, you ought to apply the simplest SEO practices on your whole website and also follow the remainder of the WoMM tips here.
Tip 4. Create or hire brand ambassadors
I believe that having brand ambassadors is the best approach to influencer marketing, which successively is often an excellent boost to your WoMM.
A brand ambassador is anyone who’s regularly within the spotlight representing a corporation. This is often an employee with the facility to influence the community.
But you’ll form these long-term partnerships with anyone. I’m sure you follow some influencers who’ve been promoting certain products for years.
For example, we’ve Patrick Stox.
He’s one of the foremost well-known technical SEOs. He often speaks at SEO events, organizes them, and even moderates a well-liked industry subreddit called TechSEO.
In terms of paid campaigns, the simplest sponsorships and honest recommendations of our product come from our long-term customers
Now, confine in mind that you simply won’t get the WoM benefits if you run one-off or short-term campaigns. Get the influencers and brand ambassadors to market your products regularly.
You have the simplest chance by reaching bent people that are already your customers. Again, if you’ve got an outstanding product, they’ll already be spreading the word for free of charge anyway.
You can achieve WoMM as we did no matter your business, especially if you have already got a top-notch product.
If we glance beyond the tactics mentioned here, you’ll also want to think about assessing and improving your Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Encouraging customers to go away reviews across important platforms, or planning a gift-giving campaign with no strings attached.