Word of mouth advertisement is a free advertisement by which customers tell their friends and, colleagues and family members about certain products or services they have used and like.
We all do it every time.
No. not with the intention of helping the company involve, but to help our friends or to boost our own ego.
Let`s think about this scenario.
I`m a lover of book. I love reading and once in a while I come across a great book. What I do next is to tell my friends or even write about it on Facebook.
I`m not doing this to help the author of the book I love. Instead, I’m doing this maybe to help my friends to read that great book too or to boost my ego as “the man who reads many books” (you know such pride, don`t you?).
While I’m satisfying my human needs, I’m doing something I might not know… I am advertising the book for the author.
If that book is truly great and many people can spread the word the way I do, such a book may sell more copies than what the most expensive advertisement can sell.
One good thing about word of mouth advertisement is that, it works better than other form of advertisement and promotion.
The reason is simple.
You`re likely to believe your friends than a newspaper or T.V set. You will react positively to what your family member tells you than what a radio tells you.
If I pick my phone now, draft a message and send it to some of my friends about certain products or services, some of them will not check the internet to see how good such products are before they buy them.
You too have influence on some people like that.
The second interesting thing about word-of-mouth advertising is that, it`s free. The most effective word of mouth advertising is free. The company or business involve really doesn`t pay people to advertise them.
Yes, sometimes it may require some money to apply word-of-mouth advertising techniques (as we will discuss soon), but you will as well see that such money spent is a good investment with good Return on Investment (ROI)
Third interesting thing about word-of-mouth advertisement is that, every business owner can use it, either to sell products or services.
Let`s look into few things you can do to make the word-of-mouth advertising work for you.
- Add “wow” feature to your product/service
This morning I called MTN customer care line and complained about their slow browsing network. The man answering my call asked me, “is the network going at all”? I answered yes, but very slow.
If people in 19 century could see the kind of the so called “slow network” I’m complaining about today, they would think they have experienced heaven.
Average things doesn`t satisfy us in today`s world, good things doesn`t please us. Only great things make us smile.
For anyone to tell another person about what you`re selling, he or she must experience a “wow” treatment.
You have to outsmart your competitors with better service. You must outperform your competitors with better product.
You have to treat your customers like human beings (seriously, many business owners treat their customers like animals). He`s the reason why you`re in business. He`s the king and has to be treated so.
If the above elements (great product/creative service and good customers` service) work together, more and more people will joyfully tell others about their great experience.
Just as I have said, not really because they care about you (nobody does), but because they want their friends to experience such good thing or just to boost their ego.
- Give free samples
Even after you have gone to the market with something really creative, word of mouth advertisement may not still work for you.
Because we are in a very clumsy world. The noise in the market place is too much, so much that even good products are not seeing.
I have spent hours on the internet today to search for a particular service I need for my business, but I have a big problem.
No. my problem isn`t that I couldn`t find what I was looking for. My problem is, there are too many options (attractive options). At a time I got tired.
As a psychology student (in my library, you know) I understand that human mind gets bored when there are too many alternatives he must choose from, yet I wish to get the best so I have to search for many companies rendering the service I need.
Such is the picture of what our today business word is. That`s the reason why so many promotion get lost and advert go unnoticed.
Your creative product/service need something to drive it. Yes, good brand, good positioning and good packaging are all needed, but also think of free samples.
Does free sample work? Why does free sample work, if it does?
I have tried free sample and I can tell you that it works (provided you do it right as I will explain soon).
Ok, why does free sample work?
Because human beings love free things. In fact, the word free and the word gift are two of the most powerful English words.
We all love gift (even when you become a millionaire, $10 gift might still make you happy). We all love free things.
Now to use free sample as a marketing tools, many business owners have gone into the market place with a junk product, distributed it and expected result.
It never come.
Why? Because though people love free things, they think you`re playing on their intelligence if you give them free junk.
Instead of this to help your business promotion and word of mouth advertisement, it fires back and hurts you.
After reading a book call Idea Virus by Seth Godin last year, I decided to give out the most populous book we have ever written in the ABC, for free. That book is 10 secrets school did not teach you about business and how to be rich.
Seth Godin is of the opinion (just I am) that whatever you will give out as free sample has to be something valuable.
If it`s valuable, people remember your business for good and tell their friends, family and colleagues about your business.
Yes, some small businesses cannot give out free samples, but they can give out exceptional products/services to their little customers (after all every business starts with little customers) and do the following:
- Provide customers with the tools to spread your “gospel”.
Even with little customers who are patronizing a business, if the products/service of that little business is truly creative, they can become the “evangelists” of such small business.
But you have to give them the easy tools by which they can share your virus (sorry, that`s what Seth Godin calls it), it means your free (great) sample.
Some big companies give out shirts, caps or pens. What for?
So you and I could spread their “good news” easily.
As a small business owner, you can design a little card, give it out to your customers as a “ticket” for their friends to be able to enjoy your service at 50% reduction. By doing this, you`re spreading your business` “gospel”.
If you are online and having a website, you can have social media sharing buttons on your website. You can do this for free.
When your customers come into your website, they share your products, services or blog posts with their Facebook, twitter etc. friends.
This way, they are helping you to advertise your products or services without you paying a kobo. That`s the power of the word of mouth advertisement.