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Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth Marketing

by bhargavi September 06, 2020
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These days, 64% of marketing executives believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. And while we’ve all heard about word-of-mouth marketing and experience it on a regular basis, there are still many ways to further your word-of-mouth strategy.

Below, we cover everything about this powerful marketing strategy, from basic terms to what sets word of mouth apart from all other types of marketing.

What is word of mouth marketing?

word of mouth marketing

Image source – E-commerce nation

Word-of-mouth marketing (or word-of-mouth advertising) are the actions taken by a business to motivate others to spontaneously talk about their products, services, or brand. Word-of-mouth marketing also refers to the actions of those who are sharing their experiences and recommending others on your behalf.

What does this mean for your business? Customers are essentially doing marketing for you! They are promoting straight to their network, usually in person or on social media, which makes word of mouth not only cost-effective, but highly valuable.

Word of mouth is usually triggered by an event experienced by the customer. Whether it’s an amazing customer service or a free gift with purchase, triggers set your brand apart from the competition and keep you top of mind. Plus, they make for great talking points and organic word of mouth.

Importance of Word Of Mouth marketing

Whereas word of mouth marketing used to be limited by the number of places you went and people you physically interacted with, times have changed.

Now, thanks to online and social media, what you share can reach millions in mere seconds. And word of mouth doesn’t just stop after one interaction – one person will tell another, and another, and so on. With every share, repost, or retweet, word-of-mouth marketing carries the potential for exponential growth.

But where WOM really stands out is its high level of trust. According to a Nielsen report, 92% of people trust word of mouth or referrals from those they know, above all other advertising. This means when someone sees a friend or family member raving about a particular brand, they’re much more likely to buy.

According to Nielsen, 92%word of mouth marketing of people around the world said they trust recommendations from friends and family (earned media) above all other forms of advertising. Consumers are more emotionally bonded to a company when they feel they are listened to by the company.

That is why many companies will have sales representatives discuss their products and services with consumers personally or through a feedback phone line. This kind of interaction, as well as promotional events, can stimulate conversations about a company’s product.

There is a significant temptation to fabricate word-of-mouth marketing. Accordingly, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) has crafted a code of ethics for the industry, the best word-of-mouth marketing strategies are “credible, social, repeatable, measurable, and respectful” and there is no excuse for dishonesty.

Word Of Marketing expert Andy Sernovitz has boiled down WOMMA’s code of ethics into three key rules to avoid issues:

  • Say who you are representing (always disclose a relationship)
  • Say only what you believe (be honest with an opinion)
  • Never lie about who you are (be honest about your identity)

7 ways to implement word-of-mouth marketing in your strategy

1. Encourage user-generated content (UGC)

word of mouth marketing

Image source – Lundmark advertising

UGC is content created and shared by consumers about brands or products. It’s honest, builds trust, and gives marketers extra collateral to work with.

86% of millennials say UGC is a good indicator of the quality of a brand or service.

Millennials 5.4 hours a day with content created by their peers

Here are some tips to create UGC:

  • Have a unique hashtag to identify content created by customers
  • Incentivize creating and sharing pics, videos, and gifs on social media. Offer a free gift, discount, or feature.
  • Create a sense of community. Showcase your user-generated content prominently on your website or main profile
  • Brands that do it well:
    • Sephora: Beauty Board
word of mouth marketing

Image source – librisblog

Crocs: #ComeAsYouAre 

word of mouth marketing

Image source – Aero leads

2. Share customer testimonials/reviews

79% of people trust testimonials and online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

word of mouth marketing

Image source – Sales leads inc

They help reassure the performance, quality, and/or value of your claims and make consumers feel more comfortable doing business with you. There’s a reason they call it social proof after all.

Testimonials can be written or video and can be hosted on your website or pulled from others. Depending on your industry, some popular review sites include:

  • Yelp
Word of mouth marketing

Image source – Vivial

  • Houzz
word of mouth marketing

Image source – McAdams Remodelling

Once you have your testimonials or reviews, repurpose them into your marketing:

  • Dedicated site page
  • Homepage & landing pages
  • Relevant product/service pages
  • Lead generation content

3. Get product ratings on your site

Depending on your business model, you may want to give people the ability to rate or review specific products, services, etc. directly on your site. This is especially useful for eCommerce or if you’re a tech company that sells several products.


word of mouth marketing

Image source – dot net 4 techies

63% of visitors are more likely to buy when a website has reviews/ratings. Reviews can produce an 18% increase in sales. Customer reviews are 12x more trusted than descriptions from the brand

Brands that do it well:

  • Amazon
word of mouth marketing

Image source – Jumpfly

  • Apple: iTunes/App Store


word of mouth marketing

Image source – Strategic content

4. Offer an incentive

Giving your customers a reason to share with others can skyrocket your word-of-mouth marketing as well. Big or small, people are always more willing and likely to do something if they receive some sort of value in return.

word of mouth marketing

Image source – Incentive marketing

So, consider giving your consumers a discount or free gift in exchange for referrals.

Brands that do it well:

  • Trello: Free Trello Gold
word of mouth marketing

Image source – Trello

  • Dropbox: Free Storage Space
word of mouth marketing

Image source – make use of

5. Create a referral program

You can take this a step further by creating a formal referral program. A good referral program:

  • Makes spreading the word easy and quick
  • Makes it worthwhile for both parties (with an incentive or other benefit)
  • Measures the results of your campaigns

Top Referral Tools:

  • ReferralCandy
  • Friendbuy
  • LoyaltyLion
  • Influitive
  • Woobox

6. Connect with industry influencers and thought leaders

Influencers are exactly what their name suggests; individuals with a strong following and power to influence the beliefs and behavior of those in it. Because of their already established reputation, word-of-mouth marketing from an influencer is undoubtedly the most valuable.

40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or YouTube.

49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions. 73% of marketers say that they have allocated budget for influencer marketing.

How to Appeal to Influencers:

  • Quote them in your content
  • Feature them or their products/services prominently
  • Let them try your product/services for free

7. Offer a unique, share worthy experience

At the end of the day, the easiest way to generate word-of-mouth marketing in this digital age is to offer a unique, share-worthy experience.

If you give your consumers something memorable they cannot get anywhere else, they’ll want to share it with their friends and loved ones whether or not you ask them to.

Examples of Word Of Mouth marketing

Searching for shrewd approaches to use your crowd? Look at how top brands get clients conversing with these splendid informal showcasing models.


Growing a network is a significant method to pick up understanding about your crowd while preparing brand advocates. Shirt organization Threadless did exactly that by social event visual architects and craftsmanship fans to make, offer, and purchase custom items.

word of mouth marketing - Examples - ThreadlessThe organization pulled in 10,000 individuals in its initial two years and earned $6.5 million in less than four years. The organization drew in fans with continuous challenges and difficulties that helped creators gain reputation and hone their abilities.

The Threadless group comprehended that they were taking into account a fun, innovative crowd. The organization displayed client created content however much as could be expected, from transforming T-shirt plans into custom cakes to facilitating themed fights. Obviously, individuals were glad to advance their plans and carry more individuals to the site.


Coca-cola has endure many high points and low points and stayed at the head of the soda pop game which is as it should be. The organization is acceptable at shocking individuals and spreading messages of altruism and multiculturalism.

word of mouth marketing

Image source – Send Pulse

In 2012, the organization introduced “Joy Machines” far and wide. Clients searching for a cool refreshment could get a free coke in return for embracing the machine, moving or performing different tricks. In another “Bliss” crusade, Coke set up telephone corners in Dubai that permitted laborers to call their families utilizing bottle tops rather than cash.

All the more as of late, the organization utilized the “Offer a Coke” mission to restore deals across 70 nations. Coke printed bottles with normal names on them, so individuals were enlivened to get them for a companion or relative. To make the mission a stride further, Coke made a hashtag. The web-based media component gave individuals additional motivating force to buy a customized Coke and offer photographs on the web.

Word of mouth is proven to be extremely useful for businesses and efficient in increasing sales. How was your experience using this marketing tactic? Let us know in the comments section below!


What is word of mouth marketing strategy?

Word of mouth definition: Influencing and encouraging organic discussions about a brand, organization, resource, or event. To put it most simply, word of mouth marketers and advertisers seek to create something worth talking about and then actively encourage people to talk about it

How effective is word of mouth marketing?

In a recent study, 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. However, only 6% say they have mastered it. If consumers value word of mouth and marketers believe it is effective, then why aren't marketers more focused on it?

Why word of mouth marketing is important?

The importance of word of mouth. WOM recommendations are a crucial marketing tool for any brand. This is mainly because since they come from sources familiar to us already, i.e. friends and family, and due to the 'buzz' user-generated content can induce, they're more trustworthy and valuable

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