How to Generate Trust with Word-of-Mouth MarketingFebruary, 13 2013
The way consumers choose who they do business with hasn’t changed in the past 20 years. They still look through directories, online, or ask someone they trust. They still rely on word-of-mouth recommendations.
According to a recent Nielson study, 70 percent of consumers worldwide trust online reviews, while only 47 percent believe traditional broadcast and print ads. A whopping 92 percent of consumers trust word-of-mouth and recommendations from family and friends.
With the evolution of the Internet and technology, it’s both easier and harder for business owners to get a genuine recommendation through word-of-mouth marketing. Consumers don’t just spread the word in a community, they share it worldwide and they can become informed in seconds.
Set up a monitoring system, such as Google Alerts, and pay attention to online reviews about your company. Look at review sites, such as Yelp or Google Places, and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to see how you are perceived, if at all. If there aren’t any reviews, Lusky suggests you encourage customers to provide them.
The Nielsen study shows some interesting statistics about owned and paid media:
- Thirty six percent of global online consumers report trust in online video ads;
- Thirty-three percent believe messages in online banner ads;
- Ads viewed in search engine results are trusted by 40 percent of respondents; and
- Sponsored ads on social networks are deemed credible.
Extend reach and influence positive statements with customer testimonials, endorsements, or excerpts of positive reviews in both traditional ads and on your website or blog.
Align Marketing Messages with Performance
You will lose credibility if your marketing message doesn’t match your company’s performance. Consumers distrust paid advertising because it creates a message to cast the advertiser in the best possible light, and well, spin sucks. With the ability for consumers to publish online reviews and tweets, the effect can be devastating for a company.
Don’t Forget about Mobile
Make sure your mobile platforms are up to par. Your website should be user-friendly, complete, and easy to navigate on a smartphone and tablet.
Word-of-mouth marketing can accommodate budgets of all sizes. As new markets and communication vehicles emerge, opportunities will continue to grow. However it can also backfire when the “word” is negative. It is a powerful tool and when used right, it can affect your business.
What does your business do to encourage online and offline conversations about your brand?