February 24, 2022

Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy: Examples and Best Practices

An effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy helps your company more easily attract customers. It also benefits your online reputation, improves your marketing efficiency, and makes your brand more credible, authentic, and trustworthy.

  • 78% of people rave about their favorite recent experiences to people they know at least once per week. (Semrush)
  • 83% of marketers use word-of-mouth marketing to increase brand awareness. (Semrush)
  • Recommendations are one of the top five influences on brand decisions before consumers go shopping. (Everyonesocial)

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Examples of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing has taken on various forms beyond the literal conversations that spread from one person to another through personal recommendations. These days, you’ll find that word-of-mouth marketing can be in the form of:

  • Online reviews. These reviews are found on business review sites like Google, Facebook, Tripadvisor, and Yelp.
  • Social mentions and hashtags. This is when customers post on social media to share their photos, experiences, and purchases, and they mention or tag your brand.
  • Blog posts, press mentions, and media coverage. Organic word of mouth generated by the media is a powerful way to build buzz around your brand. 
  • Brand advocates and influencers. These are often happy customers who willingly recommend your brand to their own community of fans and followers.
  • Employee advocates. Effective employer branding often leads to employee advocacy, with your company’s own workforce helping do word-of-mouth marketing for you.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy: 6 Keys to Success

Looking for ways to instantly generate word-of-mouth marketing for your brand? Check out these tips and examples.

Curate User-Generated Content

The content doesn’t always have to come from your team when you’re publishing marketing messages on your website and your brand’s core digital properties. The world’s savviest brands know how to encourage and curate content generated by their own customers.

Apple’s popular “Shot on iPhone” campaign continues to attract contributions from iPhone users around the world. The “Share a Coke” campaign, which encouraged people to personalize Coca-Cola products and share these with friends and family, succeeded on a global scale thanks to very fast word of mouth.

Even if you’re not ready to develop specific campaigns, you always have the opportunity to encourage your fans and followers to share their content and mention and tag your company. 

Showcase Your Online Reviews

Online reviews posted by customers provide powerful social proof for their peers. Think of it this way: instead of directly asking friends about specific companies and brands, customers simply turn these days to reviews posted online. 

Reviews are the way people today discover and assess businesses. According to online reviews statistics

  • Customers don’t trust companies with lower than 4-star ratings. The most common filter applied is to see only companies with 4-star ratings and higher.
  • Negative word of mouth drives customers away. 94% of consumers said a negative review convinced them to avoid a business.

This means you should harness reviews to inspire consumer trust and build your brand credibility. Don’t hesitate to share your best reviews and customer testimonials on social media as well as on your website. You can use a website review widget like Amplify to showcase reviews on your website. 

Amplify Positive Social Comments and Mentions

One of the easiest tactics you can apply in your word-of-mouth marketing strategy is to amplify positive customer-driven conversations and stories about your brand. 

This means boosting your positive social comments and mentions, whether someone shared a great customer story on Twitter, tagged your brand on an Instagram photo, or wrote a positive review on Yelp.

It’s an effective way to move away from promotional brand content, while also letting your happy customers tell others about their great experience with your business.

Create a Referral Program

Referral programs are one of the most popular customer acquisition strategies for today’s marketers. They’re also common in many a successful word-of-mouth marketing strategy. 

A referral program incentivizes customers to refer their friends and family to your business. Along the way, this activity has the potential to generate powerful word-of-mouth conversations around your brand. 

A great example of how referral programs can drive word of mouth for a company is by Robinhood, the popular trade and investing app. Pre-launch, through its referral program, Robinhood was able to bring in more than a million people who signed up to the waitlist.

Encourage Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its workforce. This can be a powerful tool you can use as part of your word-of-mouth marketing strategy. 

By empowering employees to introduce your brand to their own networks, you can help drive traffic and sales without necessarily investing in sales and advertising tactics. 

Employee advocacy isn’t limited to customer-facing employees. Even members of your leadership team can take part in spreading positive word of mouth and buzz around your company. 

A great example is how Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, uses the social media app to share company updates and new feature announcements.

Deliver Great Customer Experiences

When you meet and surpass customer expectations and deliver great experiences, people won’t hesitate to spread the word about your brand. 

It’s crucial that, before making extensive plans to launch viral social media campaigns and word-of-mouth PR blitzes, you focus first on attending to customer needs and solving their problems. 

At the end of the day, the easiest way to ensure a successful word-of-mouth marketing strategy is to great customer experiences.

Read more: Customer Experience Management: How to Get Started

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