While we may live in a ‘digital age’, word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways of getting your business known and building your brand. There may be a lot of reviews and opinions about your company posted online, but people are understandably very wary about digital commentary posted by anonymous sources. Despite so many aspects of our lives moving online, real-world chatter still matters in the internet era.
Here’s why you should try to encourage word of mouth advertising, and the best way to go about it.
Word of mouth has a massive impact. While many people will search out goods and services online, the vast majority would be more likely to make a purchase based on a recommendation from friends and family. The more people you can win over, the more likely they are to mention you to their nearest and dearest.
There’s no quicker way to spread the word and build your brand than through word of mouth. In one study carried out in the USA, more than half of survey respondents (55%) said they made a word of mouth recommendation at least once a month and 30% did so on a weekly basis.
Who would you rather trust: an anonymous online presence or a family member? There’s no telling who is behind the online review or how accurate it really is – it could be the business themselves, or it could be someone holding an unfair grudge. Of course, many of the reviews and posts will be fair and reasonable, but when it comes down to it, we’re still more likely to trust the word of someone close to us.
In the same American study, half of those surveyed said they would choose a restaurant based on a recommendation from friends and family. People still really value the opinions of those who matter to them, with many people reluctant to trust the views posted on social media or online review sites.
There is, of course, a big place for online or print advertising, but people prefer to rely on their own experiences or those of people they trust. The good thing about word of mouth advertising is that it’s free and it’s the gift which keeps on giving – the more people you can get talking about your business, the more people they’re likely to recommend it to and so the cycle goes on. Win people over, get them talking and your business will grow organically.