With over two thirds of the world’s population using the internet – online content is more important than ever. Especially digital word of mouth. Consumers are turning to the internet for guidance when making purchase decisions. In fact:
- 70-90% of the buyer’s journey is complete prior to engaging a vendor (Forrester)
- Consumers engage with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase (Forrester)
- Consumers are 5x more dependent on content than they were 5 years ago. (Nielsen)
But this isn’t new information. More and more businesses are creating online content, making it tougher to stand out. That’s why we’re looking at the most trusted form of promotion, word of mouth, and how to add it to your marketing strategy.
Firstly, let’s look at the research. AdWeek featured a study by Olapic, on Millennial and Baby Boomer’s attitudes to content. As suspected, there are distinct differences between the two groups. Baby Boomers prefer written and video pieces, over photos, preferred by Millennials.
But the study revealed a constant belief across both Baby Boomers and Millennials. The majority of consumers trust content created by average people, more than brands.
Word of Mouth is the Most Trusted
This may not come as a surprise, with multiple research studies coming to this same conclusion. For example, Edelman’s 2016 Trust Barometer, which comprised of over 33,000 respondents, confirmed that friends and family are the most trusted information sources. Making word of mouth an incredibly impactful source of content in the purchase decision process.
This trend is growing, fast. Trust in word of mouth and user-generated content grew by 11% from 67% in 2015, to 78% in 2016. Surpassing content created by academic experts, well-known online personalities and celebrities.
What Does this Mean for Brands?
To determine whether this is good for your brand, depends on its current conversation. You can find this out by searching your brand on search engines and social media platforms. The results of this activity are likely to include both positive and negative word of mouth.
Here, you will find opportunities to connect with loyal customers and brand advocates. As well as win back those disappointed by your brand and identify areas that need improvement.
“Pay attention to negative feedback and solicit it, particularly from friends. Hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful.” Elon Musk
How to Generate Word of Mouth?
Word of mouth is difficult to control. But there are strategies to help stimulate and maintain user-generated content around specific topics. For example, social loyalty programs like Popdeem invite customers to share their brand experiences. Popdeem allows brands to run social competitions, targeting tailored audience segments and measures results.
Let’s look at a simple application of Popdeem for a restaurant. Let’s say the restaurant wants to capitalize on the ‘freakshakes’ dessert trend, so they add it to their menu. The aim of this new product is to drive revenue and attract more customers. But how can they make people aware of this new offering and increase visits/bookings? They could spend time and money creating an advertising campaign. But as the Edelman and Olapic research has shown, less people trust this kind of content. A more impactful strategy is to get your customers to promote your new product for you, through word of mouth.
Now, how do you get your customers to do this? With a simple reward system, using these three simple steps.
1) Run a Social Competition with Popdeem
Simply run a contest, targeting your most loyal or influential customers through Popdeem’s dashboard. Ask them to share an update on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram about your new menu. Whether it’s a photo of a new dish they liked, or something they’re looking forward to trying.
2) Reward Entrants
Each participant then receives a reward for their post, i.e. a coupon for their next visit. Or, participants enter a sweepstakes competition for a grand prize, like a $500 voucher. Both of these prizes foster customer retention and are easily distributed with Popdeem.
3) Enjoy the Results
This cost-effective strategy generates trusted word of mouth and increases awareness. By-products of this strategy include, reaching a broader audience without paying for advertising. As well as building relationships with customers, increasing loyalty and brand advocacy.
Interested in using Popdeem to create word of mouth?
Get in touch with us and we’ll arrange a quick and easy demo. Or find out more on our Product page.
In the meantime, watch how Popdeem helped a chain of Irish restaurants and bars grow their business.