Most likely one of the most ancient ways of creating awareness for your company and attracting new customers is called WOMM (short for Word of mouth marketing). When someone you trust, tells you that a certain company excels in a certain service or offers the best product on the market, you have WOMM. It’s really that straightforward.
As a small business it makes total sense to focus on WOMM right from the start. Certainly considering that over 90% of people are more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend. The main challenge is ‘how’ to create and spark WOMM as a small and/or young business.
At Contento we have been thinking about this conundrum for quite a while. WOMM is something you cannot buy. Paid advertising that focuses on artificially boosting word of mouth doesn’t work. Moreover, it’s counter-effective. At the same time, you need to push the right buttons to ‘facilitate’ word of mouth. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to endorse your brand, you need to focus on the psychology and behavior that induces people to say stuff like ‘these guys are really good at what they do’ or ‘let me introduce you to this company that does this for me.’
After spending sleepless nights and hazy days of tinkering, we might have found a number of actionable ways for you to facilitate WOMM.
Trust is one of the most impactful emotions in business and, for that matter, in relationships. If you trust someone, you will most likely be open to recommending this person to someone else. The same counts for business relationships. If you trust a company, and the situation materializes, you will most likely feel comfortable referring a friend to this company.
But how do you create trust as a small business? Two words, targeted content. By sharing content that demonstrates that you know what you are talking about, people will start trusting you. They will listen to what you have to say and will think of you when someone they know, is looking for something you offer.
A second driver to facilitate WOMM is credibility. The difference between trust and credibility seem less straightforward, but there definitely is a big delta here. Trust means that people aren’t afraid to share things with you (including sharing their network). Credibility means that people believe that what you are saying is true, because of the fact that you are an expert in the matter.
As a business owner, it’s absolutely paramount to be considered as an expert within your field. You need to be THE company that is top of mind when people think about a certain topic. The two words to remember here are thought leadership. The content you share on your channels needs to transfer the fact that you and your company are leading and defining the direction of a certain industry.
Activate your customers
Once you’ve established the trust and credibility necessary to facilitate WOMM, you can start activating your customers. You have to understand that these people are your customers because they trust you and see you as credible. Hence, putting two and two together, they are very well-placed to endorse your business and scale your WOMM.
Doing this is quite straightforward, the only thing you have to do is politely ask 😀
Just never forget that your customers are your best ambassadors. You need to do everything, really everything, to keep them happy and engaged. Even if this means on-boarding less new customers for a while.