A good recommendation from a friend or colleague can go a long way towards making a purchase. Whether it is a book, a movie, a place to eat, a plumber, dentist, or almost anything else, if someone you know and trust recommends something, there is a good chance you will give that thing a try. (Especially if you make it known you are looking for a recommendation.) We commonly refer to this as word of mouth, and it is one of the most powerful and sought after forms of marketing. Many businesses use word of mouth to build a strong and dedicated following.
However, many businesses believe that word-of-mouth marketing is the only type of marketing they need. But great as word of mouth is, it can only get you so far, and you may find yourself missing out on many more marketing opportunities!
Good, But Limited
Let us be clear; we do not want to sound like we are bashing word of mouth. Quite the opposite! Word-of-mouth marketing drove much of Beacon Marketing’s first year (and more) of business. The problem with word of mouth is that it can be easy to rely entirely on positive referrals, thinking they will always be there to provide a steady stream of new customers or clients. But that is not usually the case.
What happens if some of your best customers move or decide they want to try a new business and begin recommending that one? Or what if external forces like construction in your area of the city or changes in regulation affect how people access your place of business? Word of mouth is a great way to build your business, but in the face of the adversity every business faces at one point or another, word of mouth is limited and often fails.
Amplify Word of Mouth
If you think of referrals from customers and clients as a marketing channel like Facebook, email, or your website, you can start thinking of ways to amplify word of mouth via a sound marketing strategy. Consider this: on your website or email signature you have links to your social media (or at least you should). In your social media messaging you drive traffic to your website to make purchases or schedule consultations (again something you should be doing). You should be using your website, social media channels, emails, etc. to promote the positive things your customers and clients are saying about you, aka word of mouth.
When a customer refers your business to others, he or she usually does it on a one-to-one basis or in a small group. You might get lucky and have them put something on social media, but chances are the reach is going to be limited. That’s why using your various marketing strategies to amplify that positive review to others who most likely have not seen it.
Show Off How Awesome You Are
You worked hard at getting your customer or client to the point they want to recommend you to others. You should want to make that known to as many people as possible. You can do that by incorporating word of mouth into a complete marketing strategy as opposed to hoping your glowing reviews work by themselves. Do this, and you can set your business up for a very bright future!
And if you need help, Beacon Marketing is here to help guide you!