Word of Mouth Marketing. Brand Evangelism. Buzz. These are not just words and phrases. These are tactics that might make the difference in your business growing or dying. Each depends on the same link for success: people. We sometimes call them influencers.
Like customers, we need to know what those influencers look like. What motivates and inspires them? How do we connect with them?
A May 3 article in eMarketer called “Is the Current Definition of ‘Influencer’ Too Narrow?” is a must-read for anyone in business. It begins to answer these questions. The article is based on a CNET study called “Understanding Influence, and Making It Work For You: A CNet Networks Study.”
The study tells us that the highly-connected influencers use e-mail (84%) and in-person discussion (88%) for their most frequent interactions. Phone (46%), instant messaging (16%), and text messaging (15%) happen much less often.
For us to reach out to these influencers, we need to use basic marketing strategies, including understanding their emotional and informational needs, communicating with them in a way that is easy to forward and share, building trust, and sending the right messages, at the right time, to the right place.
It should come as no surprise but is worth remembering that the message, not the vehicle, is the most important element to get influencers to spread the word. If you don’t have something provocative, incredibly interesting, or newsworthy to share, no one will listen. Your best influencers are happy customers who love your great products, services, and experiences.
Here are the results of a study by Osterman Research that ranks the most important things we need to spread word of mouth: satisfied customers (53%), great products or services (27.5%), an exciting brand (13.3%), have an advertising or PR firm (1.7%), and low prices (0%). These numbers tell us much about where we need to focus our business-growth strategies.
I wonder. Word of mouth is how I get most of my business. It is also a strategy that I recommend to my clients. What are your experiences? Do these numbers suggest ways we can get better at what we do?