Among the traditional marketing strategies that have remained to be effective today is word of mouth advertising or marketing. Yet, it has taken a new form with the use of digital technology. Customer feedback, reviews, and product ratings are popular ways of learning about products and services nowadays. The beauty about these is that they are perceived to be more “truthful” and credible since they come from real consumers.
Word of Mouth and the Consumer Mindset
Studies have proven time and again how consumers trust the opinion of fellow consumers more than advertisements and product brochures. Understandably so as information on ads and other materials coming from the companies offering the products and services tend to be viewed as biased. Reviews and recommendations from consumers, on the other hand, are based on real experience and usually include both positive and negative aspects as they find relevant.
According to researches, about 70% of consumers go online and search for review articles before they go out and buy particular products or avail of specific services. 90% of these consumers believe the review articles that they read online. To highlight the edge of word of mouth vis-à-vis advertising, research studies found that 75% of consumers do not believe the ads that they watch or read.
Digital Word of Mouth
One of the best applications of digital word of mouth is through reviews. A lot of companies today still do not proactively get customers to write about what they thought about the products and services they purchased. It is unfortunate that only 33% of businesses take the initiative to ask for and collect customer feedback on a regular basis. Perhaps what they do not realize is that they can generate double the sales from digital word of mouth than from ads.
If you are a marketer looking for ways on how to increase your sales, it would be reasonable to consider taking a more proactive stance on digital word of mouth. Marketing your reputation puts you on a more solid ground in the minds of your target market. Of course, you have to make sure that your reputation is not tainted. Otherwise, it will be more difficult for you to recover and regain your share of your customers’ share of mind and pocket.
Here’s what you can do to generate more positive consumer reviews, build your reputation, and consequently increase your sales:
1. Ask, don’t wait. If you wait for your customers to put in a good word for you online, you might not get it at all. You have to actively ask for it at the time when their experience with your products and services is still fresh in their minds. You’ll get more detailed (and often more credible) reviews when you do this.
2. Push it. Have pop ups and prompts to help push your customers to share their review. Make it convenient for them. There are online tools these days that integrate “Review Us” features in your webpage.
3. Wow them. Give your customers something to write about in their review. Make sure that their experience with your products and services is “shareworthy.” This is actually how some review articles or videos become viral and reach more users.
Digital word of mouth composed of customer feedback, review articles, and ratings among others boost your reputation online. Modern marketers should take advantage of the effectiveness of these in promoting their products and building their reputation. In the end, they will reap more sustainable gains and long-term profitability.