How to Build a Word-of-Mouth Marketing Program

Some things just work. One marketing strategy that has stood the test of time and appears to be rising in popularity is word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM). Roster teamed up with our friends at Crayon to host a live webinar focused on how to build a word-of-mouth marketing program that grows your business. 

The discussion was vibrant and explored all the ways consumers shop today. We broke down the reasons why brands struggle to build formal WOMM programs and actionable steps you can take to kickstart an effective word-of-mouth marketing program.

Why do word-of-mouth programs matter?

According to a Nielsen report, 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising. Despite this overwhelming consumer dynamic, it is estimated that less than 1% of marketing dollars are allocated toward word-of-mouth marketing. 

“Word of mouth will never go out of style. It is, and will remain, the #1 way people make choices about brands.” – Jamie Turner (60 Second Marketer)

For this reason, brands that initiate effective WOMM initiatives set themselves apart throughout the buying journey. It all starts with knowing how to build a word-of-mouth marketing program that works.

What is the Most Effective Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy?

It may sound cliché, but the most effective word-of-mouth strategy is the one that succeeds in earning trust among your customers. Or you could always do the status quo and buy ads. However, with ads, you have to tackle this obstacle.

“Advertising is the cost of being boring.” – Andy Sernovitz

Word-of-mouth is more than a friend talking to a friend. In today’s digital, hyper-connected world, WOM takes different forms, such as UGC, online reviews, and product mentions. These tried-and-true techniques achieve excellent outcomes for businesses.

WOMM programs get user-generated content

Word of Mouth (WOM), often known as word-of-mouth advertising, is the type of advertising that has been around the longest and is the most natural.

Word-of-mouth marketing is based on the idea that pleased consumers are more likely to promote a product or service to other people in their social circles. In its purest form, it is an example of a sort of free advertising generated by customers’ spontaneous emotions and introspections.

When customers love your products so much that they take it upon themselves to create content about them. It is a win-win for customers and brands. From blog posts to social posts to videos and beyond—UGC is the epitome of authentic marketing.

Review and testimonials are WOM

When customers feel so overwhelmingly positive about your products that they take the time to rate and review them, it’s a sure sign to other shoppers. That said, reviews need to be authentic and descriptive—not just five stars or a thumbs up.  

Product mentions and the power of WOMM

Customers who go out of their way to mention a product are, quite literally, engaging in word-of-mouth marketing. Whether passing to friends and family or blasted out to an audience on social media, a favorable product mention could net you untold sales.

Keep in mind that these aren’t the only WOMM strategies out there. Referral networks, influencer marketing and exclusive ambassador campaigns are also great ways to get the word out about your brand, and they fit right alongside the strategies mentioned above.\

Remember, every brand’s approach to advocacy marketing will differ depending on many variables. The most effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy is the one that maximizes the power of your advocates to create trust for your brand.

Word of mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%. – MarketShare

How to Build a Word-of-Mouth Program

While some WOMM comes naturally, brands need to have a clear system in place for setting up and tracking these efforts. That’s where Roster comes in. Brands need a single, centralized platform that’s capable of handling everything. 

Here’s how it works.

Identify and recruit your most active customers and potential brand ambassadors. 

Use purchase history data, brand interactions and other benchmarks to show who might already be a brand ambassador for your company.

Engage your ambassadors and give them an incentive for WOMM.

Formalize the relationship and set clear expectations for how advocates will spread the good word about your company and products.

Reward your advocates and give them incentives to grow their reach. As your influencers bring in more sales dollars, ensure you’re compensating them so they can scale with your WOMM reach.

These are the core pillars of a successful brand advocacy campaign. No matter how you approach WOMM, ensure these core pillars are at the core.

Track and measure the performance of your WOMM campaigns. 

Use sales data, mentions and interactions to get a clear and present understanding of how effective your WOMM efforts truly are.

Why More Brands Don’t Have WOMM Programs

Finding loyal, trusted brand advocates amongst your core customer base can be extremely difficult. For brands that overcome this hurdle, activating and managing WOMM campaigns is resource-demanding. 

Also, running word-of-mouth marketing programs often proves impossible to scale manually.

Roster’s brand ambassador playbook provides all the information you require to build a word-of-mouth marketing program quickly. You’ll also learn the best practices and strategies to increase your bottom line while at the same time wean the reliance on ads to promote your business.

step-by-step guide to getting more word of mouth marketing

When Brands Execute WOMM, the Results are Staggering

The results are positive when brands commit to developing and executing WOMM programs. Brands see a decrease in customer acquisition costs, an increase in average cart size and a deeper loyalty with existing customers. 

Robust advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing programs are achieving significant revenue gains. 

WOMM grows sales on established products between 10% to 20%.

WOMM can 2x sales on new products.

Learn how by requesting a demo today.


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