Many small and home-based entrepreneurs fail to utilize word-of-mouth marketing driven programs for their businesses. They either do not know how powerful word-of-mouth marketing is, or is not aware how it can improve sales and the bottom line. Others simply do not know what these techniques are, and how easy they are to implement.
According to George Silverman in his book The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing: How to Trigger Exponential Sales Through Runaway Word of Mouth, the word-of-mouth strategies that work best are as follows:
- Endorsement or recommendation from a trusted advisor
- Big thumbs up score from an advisory service (objective and third party)
- A friend recommending to another friend
- Referrals or reference given by other people (customers, peers, etc.)
- Experts’ endorsements in roundtable or teleconference settings
- Peers’ face-to-face endorsements or recommendation
- Recommendation by customers or experts appearing in media articles
Other ways to spread the word about your products or services include:
- Networking events such as dinners, meetings, etc. where customers and prospects are present
- Experts’ and/or customers’ testimonials in print ads, mailings, product brochures or commercials
- Celebrity endorsements (great if you can get it)
Silverman, however, cautions “no particular word-of-mouth method works best in every circumstance.” One method may work spectacularly for one type of product and a particular circumstance, while another may bomb. The key is to experiment and find the best way word of mouth strategies to market your business.