By: Jenifer Wetterau
Although word of mouth marketing shouldn’t rely on digital or social media to be effective, offering new ways for people to share your message can get your brand message out there faster and to a much larger audience at little or no cost.
Here are four easy ways to earn digital word of mouth:
-Celebrate Your Consumers
-Offer Loyalty Rewards
-Crowd Source Creativity
-Partner with Complimentary Brands
Celebrate Your Consumers
Make your consumers feel like rock stars! Fans love and appreciate recognition, which inspires them to keep it up. Identify tastemakers to be your brand ambassadors and reward them for their loyalty. One option is to create fan-only coupons with unique one per user custom coupon codes. Collect entries for leaderboard contests and display results and standings on your pages to inspire competitive spirit!
Add an extra layer of interaction to your Facebook page by showcasing a “fan of the week.” It’s really easy with the Fan of the Week for Pages app. Fans can apply to get picked. Other fans can then vote which fan they think should get the coveted title. The most voted on person can either be automatically chosen, or an admin can make the choice manually.
Another fun engagement strategy is generating a mosaic of your followers using a tool like Tweematic. The shape could be your product or logo, and in order to have their photo added, fans send an encoded tweet with your message. The finished product could live online only, or be physically produced and used as a giveaway/sweepstakes item. Scheduling Tweet to Win contests throughout the year will also inspire fans to continuously visit your website and socials. This is also a great way to introduce new products or increase visibility of customer favorites.
Make sharing fun! More loyalty perks mean more opportunities for word of mouth. Make it a twofer: Two-for-one deals mean fans have to bring someone else along, which means they have to talk to more people about you and your products.
Group deals are a great way to get more bang for your buck, since they require generating a certain # of participants in order to unlock a coupon, bonus, special content, etc. The more people who want the reward, the more your message is spread in order to activate it.
Crowd Source Creativity
All brands can benefit from added visuals in their marketing efforts. Why not run contests for your fans to show off their artistic skills? Not only will the opportunity create major buzz, but it will inspire more brand loyalty. Personally, I really love what Creative Allies does for musicians and artists.
Creative Allies is a community of designers who enter contests to create artwork and merchandise for bands, films and festivals. A fan creates artwork based on criteria determined by the brand for posters, t-shirts, hats, lithographs or other merchandise items. They submit their design to the site, then get their friends to vote on their submissions for the chance to win prizes, sell their stuff and get their work noticed. For each contest, at least one grand prizewinner is selected by the contest holder and awarded a cash prize and other goodies like tickets, merchandise and/or VIP perks. Additional submissions are selected to be sold in the Creative Allies Store even if they didn’t win a design contest. These items become official merchandise and profits are shared between the designer and the contest holder (the band, film or festival).
Align with Complimentary Brands
Even if you have a very small budget and limited resources, you can still create major buzz by partnering with other brands to offer your consumers amazing experiences.
For example, let’s say you are an up and coming hair stylist without a large advertising budget, but still need to make a big splash. You might consider working in tandem with a popular make-up artist and a skincare guru to create a contest for a grand prizewinner to receive an ultimate makeover. Runners up could receive various discounts or products from the three companies. By doing so, you tap into the networks, and ad dollars, of all three brands – a huge benefit to all involved. Partnering with established, credible companies also reflects a very positive light on yours.
What are some innovative ways you have introduced WOM to your digital strategy? What has proved most engaging and effective? These are just a few ideas to get your creative wheels churning; many more to come in future posts!
At Indra Public Relations, we are here to strategize on your marketing ideas. As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.