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How Technology Has Changed the Meaning of Word of Mouth Marketing

In a previous article, we discussed the importance of storytelling in word-of-mouth marketing. Today, online reviews are as credible as those of a friend or family member. We discussed how WOMMA is devoted to helping marketers master this technique. However, we also mentioned that we must pay special attention to online reviews. Understanding the significance of customer reviews before investing in paid advertising is essential.


Online reviews are just as credible as a friend’s recommendation.

Compared to paid advertisements, word-of-mouth marketing is a free form of advertising that enables consumers to spread a brand’s message about a product or service to their friends and family. In addition, consumers trust reviews from a third party, such as a friend, more than those from the brand itself. In fact, 88% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends.

While word-of-mouth marketing is still an effective strategy to promote a brand, it needs a digital boost to be successful. According to one study, marketers who use online reviews to power referral programs see three times more referrals than those who do not. More consumers are turning to the internet to find information. Online reviews prompt consumers to take action and may even lead to a physical visit.

According to research, word-of-mouth marketing is 5X more effective than paid ads. In addition, 83% of consumers are willing to refer a business after a positive experience, but only 29% do so. In fact, word-of-mouth is the most common source for new brands, accounting for nearly a trillion dollars in global sales and spending. Furthermore, word-of-mouth has a more significant influence on brand loyalty than any other form of marketing.


Storytelling is more effective than paid advertising.

Storytelling is one of the best methods if you’re looking for an effective strategy to boost your word-of-mouth marketing efforts. Not only does it help spread the brand’s vision, but it also generates super-brand loyalty, which is essential to increasing word-of-mouth marketing. But to be a successful storyteller, you need to apply 5 proven principles of storytelling.

Stories elicit emotional reactions. When consumers feel empathy and compassion, they’re more likely to refer your product to others. Stories are compelling because they engage the brain’s oxytocin receptors, responsible for making us feel loved and connected. Storytelling, in particular, is more likely to evoke these feelings than any other type of marketing. And while it’s true that the audience won’t remember facts, it’s essential to remember that stories are often remembered more vividly than other types of content.

In addition to stories, storytelling is essential to all aspects of brand marketing. Using user-generated stories can inspire people more than traditional brand stories. As a result, brands that incorporate brand storytelling in their marketing efforts will dominate the marketplace. It’s a fact that people retain accounts 22x longer than information. Storytelling can also boost conversion rates by 30%. And it’s effective for companies and individuals, as research shows that people are more likely to remember a story than several facts. In fact, 62% of B2B marketers rate storytelling as a valuable content strategy.

Stories are the foundation of word-of-mouth marketing. People trust stories from friends and peers and are more likely to buy a product or service based on them than generic advertising. Moreover, storytelling is more effective than paid advertising compared to other marketing forms. This type of marketing strategy can scale up rapidly with the right approach. So, the first step is to build a brand’s advocate base. But that requires time.


Brands need to be open to all issues voiced out by customers.

Consumers no longer shy away from controversial issues – and brands need to be ready to jump into conversations at lightning speed. This shift is mainly due to consumer expectations. Sixty-one percent of consumers say brands should take a stand on social or political issues – including gun control. Brands are taking notice – Nike, Patagonia, and other companies have all jumped into the conversation.


WOMMA’s mission is to help marketers master this method

If you are interested in mastering word-of-mouth marketing, consider joining the WOMMA. The organization was founded in 2004 and is the official reference for word-of-mouth marketing worldwide. Its members include leading companies in the industry and pioneers in the word of mouth marketing techniques. Members can expect to learn new techniques, improve their strategies, and share their success stories with other marketers. In addition, WOMMA conferences and summits offer both networking opportunities and educational seminars by industry leaders.

WOMMA offers its members a comprehensive benefits portfolio. They will be able to participate in webinars, conferences, local events, and a word-of-mouth awards program. WOMMA membership is free and requires no upfront cost. 

One of the best ways to increase the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing is to give your consumers an incentive to spread the word about your product or service. Consumers strongly prefer recommendations from friends and family, and a special offer for friends and family will have even more impact when packaged in an email. WOMMA has created tools to facilitate the discussion between marketers and their customers. For example, blogs and social media allow companies to talk directly with their fans, while online communities provide a focal point for disparate conversations. In addition, formal evangelism programs can help keep fans talking about your brand.

Word of mouth has been around forever, but the word of mouth marketing is the newest specialty in marketing. It is as actionable and trackable as other forms of marketing, such as viral marketing, blogging, communities, loyalty programs, and more. And it works! People talk, and word-of-mouth marketing is often triggered by excellent customer service and a great product. The best way to generate word-of-mouth marketing is by putting together an effective strategy and a plan to implement it.