Word of mouth marketing

How brands can harness word of mouth marketing

Incredibly powerful in boosting brand awareness, word of mouth marketing is a strategy businesses of any size and type can take advantage of. Although word of mouth occurs between customers rather than through a brand’s own marketing efforts, there are still ways your brand can support and promote it.

Word of mouth marketing focuses on building or creating something people are likely to talk about. Then, they organically encourage them to promote the word. The referral chain created by WOM marketing brings in abundant leads and improves conversions. 

What is word of mouth marketing? 

Word of mouth marketing encourages recommendations from existing customers to create brand awareness and boost conversions. People do listen to brands, but are far more likely to act on information delivered by a friend or past consumer. 

Remember that people love talking about great experiences. An excellent customer experience will lead to a story the world will know about. Likewise, a strong incentive will motivate people to take immediate action. WOM marketing comes under the list of the most popular ways for recommending a business.

Word-of-mouth marketing categories

Have you ever indulged in discussions where someone suddenly mentions the excellence of a specific brand? 

They might talk about the awesome experience they had. The brand had no contribution to this promotion. It is referred to as organic word of mouth marketing. A free publicity source where people randomly start talking about their experience with your brand. As a brand, you have no direct role in the promotion. Without the right tools, this type of marketing is often hard to track. 

Encouraging positive WOM marketing is crucial to reducing the impact of any negative review. Research has shown that 21% of people lose trust (even existing customers) in a brand after reading negative comments or reviews.

Different types of word of mouth marketing campaigns 

Let’s go through the types of word of mouth marketing campaigns to select the perfect blend for spreading the word. 

User-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) refers to the content created by your product users or customers. For example, Instagram stories or TikTok posts featuring your product are UGC. They are indirectly promoting your brand to their followers. Never underestimate the power of a single social media post in creating brand awareness. 

Most UGC is created randomly by customers when they are happy with your product. But brands can contribute in promoting it through exciting offers, branded hashtags, and contests.

Brands like Cotopaxi coin hashtags related to their products and missions. Cotopaxi’s #GearForGood hashtag has over 32 thousand posts from its community on Instagram. The brand frequently reshares its community’s content across social media and the Cotopaxi website.

Additional tips

  • Have a brainstorming session with your team to create a branded hashtag. Dive into your audiences’ interests, preferences, or things that burst them with excitement. Create the hashtag around an idea they cannot refuse.

  • Encourage people by reposting the content on your brand’s social media profiles.

Refer-a-friend

Do you know that 88% of people trust a brand when a family or friend recommends it? 

Referral programs are created to encourage customers to send recommendations to friends and family. Rewards are given for both recommendations or purchases by the other person. Keep the process short to encourage more sharing from the customer’s end. People are already tired of feeling out long forms. 

Investing in referral software will help you create and track your referral programs. It assists customers in quick sharing and immediately awards them with free gifts. Also, it keeps all the acquired information safe and secured. Pixlee TurnTo’s link tracking feature allows brands to map purchases made through each brand ambassador’s unique link so that those advocates can be compensated for each referral.

This Allmax nutrition brand ambassador provides a unique link for followers in her bio and explains the process in a simple way.

It’s crucial to consider both the advocate's and the customer’s journey to make the most of your referral marketing efforts. 

Will referral marketing provide me with abundant leads? 

Referral marketing guarantees high-quality leads even if the number is low. They are easy to convert and generally stay for the long run. 

Additional tips

  • Make the process simple for users on both ends 

  • Make sure the program catches instant attention. The correct placement of the message to convey is crucial 

  • Provides users with a variety of sharing options

  • Offer rewards both the advocate and the friend cannot say no to 

  • Participation should be an option for your customers. Avoid using auto-enrollment for more participants. Barging into someone’s preferences never works out well.

Influencer marketing 

Influencer marketing emphasizes heavily on creating brand awareness. People love listening to their favorite content creators. A recommendation made by them is highly considered. The most renowned individuals in your niche or celebrity faces can give exceptional reach to your product. 

Post engagement is the metric used for measuring the results of an influencer marketing campaign. It’s a great way to generate a quick buzz. Famous brands like Nike use influencer marketing to get in front of their target audience. Get the best of your investment through influencer marketing, whether you target big celebrities or niche-specific influencers. 

Should I only target influencers with a heavy reach?

Influencers with a strong reach are a great option to get your brand out there. But micro-influencers have a small yet highly engaged community. Businesses with a tight budget should explore working with micro-influencers. 

Partner with influencers who truly use and enjoy your products like Babyletto does to promote the strongest word of mouth marketing.

Consider using an influencer marketing platform like Pixlee TurnTo to discover and manage partnerships and content from influencer relationships. By resharing content from influencers related to your brand, you’re amplifying the word of mouth marketing generated from that original content.

Additional tips

  • Have an excellent product that influencers are likely to consider. It takes time to create an engaging audience. They are picky with the products they promote and select only the ones beneficial for their audience. 

  • Consider an influencer with a good following and even better engagement rate. 

  • Some influencers charge money, while others expect free goodies. Negotiate smartly to get yourself a beneficial deal

Customer reviews / testimonials

Customers often willingly post online reviews for products/services that provide a great experience. But businesses also put in efforts to demand feedback. Ratings & Reviews can work wonders as people base their decisions on past consumers. Every business can benefit from reviews or testimonials as prospects browse through review sites to make decisions. It specifically works for SaaS companies requiring a huge investment.

Additional tips

  • Target the most-used review platforms in your niche and create an account 

  • Keep sharing your profile with your existing customers to generate reviews. Offer them something exciting in return for an immediate response

  • Enhance your credibility by responding to negative reviews. Address the problems of dissatisfied customers and get in touch with them quickly. 

  • Never use an automated response to address negative reviews. Personally address these queries to show you care about your customers. Your response to negative reviews speaks a lot for your business. 

  • Consider using a Ratings & Reviews software that provides more options for customer feedback, like Community Q&A or Checkout Comments.

Checkout Comments not only instill purchase confidence in site visitors, as they see people like them buying and enjoying a product, but they also help your brand determine which channels are boosting the most brand awareness. These Checkout Comments on a NAVY Hair Care product indicate the success of the brand’s influencer campaigns.

Building a word of mouth marketing strategy that works 

Word of mouth marketing revolves around one major thing — creating a buzz. Sometimes you need to identify the already existing buzz-worthy element in your business. Other times let your creative juices find a suitable way. 

Analyzing other successful WOM marketing campaigns 

Let’s take a great example of a word of mouth marketing campaign. 

People are always in search of contributing to something good. TOMS, a shoe company, became one of the most popular companies in 2014. One pair was donated to charity every time a person purchased a shoe. The consumer-driven charity model spread like wildfire, and people happily became a part of it. Also, the buzzworthy headline “company gives shoes to those in need every time you buy” worked better than any paid campaign. 

Pro-Tip: Establish a strong emotional connection with the audience for better engagement 

Likewise, Jones Soda created a buzz by featuring UGC on its soda can bottles. People are encouraged not only to buy the product but also to share their own social content with the chance of being featured on a bottle.

Jones Soda also ran an influencer marketing campaign featuring select bottles that consumers could collect.

Analyzing Word-of-mouth marketing campaigns run by other successful companies will help you create one that thrives in your industry. 

Giving your customers a strong reason to recommend

Why should customers recommend you to their family or friends? 

There are two reasons they might indulge in the same: 

  • Incentives: People love receiving something of value in return, no matter how big or small. Provide them enticing discounts or coupons in exchange for referrals.

  • A share-worthy experience: Offer a unique experience to your target audience to boost the results of your WOM marketing campaign. Identify something memorable they can’t get anywhere else. They will likely talk about it with everyone they know (sometimes even strangers). 

Enhance your campaigns with content marketing

The right content marketing strategy will help you boost your campaigns. Let’s say you have a bunch of happy customers. Interview some of them to highlight the most loved areas of your product/brand. You can add a humorous aspect to the interviews for an improved engagement rate. Let’s look at the areas you must target to make the most of your campaigns: 

  • Use storytelling to present real-life stories in front of your prospective customers. Enticing visuals will help drive engagement. It’ll also boost your social media reach and create exponential brand awareness. 

  • Target areas others are missing. Talk about topics that intrigues individuals and strike up discussion 

  • Use the right blend of content formats and the power of visually-appealing content. Use Canva to design posts and stories. Many brands present customer testimonials in the form of Twitter posts. These posts receive heavy engagement from the target audience. 

Key takeaways  

  • Conduct brainstorming sessions to enhance amplified WOM marketing campaigns

  • Create a strong referral program by providing something of value to your audience.

  • Target niche-specific micro-influencers to establish your credibility in front of an engaged audience.

  • Encourage user-generated content through branded hashtags, featured posts, exciting offers, etc. 

  • Create an efficient Ratings & Review collection strategy.

  • Keep an eye on successful WOM marketing campaigns to create one that thrives in your industry.

  • Offer strong incentives or provide a share-worthy experience to customers. 

  • Use different content formats and visually-appealing content to boost engagement. 

  • Interview existing customers with exciting questions and focus on their real experiences.



‍Vibhu Dhariwal is Co-Founder & Director of Marketing at 
Digital Gratified, a SaaS Digital Marketing Agency. He likes sharing his experience in outreach marketing, link building, content marketing, and SEO with readers.

This blog was originally published on pixlee.com

Just some of our recent awards

Social Marketing Cloud
Award - G2 Crowd Leader (Fall 2022)
Award - G2 Crowd Leader - Enterprise (Fall 2022)
Award - Social Marketing Cloud (MarTech Breakthrough Award 2022)
Social Commerce Cloud
Award - The Sammy 2022
Service Cloud
Award - Service Cloud (G2: Leader - Fall 2022) - Experience Management
Award - Service Cloud (G2: High Performer Enterprise - Fall 2022) - Experience Management
Award - Service Cloud (AI Breakthrough Award - 2020) - Bot