Word-of-mouth marketing ideas may be traditional, but they are even more applicable in the age of digital advertising. With the power of social media, online influencers, and mobile apps, this type of advertising goes even further, reaching individuals a brand may not have found before. By participating in online communities, brands can leverage word-of-mouth marketing to create a more significant and personal connection with consumers.
In the era of digital shopping, word-of-mouth marketing is even more prevalent, as it acts to direct consumers to where they can purchase a brand’s products. Word-of-mouth can be used to guide purchase behaviors by leveraging consumer relationships, whether those relationships are with personal friends or online influencers and celebrities. This strategy can also be used to open new markets for online spaces or help to guide consumers to products in the shopping aisle.
Working With Influencers to Increase Online Sales
Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness, connect with customers, and drive purchases. Influencers on social media are ideal for making product recommendations. These individuals have massive, but more importantly, loyal followings, and those followers tend to trust their opinions on all things from beauty and fashion to food and interior design. The possibilities for digital influencer marketing are endless. Of course, this does not mean brands should target just any influencer. For the most part , influencers should fall into one of the following categories:
- Subject matter experts: Subject matter experts are ideal for driving sales, as these individuals provide followers with reviews and recommendations on products within their areas of expertise. . A cosmetics company, for example, would want to partner with a popular beauty blogger that is seen as an expert in all things makeup. These influencers have gained consumer trust, and their opinions are highly valued by their followers. Subject matter experts not only provide valuable product placement opportunities online, but also use product links to create direct and seamless shopping experiences that often lead to customer purchases.
- Well-respected reviewers: There are many review sites where individuals gain clout based on how helpful their reviews are, which is why brands must cultivate relationships with these reviewers. Before partnering with a reviewer, it’s important to assess the site’s terms and policies to confirm that it’s permitted to solicit reviews. Also, seek out individuals with a balanced mix of positive and negative reviews to ensure their opinions are trustworthy.
- Online celebrities: General online celebrities can be strong marketing options for brands, provided the brand ensures the individual is popular among their target audiences. These individuals may not explicitly do anything relating to the brand’s products, but still increase the potential for sales simply due to their mass level of exposure.
- Platform-specific personalities: Most influencers have large followings across multiple platforms, but there are a few whose celebrity is isolated to one specific media outlet. This platform-specific reach is often the case with well-known internet personalities on sites like YouTube or Twitch. A brand wishing to expand their reach on one particular platform would be well-served to utilize these specific individuals in their digital marketing strategy.
One precaution that brands should be aware of is that some influencers may be controversial. Brands should vet influencers for opinions which don’t align with their values or overall marketing message. Otherwise, that controversy could extend to the brand and deter potential consumers. Brands should consider building smaller, more personal relationships by connecting with consumers via mobile apps to avoid controversy.
Using Mobile Connections for Word of Mouth Marketing
Mobile commerce can be a powerful tool for gaining real-world, word-of-mouth marketing, as consumers will often share information about the apps they like with their friends and families. They may recommend these apps to others, and through this word-of-mouth exchange, brands can gain access to new audiences. The key is to focus on apps which have high potential to receive recommendations from consumers, including:
- Augmented reality: Augmented reality apps, like those seen from Target and IKEA, attracta lot of press and consumer interest because they’re innovative and unique. These apps provide enormous benefits to consumers because they allow them to interact with products before purchase, which ultimately drives engagement.
- Shopping and rewards apps: Shopping apps are great ways to increase interaction and gain word-of-mouth advertising, as they’re used while consumers are in the store. Shopkick, for example, allows consumers to scan UPCs and gain rewards without purchase. This incentivized interaction drives consumers not just to use the app, but to share the app with their friends and extend the benefit to others they know.
- Location-based options: Using apps which rely on a consumer’s location offers both the opportunity to increase sales potential, and the possibility that users will share their experiences while in the store. If a consumer is notified of a particular sale at a nearby store, they may be more likely to stop in and check out the deal. Additionally, other shoppers may see a fellow customer using a shopping app and inquire about it’s features and benefits.
Mobile apps offer a way to leverage second-hand word-of-mouth. When consumers enjoy an app and feel that it elevates their shopping experiences, they’re likely to recommend that app to other consumers. Brands that partner with these mobile apps benefit from the expanded audience without having to invest in or build retention on proprietary apps.
Brands that partner with these mobile apps benefit from the expanded audience without having to invest in or build retention on proprietary apps.
Word-of-mouth marketing continues to be a significant sales driver, but brands need to shift their focus to leverage it. Working with online influencers can expand the reach of a brand, while using third-party mobile apps can provide secondhand access to new audiences. By choosing the right influencers and companies with which to partner, brands can boost the power of word-of-mouth marketing and grow both online and in-store sales.
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