In our fast-paced, high-tech world, we can sometimes forget that word of mouth is still a champion when it comes to the potential success of your business. According to Entrepreneur, 56% of small business owners invest less than 3% of their budget into marketing. Many small businesses, especially in their infancy, don’t feel they have enough resources even to create a valid marketing strategy. So, many just cut out marketing altogether.
We’ve already discussed how you can make even the smallest budget do some good towards your ROI, and it’s definitely worth a read if you are in this camp. However, right now we’re going to stress the importance of word of mouth since it can truly sink or swim your business.
While the concept of word-of-mouth marketing may seem simple and low-tech, it is far from obsolete in today’s world. Technology has drastically changed everything, and you can’t afford to live in denial anymore. A lot of that “word-of-mouth” communication is now happening in a digital space. While many of your tactics won’t change dramatically, you are still going to want to be more aware of the digital space.
Start becoming aware if you have any clients who are influencers. An influencer is generally someone of significance who can sway and influence a group of followers. If you do have any clients who are influencers, it would be great to have them on your side.
The greatest source of word-of-mouth marketing is great customer service. This is the key to gaining customer respect. A customer who receives excellent customer service is more likely to refer someone to you when asked for a recommendation.
And while you may always be looking for moments to bring up your business in conversation, remember to save these comments for the most appropriate situations. Too much self-promotion can have a negative effect. Don’t overreach.
Lastly, if you are lucky enough to have a clever catchphrase, be sure to say it at least once while meeting with clients, put it on all your marketing materials, and make it memorable.