Right now 80% of online purchases in America originate from word of mouth recommendations that are taking place across social media platforms.
It is more important than ever to incorporate word-of-mouth (WoM) strategies into your integrated marketing and PR planning.
Here’s how to start:
First you have to figure out where to initiate conversations that will generate attention and grow a following around a brand. Once that is determined, it is time to review your tactics. Everything from email campaigns, developing entertaining content, seeding catch phrases and creating worthwhile promotions should be considered as possible avenues for WoM marketing.
But before running off and creating an entire word-of-mouth content strategy, front-load your efforts by first gaining editorial coverage. It will allow you to seed your messaging in the very places where your target audience / consumer is already active and engaged.
Editorial coverage is not only far more legitimate than advertising, it also ensorcels early adopters in the niche communities you want to be targeting, and it is self-creating — place an article in an industry publication and before you know it, it pops up in publications with wider readerships.
Editorial coverage also helps in another key element of a successful WoM effort: attracting thought leaders / influencers to talk about the brand as they, too, read the target publications.
That’s why we work with CMOs to tailor-make editorial campaigns designed to kickstart WoM activities in target communities. We ID top writers, editors and influencers who cover the relevant market and we tailor the messaging to them, often using the clips as “stamps of approval” from trusted sources in the industry.
By reaching early adopters and influencers through editorial coverage we can deploy strategies to convert them into evangelists and brand advocates, and we can find others with followings and incentivize them to spread the word on behalf of the brand.
And, of course, it always helps to come up with an interesting angle and to seed your coverage in the right publication — you want something timely, thought provoking and relevant that people will share about your brand, across their networks and beyond!