Word-of-mouth is simple. Someone had a good experience with a business, and they tell other people that it was good and that they should try that business, too. How do you get people talking about your business? Do good business. It does take time, however, so here are a few tips that may be able to speed up the process.
Start a Buzz on YouTube
What is one thing that we find ourselves talking about all the time? YouTube videos. It may not be as popular a pastime as it was 5 years ago, but everybody still loves to brag about the latest video, meme, or gif that they’ve just seen. You can post content on your own channel that includes daily updates, promotions, or even just some interesting or funny content. The type of material you put in the videos is not as important as being consistent with it; the key is to keep posting every day, until you start to create a buzz for your business. However far you want to go with it, YouTube is a great way to start a conversation. Your video would have to go viral to reach people on a large scale, but there is still potential to have a substantial effect.
Strategic Networking and Referrals
Who do you want talking about your business? Well, everyone—but the best kind of referral comes from those who have position, or at least the people who can influence a greater number of people to become your customers. If you can convince the mayor to talk about your business, then more power to you, but you don’t even have to aim that high. Just get another business to endorse your product or service, and you’re already taking a step in the right direction. In the same way, seeking opportunities for endorsement or referrals in the public sector, such as public schools, universities, and civil organizations, can pose an opportunity for further exposure.
Word-of-Mouth as Niche Marketing
This usually happens organically when customers become loyal to one place for a specific item, but it is possible to inspire this effect by deliberately targeting one of your products, or one element of the services you offer to make your business the go-to place for this one thing. It’s like when everyone in town goes to the same bakery not because they like the bakery, but because this particular bakery has the best blueberry muffins in town. Everybody knows it, and they tell their friends, “You have to try this muffin!” It’s like any other kind of marketing; the difference is that you want this specific product that you are marketing to become a cult classic, as it were.
A Crowd Draws a Crowd
The best thing about word-of-mouth advertising is that it spreads exponentially. In fact, many new businesses outgrow their capacity because they saw unexpected growth as a result of highly successful word-of-mouth advertising. At the beginning, it may only be a few people mentioning your business’ name, but those people will tell more people. So if you can manage to gain a few referrals from a few local businesses, and those customers turn out to be satisfied customers, then there is nothing stopping these new customers from referring you to even more people, and so on, and so forth.
Give Them Something to Talk About
Just like the song says: People are already talking, so why not give them something worth talking about? Public surprises and publicity stunts are not the worst way to inspire word-of-mouth. On the contrary, it’s probably one of the more effective ways to start a buzz. The important thing here is to stand out by doing something that attracts attention, but in a positive way, like sponsoring a free live concert in the park, for instance. What if every customer that walks into your office gets a balloon? That’s weird, right? But it’s memorable. A good promotion with a little shock value goes a long way.
Be the Best
Finally, just do good work. No matter what marketing tactics or advertising techniques you put into practice, there is no substitute for a great product. Remember that your customers are not stupid, and consumers today are increasingly savvy. Want to get people talking about your business? Strive to be the best around, maintain the highest quality and service, and they are sure to spread the word.
Here are a few more ideas for advertising on a budget:
No Money for Advertising? Get the Word Out Anyway!
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.