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Digital Word of Mouth Marketing: Have you heard?

AcxiomDecember 04, 2014

On or offline, honest consumer recommendation has long been one of marketing’s most powerful motivating factors leading to purchase. When customers receive service beyond their expectations they want to share it; word of mouth is one of the most potent and trusted forms of advertising.

So in today’s online world, where opinions are just a tweet away, protecting your brand with a D-WoM strategy (Digital Word of Mouth marketing) – must be a priority.

The Power of Trusted Recommendation

Unlike a viral strategy, which deliberately encourages audiences to share particular campaign content, a Digital Word of Mouth strategy should be more a positive ‘side effect’ of an effective digital marketing strategy, creating brand evangelists who regularly share, personally recommend and promote brands to others across touchpoints.

Consumers are likely to trust other people more than they trust a brand. And as consumers share to inform others, brands need to ensure that what’s shared is positively informed. According to Social Media Today, 78% of consumers say they share positive product/service experiences (while 47% will share negative reviews). Avoiding negative consumer experience is of course always a priority, especially as 40% of people say an individual’s story and experience with a product or service is the greatest factor influencing their purchase decision.

Data: the Key to Influencing Positive Sharing

To encourage a positive D-WoM strategy, brands must first know what data insight, tactics, tools and channels to focus on. Social channels are of course a prime focus for brands to build positive digital conversations. But the Internet is a large place; so from review sites to blogs; for brands to foster audience trust they must first understand, meet and exceed the expectations of those consumers.

I’ve detailed three strategic steps towards enhancing your D-WoM approach, crucially all underpinned by accurate data insight:

–        Smarter targeting. To most effectively target consumers; you need to provide the personalised content, services and communications they expect – across multiple channels and devices seamlessly integrated with their on and offline activity. Consider using social analytics to measure conversation and work to identify individuals, customers, partners, influencers and customers likely to become brand advocates.

–        Being more personal. Your insight should be used to enhance the customer experience and create personalised conversations. Enhance customer relationships in any way you can; make people feel unique and special, share and comment on their articles, questions and posts, speak to them on a one to one level, understand, and reward them to foster long-term positivity and increase the likelihood of positive reviews.

–        Being more interesting. To maintain engagement, you need to interest your audience and address the topics of concern to them. Once you use insight to know what consumers want, use your content to be relevant, engage and solve their problems. Find unique angles of interest, topics that resonate and create emotive concepts that encourage sharing. Remember; if someone thinks you’ll solve their problem, they’ll likely tell friends with similar problems. Make the most of the global power of D-WoM.

Spread the Word

Ultimately using intelligent data insight to understand audiences at an individual level allows marketers to place them at the centre of activity. By offering the best personalised services in real-time; marketers can secure positive consumer opinion and build an effective Digital WoM strategy.