Andy Sernovitz, author of “Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking,” explains the four most important principles in word of mouth marketing.
Paid advertising is out of the question when money is tight. But that’s good news for small business. Those of us who don’t have mega-million-dollar marketing budgets have always relied on word of mouth to get buzz, exposure and customers. In this market, it’s the perfect time to ramp up your word of mouth efforts, and use this opportunity to jump ahead of businesses that are hooked on expensive traditional ads.
Word of mouth is about earning the recommendation of your customer. It’s about turning them on. It’s about getting them to run out the door and tell their friends how fantastic you are.
Get started with “The Four Rules of Word of Mouth”
Rule #1: Be Interesting — Nobody talks about boring companies, boring products, boring ads. Everyone can be interesting. Before you run an ad, before you launch a product, ask your spouse about it. Trust me … if he or she finds it interesting, you’ve got a winner.
Rule #2: Make People Happy — Create amazing products. Provide excellent service. Go the extra mile. Make sure the work you do gets people energized, excited, and eager to tell a friend.
Rule #3: Earn Trust And Respect — Nobody talks about a company that they don’t trust or don’t like. Earn the respect of your customers. Be good to them. Talk to them. Honor their intelligence. Fulfill their needs. Stay honest. Every company can be nicer, and every one of us can work to make our company a little better to its customers.
Rule #4: Make It Easy — Find a simple topic that is easy to repeat. Not your formal brand statement, not your product description. Forget elevator pitch…it’s the pass-in-the-hall test. What can people tell a friend about you in one sentence? Then do everything you can to make it easy to share that topic. Use tell-a-friend forms on your web site. Put it in an email. Pass out flyers. Blog it. Stick it on a t-shirt.
Andy Sernovitz is author of “Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking”. He teaches the Word of Mouth Crash Course (http://www.gaspedal.com/crashcourse) and his blog is called Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That (http://www.damniwish.com).