39236474_MDid you know that combining word-of-mouth marketing with your existing paid advertising strategy could amplify your advertising impact?

Even more interesting: Consumers overwhelmingly trust their peers’ opinions more than brand’s advertising claims. Since word-of-mouth marketing is likely more effective when it comes to converting interested consumers into paying customers, your brand can’t afford to ignore these strategies for greater social appeal:

Encourage User-Generated Content

Word-of-mouth marketing involves consumers telling their friends, families, coworkers and neighbors about a product, service or brand. While this typically happens after they experience great customer service and genuinely useful products/services, you can actively encourage your customers to share how much they love your brand with user-generated content, such as:

  • Social media contests (post a photo of you using the product/service accompanied by your branded hashtag for a chance to win a great prize)
  • Engaging with followers on social media and promoting their photos/videos (related to your brand) on your own social channels
  • Offering customized products that create a sense of personal affiliation with your brand

There are dozens of successful user-generated content campaigns – it just takes a little imagination and audience engagement (both online and offline) to get started.

Ask Customers for Reviews

Did you know that a majority of Yelp pages are still unclaimed by businesses? This is a missed opportunity for local companies because you could have negative reviews without realizing it or you might be inadvertently ignoring your fanbase on this popular customer review platform. To improve your word-of-mouth marketing strategy, you want to regularly engage with customers wherever they leave reviews (even responding to negative reviews can create positive perceptions of your brand because customers see you’re trying to do better).

Simply asking customers to leave reviews – on Yelp, Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc. – can be a highly effective way to increase your word-of-mouth marketing appeal. A majority of consumers view other customers’ reviews and testimonials prior to making a purchasing decision, so asking for reviews and responding to those reviews should be a central component of your overall marketing strategy.