Is Word of Mouth Still Important for Brands in 2018?
Is word of mouth still important for brands?
Marketers increasingly have to put more dollars in more places, thanks to the ever-growing digital world. SEO is as important as ever (if not more so), but organic marketing just isn't what it used to be.
So does it even matter what people are saying about your business, online or off?
Does word of mouth matter?
It's a great question, because the trends that we see often lead away from word of mouth. We see all these reports about how you'll have to spend more and more to reach your audience.
Social media, content, inbound marketing, SEM, email - all these strategies rely on paying for eyes and ears. Even affiliate and influencer marketing cost money!
We have to remember that these are trends. These different aspects of marketing are playing significantly larger roles than they used to. But they're not everything.
In fact, word of mouth might still be the #1 most important factor in marketing and getting new customers!
Which is more likely to happen:
- Consumer researches every possible option and chooses the absolute best product? Or,
- Consumer asks someone else who's already gone through the process?
The latter is far more likely, because it's so much easier. People are always looking for an easier way to do things! It's like high school.
Doing the homework was difficult. Copying someone else's answers was easy. Consumers would rather copy someone else's answers than do the work themselves.
PC: Neil Patel
How many people do you know want to be the first to try a new product? Maybe a few.
The majority want to go with something vetted, something others have tried and tested and proved valuable.
Nobody wants to be alone, and everybody wants to be included in some group. Word of mouth gives consumers a group to belong in, one that they know has been tested.
Some studies show that word of mouth is actually the most common influence for whether a consumer purchases. More people trust personal recommendations than any other source!
That means product reviews, customer testimonials, and creating advocates out of your customers are (arguably) the most important aspects of your marketing strategy.
This isn't just for consumer products. In fact, word of mouth is even more important for B2B products.
PC: Referral Candy
If you're a consumer buying something for yourself, the most you waste is a few bucks (unless it's, say, a car). If you're buying something for your business, your business is on the line! So is your reputation.
B2B products usually cost more than B2C products, too, and more diligence typically goes into these purchase decisions.
All in all, "91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word of mouth when making their buying decision." That's incredibly powerful!
Word of mouth isn't just important for brands. It's crucial!
If you don't have someone (preferably lots of people) to back up your product, why would anyone else get it?