I’m surprised at how many people aren’t familiar with this book. When I first started working online I read many books. The one book that I recommend over & over is Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking by Andy Sernovitz
Why do I recommend it?
My favorite thing about it is that Andy uses the highly scientific terms of ‘stuff’ and ‘things’. Those two words pretty much summarize everything! At my last position when I was meeting with the group of developers (and fairly nervous) I used those terms & it went just fine. It’s a quick read but filled with amazingly effective ideas!
What is it?
It’s simple. People have been using word of mouth marketing for ages. Think back to the days before technology. If you had a great experience you would tell your friends & neighbors. And they would try the service & tell theirs. Remember back to when restaurants had a bowl of matchbooks with their business name on them. You were encouraged to take 2 – one for you & one to give a friend. My purse is filled with pens from various hotels. Word of mouth on the web is having something that’s worth talking about? What makes your business memorable?
Is Word of Mouth viral?
Viral is the big buzz word these days. Just having great content doesn’t necessarily mean it will be viral. You need to make it easy to share your content.
- make it easy to find
- put the content on sites like YouTube (offers 13 ways to share), Slideshow, Flickr, etc
- add sharing tools to make it easy for your customer to bookmark, email, add it to their blog readers, etc
Rather than trying to make something viral, try to find what IS viral then sponsor it & support it. Encourage your team to join in & help out. It should be fun! ‘Where in the Hell is Matt’ videos are sponsored by a company that thought it would be a good idea (and it was). Blendtec invested in a lab coat, goggles for a minimal cost & created ‘Will it Blend videos’ & posted them on YouTube. (I bought one of the $400 blenders & yes it works great! but we only put ice in it, not iPhones).
Word of mouth is the cheapest way to start
If you’re going to do something, then the cheapest way is to begin with word of mouth. It just takes some time each day to get involved in social networks.
- Monitor conversations about your brand.
- Solve customers problems as you encounter them
- Thank people for talking about your product & talk with them
- Gather feedback on your products
Start with a small effort & it will grow.
If those ideas sound intriguing then you definitely need to get the book! Andy also has a great blog at gaspedal.com