Forbes recently valued the online word-of-mouth marketing market at $16.8 billion. That’s a pretty big market. But what exactly does it mean? Think of all the times you’ve heard someone say something positive about a product or service you’re looking into buying or using.
Now imagine that person is talking about a product or service you’ve never heard of. How are you supposed to know what they’re talking about? You might assume they’re just some overzealous salesperson trying to push a product they’ve been paid to promote. But that’s not the case at all. That person probably just likes what they heard about your product or service and is trying to spread the word.
In today’s digital world, where the lines between advertising, marketing, and sales are becoming blurrier every day, the purpose of a business is changing. Being influential or being able to influence is more important than ever before.
That’s why you need to understand the role of online word-of-mouth marketing in your business and how you can use the power of social media to gain trust and credibility with your target audience.
1. Optimize for search
The first thing you need to do to get started is to optimize your website for search. Why? Think about it this way: When a potential customer wants to find out more about your product or service, they will enter keywords into the search bar on your site. And when they find your site, they will see a variety of headlines and content organized by themes or categories. When they click on a headline, they will see the first few paragraphs of the text – no more, no less. After that, they’ll either decide they like what they read and keep scrolling or they’ll click on a different article and leave your site forever.
To get started, simply enter your website’s URL (uniform resource locator) in the “Website URL” field in Google. Then, click on “Search Engine Optimization” in the “Search Engine” heading at the top of the page. From there, you can choose a free basic plan that will get you started. You can also use the free Google webmaster tool to find out more about how you can improve your website’s SEO.
2. Build a community
If you want to be able to influencer your business, the next step is to build a community. Now, you don’t have to create a Facebook group or build a web forum to do this. You can simply use social media to connect with people who have shared your interest in subject matter or are passionate about the same or similar products or services as you are.
When you have a strong community, you can take advantage of all the insights and knowledge shared by the individuals in your network. You can also ask questions and respond to comments from people who shared your passion for this topic. You can use social media to discover product or service ideas, solve problems, or gain credibility.
3. Measure success
To know if your efforts were successful, you need to measure them. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to do with digital marketing platforms like Google Analytics. Simply sign up for a free Google Analytics account and then navigate to “Behavioral Analysis” under the “Admin” heading. From there, you can set up the metrics you need to see to determine whether or not your online word-of-mouth marketing efforts were successful.
4. Personal Branding
When you’re trying to influence people to buy your product or service, the last thing you want to do is just throw out a sales pitch. Instead, you want to inspire and entice people to buy from your brand, not your product.
To build trust and credibility with your target audience, you need to take the time to establish your expertise by creating high-quality content on a regular basis. This will not only attract and engage your target audience, but it will also make you seem more approachable and human. It could also make them more inclined to trust you or believe you when you advise them on products or services related to your niche. Plus, the more you publish, the more you’ll gain in credibility. And when you gain credibility, you gain trust – which means you can then sell to them.
To start, you can use the same tactics described above to find out what keywords your potential customers are using to search for information related to your niche. From there, you can use the information to create a persona around the person who will be landing on your site.
Include things like demographics, psychographics, and current or previous consumer behavior.
Even if you’re not looking for financial gain, the last thing you want to do is get involved in online word-of-mouth marketing and not make any money from it. There are many different ways you can make money from a blog, and some of them can be quite passive. For example, you can use affiliate marketing to sell products related to your blog’s content, promote services offered by reputable suppliers, or create online courses and make money from each course you sell.
To be able to monetize your blog, you’ll need to have a free WordPress account and then use a tool like Earnest to get started with affiliate marketing. Once you’re set up, you can choose which products you want to promote and how much you’re willing to spend on each one. You’ll then need to track each sale and follow up with the customer to ensure they are finding value from your recommendations.