According to Forrester Research, there are approximately 500 billion word-of-mouth impressions created every day on social media.
All that social activity has a powerful impact on the economy overall.
In fact, management consultancy McKinsey and Company estimates that TWO-THIRDS of the US economy is now driven by word of mouth.
Let’s pause and take another look at those numbers, because they’re huge.
500 billion word-of-mouth impressions created every day?
And word of mouth drives two thirds of the US economy?
I have a hard time wrapping my head around those numbers. If it weren’t for the reputation of the sources, I’m not sure I’d believe them.
Time to dig down a little deeper…
What is word-of-mouth marketing?
It’s when satisfied customers tell family, friends, colleagues and others how much they like a business, product or service.
Sell me something… and if I like it, I’ll tell other people.
In the days before the web, word of mouth was a pretty literal description of what happened. People would talk to other people, face to face, about their experience with a product of service.
Around the water cooler. In the park. At a backyard BBQ. Over a beer at their favorite bar.
That still happens. But these days word of mouth is massively amplified by social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Not to mention your favorite texting app.
And that amplification is where the huge numbers come from.
Word of mouth is great when someone tells five or ten other people. But when those same words of praise get picked up on social media, the impact can be extraordinary.
Why real word-of-mouth marketing is so influential.
It’s all about trust.
Research from Nielsen tells us that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than they trust advertising.
And that 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from family and friends.
Again… some big, impressive numbers.
The message is clear. If you can get your customers saying nice things about you, that’s going to have a lot more impact than spending more on paid advertising.
Genuine word of mouth builds both awareness and trust.
Where conversational copywriting comes in.
Think about those conversations around the water cooler and over coffee with a neighbor.
When regular people talk about their favorite products, they don’t sound like ads. They don’t suddenly start talking like professional salespeople or seasoned copywriters.
Yes, they can get excited. Yes, they can be persuasive.
But they still use regular, everyday language.
The language of word of mouth is conversational.
In other words, as a conversational copywriter you’re right where you need to be when it comes to creating some word-of-mouth marketing.
How to kickstart some conversational word of mouth for yourself or a client.
So… how do you get started when you want to create a word-of-mouth campaign?
First, you have to identify something worth talking about.
You can’t build word of mouth around the ordinary. Nobody wants to talk about that.
So look for something different to talk about…
- Maybe it’s a new product launch.
- A new employee.
- Kind words from a major influencer in your space.
- A mention in the media.
- A burst of positive feedback from your customers.
- An act of exceptional kindness from one of your customer service people.
These are all worth talking about.
Where to find the right words…
When set out to share the news, you’ll want to find the right words.
And these words are the ones you want people to share around the water cooler and in their Twitter streams.
Not corporate language. And not fancy sales language.
You need words that comfortably and naturally trip off the tongue.
Sometimes just the right phrase or message comes from someone in your marketing group. Or maybe you’ll come up with it yourself.
It resonates with your customers, and they begin to share the message.
Other times, it’s your customers who come up with just the right message, without your help.
I recently reached out to my own customers and asked them to complete the phrase, “Conversational Copywriting is for…”
I received dozens of responses.
Some of my favorites are…
- Conversational Copywriting is for forward-thinkers
- Conversational Copywriting is for the hype-adverse
- Conversational Copywriting is for trust-builders
- Conversational Copywriting is for empathetic marketers
- Conversational Copywriting is for truth tellers
Could one of these kickstart a word-of-mouth campaign? I don’t know yet. I’ll have to seed a few social media posts with these phrases and see if any of them resonate with people in my audience.
Wrapping it up…
Word of mouth is massively powerful.
It’s a lot more credible than traditional advertising.
It’s the kind of messaging people actually trust, and share across their networks.
Is it easy to do well?
No. it isn’t. But that’s no reason not to try.
Float a hundred phrases and messages out there and you’ll probably find one or two that resonate with your audience.
When that happens, use your own social media networks to support the spread of that message.
Remember… while that perfect word-of-mouth message may come from your marketing group or from your own imagination as a copywriter, it’s more likely to come from the mouths of your customers.
And keep in mind that the feel and tone of your message should always be conversational.
Because that’s what word-of-mouth marketing is all about… conversations between your customers and prospects.
Note: If you want to get some professional-grade training in the craft of conversational copywriting, find out about the Conversational Copywriting course here…