The Power of Word of Mouth

Urban legend attributes Albert Einstein with having stated, “The power of compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.” Regardless of whether or not he ever really said it, if you’ve ever made a substantial purchase on credit, you’re probably inclined to agree.

However, another, perhaps equally powerful force is what may have convinced you to make that purchase in the first place. At some point, someone probably endorsed the product in a way you found to be genuine, compelling and persuasive.

This is the power of word of mouth.

Word of mouth marketing

Instills Trust

You can have an extraordinary product and invest in the most intelligent advertising campaign ever devised. You can create eye-catching ads, garner a celebrity endorsement and buy space on all of key forms of media, targeting your ideal customer precisely. And your effort could still fail. Why? Because you haven’t given people a reason to trust your product. All you’ve done is told them how great it is and someone famous is willing to be paid to appear to use it.

Meanwhile, your direct competitor, with a budget half the size of yours, is selling out of a similar item. Instead of investing in flash, they devoted their capital to getting regular people to try their product. They offered customers an incentive to take pictures of them using it, write a note about why they like it or make a video doing the same. They then posted the best of those submissions to their website and social media platforms.

One of those testimonials went viral—and that was it.

Inspires Loyalty

If you’re contemplating something like how to sell ebooks online with a platform like Shopify—or any other product for that matter—one of the pillars of your ongoing success will be repeat business.

New customers are more likely to return for additional purchases (assuming they had a positive experience) when someone they trust has recommended a business. This is because the attachment is stronger when friends or acquaintances share it.

Can Be Initiated

As we noted above (and this is one of the best things about word of mouth marketing) you can start it up on your own. Among the different ways to go about this are partnering programs, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing and product reviews.

Promoting affiliate products

Whichever of these you decide is the best strategy for your situation, you’ll have to make yourself appealing by sharing your positive attributes in a way that doesn’t come across as a sales pitch. Social media is particularly good for this as you can do things like post instances of your product serving an incidentally beneficial function. People will pick up on it and tell others about it. The philanthropy of TOMS shoes is a good example.

Attaching yourself to something people enjoy is another good way to set this process in motion. Getting back to our ebooks example above, posting informative content in forums dedicated to the genre of books you sell is another good way to attract attention. However, you have to be careful to avoid coming across as being all about yourself. Offering useful and insightful information on a regular basis will get people to trust you. When they learn you also have products to offer, they’ll try them and tell others about you—if your wares are good.

In other words, you’ll generate positive emotional responses. People will be moved by your caring nature and grateful for your solid advice. Either way, they’ll appreciate you, come to trust you and be happy to tell others about you.

And, this is the power of word of mouth.