Do you like gossiping? Even if this is not your story, you are certainly well aware of the power of information that can be given in a whisper – both positive and negative. They can damage (or improve) both personal image and influence the perception of the brand on the market. That’s what whisper marketing is all about. But what is it really and how to use it in an ethical way? Whisper marketing is a fairly broad term. And yet, especially in recent years, quite a lot of negative buzz has accumulated towards him. Why? About this in a moment. To start with, it’s worth explaining what word-of-mouth marketing is.
Whisper Marketing – Definition
The key concept associated with the definition of whisper marketing is recommendation. What is the point To understand, think about how often you talk to family, friends or colleagues about different types of products. Do you ever share your opinion about the fridge you bought or how the new TV works? You recommend your friends proven repair companies or shops with friendly service. This is what a whisper is based on.
The goals of whisper marketing are:
– Arousing interest in a given product or brand, encouraging consumers to discuss it,
– Creating trends – building “fashion” for specific products or brands,
– Strengthening the brand image through positive recommendations,
– Spreading information about current promotions, and thus – increasing the likelihood that the customer will opt for the product.
What forms can whisper marketing take?
“Whispering” can be run both online and offline. The second category includes actions led by brand ambassadors. But online whisper marketing is the most prevalent. This happens because:
– Campaigns are easy to carry out – they can even be partially automated,
– You can gain wide ranges in various communication channels – some time ago the “whispering” on the forums was the most popular, today this role is taken over by social media,
– You can engage audiences in discussions about the brand in many ways.
But the divisions are not over yet. Because online whisper marketing alone can also be implemented by various methods – less and more ethical.
Whisper marketing – it’s not just paid posts on forums / social media. The first association many people have with whisper marketing are paid posts placed on internet forums or on Facebook by hired people. I must admit that just a few years ago this was the form most often taken by the whisper. They paid for the mass insertion of positive opinions and whispered ads on various forums, as well as in the form of comments on social media. Today, there are still brands that use this way of promoting themselves on the market – this is common, for example, during political campaigns. Nevertheless, it is worth considering:
– How unethical whisper marketing will translate into the brand image in the long term?
– How soon will customers realize that this is an “artificial” campaign and not authentic opinions published by users?
You may think that an efficiently implemented “whisper” will keep the impression of naturalness. Remember, however, that consumers are becoming more aware and able to better detect intrusive ads. And in the modern marketing model there is no place for them. That is why whisper marketing in this form is slowly becoming a thing of the past. However, this does not mean that the strategy based on recommendations is bad. On the contrary. All you have to do is focus on more ethical and effective in the long run.
Authentic reviews are at a premium
Did you know that as many as 88% of users trust authentic, verified online reviews, as do recommendations obtained through personal contact? Exactly. The term “AUTHENTIC” plays a key role here. That is, not those commissioned by copywriters, but prepared by people who really bought the product / used the service.
You may find it difficult to obtain them. But look at the success of Google Maps, which encourages users to post reviews of places they’ve visited. In fact, Internet users do not receive any material benefits from this. Despite this, they willingly share their views with others, building a community of “local guides”. Also think about a rating system that works, for example, on eBay and similar sales portals. How often do you check if the seller has good reviews when buying?
Similar mechanisms can be used to build whisper marketing campaigns. It is about engaging consumers to express opinions and share information about the brand. This is what modern word-of-mouth marketing is all about!
How to get them? Useful will be e.g.:
– Enriching the after-sales service of the customer with an e-mail asking for leaving an opinion, e.g. on the website of your e-store or portal that serves this purpose,
– Affiliate program that encourages the sharing of opinions about the brand and provides the customer with “remuneration”, e.g. in the form of a discount for subsequent purchases,
– Running a campaign based on brand ambassadors – but those who honestly say they represent it, and engage them in discussions with community members.
In this form, you can carry out word-of-mouth marketing, among others in social media. You can use, among others, the very popular groups on Facebook. They will allow you step by step to build a community related to your brand.
It is also worth engaging users for discussion in social media. So allow them to review your services / products and respond to both positive and negative voices in the discussion. Open, honest conversation, confessing and honesty will do more than artificial opinions!
Strength of social proof
Remaining in the circle of marketing strategy based on recommendations, it is also worth mentioning proof of social equity. The point is that if the customer recognizes that other consumers have chosen the product and express positive opinions about it – they are more likely to make a transaction.
And how to use it in the context of word of mouth marketing? Tools that automate messages related to the so-called social proof that you can use, among others in your online store. It is worth informally informing people who are currently in the e-store about:
– Positive opinions about a given product – this is possible thanks to the introduction of a rating system and quoting the most positive in small pop-ups,
– That someone is watching a product that interests them, as well as how many people have already bought it, the number of transactions made that day.
These are, of course, only sample data that can be included in such messages. Their content and frequency should be adapted to the specifics of your e-store. Data related to social proof should also be used in remarketing campaigns.
Word of mouth marketing – is it worth it?
Word-of-mouth marketing (whisper marketing) can have very positive effects on the results your business achieves. Remember, however, that if you want them to be long-term and improve your brand image – you should only focus on the ethical forms of this way of communicating with customers.
In this way you will use the power hidden in real gossip. It spreads at lightning speed, not artificially prepared messages. Are you wondering how to translate these assumptions from theory into practice? Do you want to create a coherent marketing strategy, whose element will be communication focused on obtaining opinions and recommendations? We will help you plan and execute a campaign that will inspire your clients’ trust and increase reach.