Word of mouth marketing is a wonderful type of marketing that works great for all types of businesses.
In particular small business owners like solopreneurs who blog to spread the word about their product or service can make much greater use of WOMM than the big companies.
It is because they are the ones with a small budget, unlike the biggies and WOMM works for free!
So… you have a marketing technique for FREE. Isn’t that tempting?
Of course it is, right?
But there is one key element if you want to make WOMM work for you.
I’ve covered what WOMM is and how great it is in this post > What is word of mouth marketing and why it rocks?>
In order to make WOMM work for you, you have to make sure if you (your website/business/content) holds this crucial element.
And… that is nothing but usefulness.
Now before you jump and scream that great content will do, let me say this. “Great content” doesn’t have to be great to all.
You could have created a 6000 or 7000 words masterpiece with lots of illustrative graphics. But if that content is not useful to your audience, they are not going to appreciate it or talk about it (WOMM).
So while you are drowning in the belief that creating great content is the answer to all your struggles with blogging, you have to stop right there.
Great content is not enough.
Don’t mistake me though – I am not saying that great content won’t be appreciated by people; I am saying that it will be appreciated only if it turns out to be useful to your readers.
In short, great content alone won’t cut it.
You have to make sure that it is also useful to your readers if you want people to talk about it; if you want word of mouth marketing work for you.
Know your readers and their needs
Well it all starts with knowing your readers – without knowing them you can’t create content that is useful to them.
You could create your epic, masterpiece content on how to hit a golf ball. But the 40+ year old woman who wants to lose weight won’t find it useful.
If only you knew whether your target audience is a group of amateur golfers who want to master the game or 40+ year old women who want to lose weight, you will be able to create useful content to your target audience.
If the golf article is not useful to me I won’t care if it is epic or not. I won’t care to spread the word. And I won’t talk about it to my friends because that content has not created an impact on me; because it is not useful to me or of interest to me!
Before you start to create another piece of epic content, make sure you know to whom you are creating that content.
Get clarity about who your target audience is and what their interest is.
If you don’t know what they want, you won’t end up creating useful content. And if you don’t create useful content, you cannot expect your audience to talk about it.
WOMM won’t work for you.
Study other blogs/websites in your niche
I hate to say “spy your competitors” coz I don’t believe in the word “competitors” in business. Every business and its purpose is different.
Your business has a special place in the industry and it has a special piece of audience – so you don’t have to worry about another blogger stealing your audience and you don’t have to consider him/her as your competitor.
But there is nothing wrong with observing and learning from your fellow bloggers – especially the ones in the same industry/niche as yours.
So what should you observe? You don’t have to follow them to every detail as you might end up spending too much time.
Just find out what clicks with their audience. What kind of content does well with their blog? The simplest way is to look at the list of “popular posts” at their sidebar.
If a particular number of posts are popular in terms of social shares and views, then people should have found some “usefulness” in it.
Observe the topic, the kind of presentation, the type of post (text, infographic, video etc.), the length of the post (if it is a text post), and the like of popular posts.
If a particular blog is not displaying popular posts, you can also use Buzzsumo to search based on a particular keyword.
With Buzzsumo you can identify the blog posts that did well with WOMM – that is, posts that got lots of shares and that are talked about.
And here is the results page.
Once you know what strategy works for your fellow bloggers, you can adopt a similar strategy for yourself after making the necessary adjustments.
Build your own community that is highly engaged and socially active
Now, blogging is not a one man show. You cannot be publishing blog posts day in and day out all alone. While you could be the one writing and publishing the posts, you cannot do everything yourself to get people to talk about it.
You need extra helping hands here. Here’s where your community comes into picture.
Your community comprises of your fellow bloggers who are your well wishers, your loyal readers, fans and people who benefit from your blog in general.
Your community doesn’t hold people who casually visit your blog and leave.
In order to build a community you have to do some leg work of course. You have to encourage discussions, feedback and the like in your blog.
Make sure you respond to comments in your own blog. Build up the conversation. Be nice to people. Respond to emails and help them out.
You can also drop by and discuss with the author of another blog and their community by leaving comments on other blogs. Guest blogging is also a way to build a stream of fans for yourself.
Join blogging communities like DoSplash.
Go the extra mile and help people out.
This way, your community finds your stuff useful (provided your stuff is really useful) and they spread the word.
The beauty of using a community for WOMM is, you can easily create an avalanche effect (and I’ve seen it work many times). When the people in your community finds something useful from your blog and when they spread the word, it is highly likely that their friends/followers will find it useful too.
People usually share stuff to their friends if they think it will be useful to them. So it works.
Usefulness is crucial to get word of mouth marketing work for you
Let’s be honest. Would you recommend something to your friends or share something with your friends if you don’t find it useful in the first place?
The same goes with your audience too!
Don’t sit down to create another piece of content without clearly knowing who your audience is, what their needs are and how you can meet those.
If your content is not going to be useful, I can assure you that WOMM won’t work for you no matter how talented you are in creating epic content. It just won’t work.
So ya, I hope these tips help you get going and reap the benefits of word of mouth marketing!