Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Word-of-mouth marketing or viral marketing?

Word-of-mouth marketing or viral marketing? What's the difference?
Recently I shared with you a few tips on how to generate word-of-mouth marketing for your business. I received a few emails as well as comment post on the difference between word-of-mouth marketing and viral marketing, so I figured what better time to explore the differences in these two types of marketing.
Word-of-mouth marketing is when a business does something and their consumer tells five to ten friends. Word-of-mouth marketing has an echo affect. The initial sound is loud and then it fades into the background.
Viral marketing unlike word-of-mouth marketing has a compounding affect. A consumer tells five to ten people and then those five to ten people tell another five to ten people. The driving force behind most viral campaigns is the passion a consumer carries. It's like a virus that continuously infects more people and spreads without requiring anymore marketing effort.
While the two are similar as you can see they are not the same.
Word-of-mouth marketing is a key component to the growth of a small business. It's often word-of-mouth marketing that keeps small businesses running in the early days of operation when there is little to no marketing budget. The consumer shares their experience with your products or services and they share it with their family and friends. This increases your consumer base and increases your sales.
Viral marketing is more about reaching out and touching the passion point of your consumer, so that the passion drives the message and the message continues to reach the masses without assistance from you. You can orchestrate a viral campaign, but very seldom are viral campaigns that are orchestrated as successful as those that are just driven by the passion of a consumer. In order for it to reach a level of success your consumer must feel they have a personal stake and investment in the success of your campaign.
It's important to also realize that the success of a viral campaign depends on the vehicles use to transmit the message. There are companies that are more virally equipped than others. In order to create a strong viral link the message must be able to transport from television advertising, to radio and other extended means of broadcasting to the power of the Internet.
In conclusion the major different between word-of-mouth marketing and viral is that word-of-mouth is often driven by you the marketer or business owner and viral marketing driven by the passion of your consumers and it's success does not depend on you.

10 Simple ways to generate word of mouth Advertising

Advertising today includes paid and free marketing placement. Buzz and word-of-mouth marketing fits into this category, though you can also spend money to create buzz or great word of mouth. In my series of articles, I'll explain what you need to know about these tactics and show you examples of how they work in the real world so you can put them to work for your own business. Just ensure that when you plan and implement your marketing strategy, you avoid these common marketing mistakes. Getting the Terminology Straight
Just in case you're still thinking that word-of-mouth marketing isn't a legitimate, controllable, manageable approach to promoting your product or service, think again. An entire professional association is devoted to word-of-mouth marketing, called the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, or WOMMA - a hilariously memorable acronym.
More important, though, is the fact that WOMMA consists of corporate members only (not individuals), which means that big companies are just as interested in word-of-mouth marketing as small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. For example, just look at a few of the companies that are members of WOMMA - the A&E TV network, Coca-Cola, Dell computers, General Motors, Yahoo!, and Zondervan religious publishing.
In the marketing world, Acronym's and Jargon are thrown around all over the place, yet there are some subtle yet important differences between recent marketing terms, which I share with you here:
Word of mouth: The act of consumers providing information to other consumers.
Word-of-mouth marketing: Giving people a reason to talk about your products and services and making it easier for that conversation to take place.
Buzz marketing: Using high-profile entertainment or news to get people to talk about your brand.
Viral marketing: Creating entertaining or informative messages that are designed to be passed along in an exponential fashion, often electronically or by e-mail.Seeing the Power of Word of Mouth
Many advertising, publicity, and marketing experts believe that word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful type of exposure that you can get for your product, service, business, or store. After all, who are you most likely to believe? A paid advertisement, featuring an actor who earns his fee by reciting a script written by a salaried copywriter working for a hired ad agency? Or the unsolicited suggestion by one of your friends that "you should see this movie; you'll love it!" or "buy that car; it's really reliable," or "try this restaurant, or gift shop, or dry cleaner, or face cream, or sneaker, or computer, or cell phone"?
Obviously, you're more likely to listen to your friend. After all, she hasn't been paid to recommend that product or business. She gains nothing if you do or don't try it. She's simply telling you what she loves or appreciates - and that's a powerful endorsement for any business. Now all you have to do is get those powerful endorsements!

Mouth Publicity in Marketing

All of you would know that word of mouth is a very powerful public relations weapon. But not everyone realises that one of the best ways of generating it is through publicity. Publicity is getting free editorial coverage in newspapers or magazines or being talked about on radio or television.
It is very effective when it happens – they say publicity is seven times more effective than advertising.

What is Public Relations?

Public relations includes a variety of tactics that strengthen your credibility, enhance your image or influence public opinion. These tactics, such as speeches, special events, promotional activities, product launches and product give-aways; sponsorship, newsletters, annual reports, articles and media releases are targeted to an audience. PR involves communicating who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you make a difference.
The terms public relations and publicity are often misused. Publicity is only one function of public relations. It is media coverage – news stories, feature articles, radio talk show interviews, television appearances, editorials and reviews.
Publicity can be gained through effective media relations such as media releases or news conferences; press kits, press tours and personal letters or phone calls to editors and journalists.

PR for You

Most large businesses even those with substantial marketing and advertising budgets devote considerable resources to public relations because they realise it is one of the best and most cost-effective ways for them to attract customers and increase their business. Small businesses should look at the benefits of PR and positive media coverage because it can:

  • Attract customers
  • Increase demand for your products or services
  • Gain an edge over your competitors
  • Enhance your credibility and prestige
  • Get your message across without the expense of advertising
  • Create goodwill in your community

Free Publicity
Reading an article about a product or seeing a story on the news has a lot more credibility but there are no guarantees that your story will get a run.
One of the unique characteristics of publicity is that you have little control over whether your media release or news conference will be covered. Editors have complete control over a publicity item. They are the ones who decide if it will be used and they also have the editorial license to alter or use only part of it.
This is where an expert can help – one who understands how to make your media release stand out and be noticed and also someone who has good media contacts and strong working relationships with various journalists and editors. Free publicity is really misleading as it does cost money to employ an expert to promote your product or to pay a staff member or yourself (time is money) to handle what is involved.

The Five W's
Here's a few tips on how you can write your own media release and attract interest in your product or service:

  • First and most important thing – have something interesting to say – consider the Unique Selling Point
  • Write a catchy headline – short, punchy phrase
  • Bright opening – strongest point first
  • Content – the 5 W's – What, When, Where, Who and Why
  • Use memorable quotes
  • Title it Media Release and always include the date
  • Include contact details of telephone, mobile, email and website address
  • Use letterhead and keep content to one page
  • If emailing use strong subject heading and copy and paste release in body of email
  • Send your release to the appropriate person – do your research
  • Follow up – media liaison
  • Suggest a photo or photo opportunity that will add to the impact of having your information publicised

Coordinated Approach
To ensure the success of your public relations campaign, PR objectives should be clearly defined and developed as part of the overall marketing strategy. The best results will be obtained through a coordinated approach to all your marketing, advertising and public relations activity. Your key messages, information and branding should be included on all your marketing and PR collateral.
Publicity is a very valuable tool but is often overlooked as a true means of creating interest in a product or service. Normally public relations is an afterthought to an overall marketing campaign and can represent only a small percentage of the overall budget but it can work very well and produce tremendous results.
Not all publicity will help to increase sales but it can generate public goodwill and promote corporate images, product awareness and help to build the overall company brand.

Seven roles of Social media in Marketing

  • Developing a business model involving social media for your small business: Your number one priority should be your business goals and objectives. Social media is not a quick fix for a broken business. It’s ok if skeletons fall out of your closet—own up to them, and be real about mistakes. Being transparent in social media gains trust.
  • Know your audience: Find out what they’re thinking. You have to understand how you can inspire them and genuinely help them. If you inspire your audience to connect with you and help them achieve their goals, then you will be successful.
  • Defining social media success: Social media success should be measured based on your goals and objectives first. It’s impossible to measure your progress if you don’t have clear goals. There are many different levels of measurement. Altimeter is useful because it categorizes by stakeholders and what they care about. Early metrics are different than later metrics when implementing social media. They are also different based on what the business role or leader is interested in. At some point, it has to generate some revenue. One thing that keeps a company from seeing profit is a lack of a real sales funnel. It’s not worth it if you’re not meeting your goals and objectives.
  • Effective tactics to get customers hooked: Getting to know your audience will help you better inspire and connect with them and you’ll be able to write more compelling and relevant content. Make sure your website and social media align with each other. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. It may not bring immediate ROI, but if they’re hooked it will pay off in the long run. You want them to profess their love for you, even though they may not buy from you. They will influence people who will buy from you.
  • Finding inspiration for marketing campaigns: Thought leaders, your community, and outside your virtual world are great places to find inspiration. Focus on your customers’ wants and needs. Make satisfying them your biggest priority and you set the market. Get away from the Tweet machine. Two hours at the mall, park, or beach can spark five blog post ideas. Inspiration can come from the energy of the campaign itself and what you can expect from the end result. When brainstorming for campaign ideas send a few tweets on the subject and write a blog post. Your audience will give you the answer.
  • Avoid Random Acts of Anything: RAM’s will eat your ROI for lunch and dinner and leave you with nothing. Random acts of anything are bad. The key to stomping them is integration and focus on your goals and objectives. People think integration takes more time, but once you get it going, it moves at turbo speed.
  • Marketing hurts your growth: Social Media Examiner recently posted that marketing hurts your company’s growth. Marketing sales messages are a thing of the past. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are not for broadcasting about your business. Use them to inspire and connect genuinely with real people. So many people fail at using social media because they can’t let go of the fact that it’s no longer a broadcast. If you don’t have time for conversation in social media, game over. Broadcast tweets will not connect you with real people. When you connect and add value for your audience, you earn the right to send a few broadcasts about yourself.