What is your business’s main online marketing objective – to increase awareness or improve acquisition? The answer to this question will determine whether the focus of your online strategy lies in online advertising or word-of-mouth marketing.
But first, what’s the difference between the two? Online promotions and advertising does an excellent job in increasing a consumer’s awareness of a business’s product or service to a limited audience. However, if it’s acquisition that is important to your business, then nothing is quite as successful as a carefully targeted word-of-mouth campaign. Personal referrals and recommendations are far more influential when it comes to a consumer’s purchasing decision making process.
While it’s important to realise that you can’t force consumers to speak about your brand, you can strategically create something unique as a part of your brand’s off- and online marketing campaign. It is having an understanding that plants a “This is different. I want to share this with the people I know.” seed in the consumer’s mind.
Businesses today succeed mostly because of the relationships they build with their customers. Word-of-mouth or viral marketing allows businesses to create an environment that stages a unique beginning to this relationship. Instead of falsely advocating a brand, businesses can now rely on starting to communicate with current and potential customers in a more natural fashion.
Viral marketing can be tailored to specific brand goals too. Whether it’s to create a buzz about a product launch that ultimately leads to a new lead or a direct call-to-action promotion, viral marketing gives marketers a creative way to meet these objectives in a way that reaches a wider audience when compared to ordinary online advertising presents. To succeed in this, though, is to come up with an idea. And that’s where all the fun lies; in coming up with an idea that your competitors have missed out on.