What Is Word of Mouth Marketing? Definition and Guide

What is word of mouth marketing?

Word of mouth marketing is a tactic used to generate natural discussions about and recommendations for a product or company. Essentially, getting people to talk about your brand, product, or business.

Everyone wants people talking about their products because those conversations are what drive business—often more than any other marketing effort.

Creating word of mouth

Given how valuable such conversations are, what can a small business do to get more to happen naturally? Here are a few tactics that work:

  • Show your current customers how much you appreciate them, with a small gift that fits your brand or product
  • Develop an interesting story about your company or products, why it was started, why you believe in what you do—something that others will want to retell
  • Create shareable content that is useful or funny or controversial
  • Create incentives for your customers to share information or special deals with their friends
  • Give new customers who have been referred a little something extra, too
  • Schedule special events for your customers and invite them to bring a friend

Building a business worth talking about

Of course, these tactics won’t work unless you’ve created a business that gives people reasons to talk about it. That means building in awe and delight. How can you do that? Here are some ideas:

  • Remember names: The more you can make each customer feel special and valued, the more likely they will be to tell others about their experience.
  • Give more than expected: That might mean throwing in a little freebie with every purchase, upgrading a level of service “just because,” or sending over a free dessert or amuse bouche to every lunch patron. Good surprises get people talking.
  • Add a special feature inside your store: A water sports store could add a wave pool, a shoe store could offer free frozen yogurt while customers try shoes on, or a bookstore could install a print-on-demand kiosk.
  • Include an activity: That could be an in-store workshop or a live demonstration or a trunk show or a celebrity event that customers are invited to. Get customers excited about coming to your store, and wanting to talk about it on social media.

Word of mouth marketing really comes down to delighting prospects and customers and encouraging—or incentivizing—them to attract like-minded customers. 

What Is Word of Mouth Marketing? FAQ

What is meaning of word-of-mouth marketing?

Word-of-mouth marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on getting consumers to talk about and share their positive experiences with a product or service with other people. It is one of the oldest and most effective forms of marketing and is especially powerful when it comes to influencing purchasing decisions.

What is word-of-mouth marketing examples?

  • Referral Programs: Referral programs are one of the most popular forms of word-of-mouth marketing. They involve incentivizing customers to refer their friends, family, and acquaintances to your business in exchange for rewards.
  • Social Media: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used to spread the word about your brand and products. Encouraging customers to share their experiences and reviews on these platforms can be a powerful way to generate word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Influencer Marketing: Influencers are individuals who have a large following on social media platforms. You can work with them to promote your products or services to their followers.
  • Customer Testimonials: Customer testimonials are a great way to generate word-of-mouth marketing. They are usually shared on your website, social media pages, and other online platforms to spread the word about your business.
  • Events and Networking: Events such as trade shows, conferences, and networking sessions are a great way to meet potential customers and spread the word about your business.

Is Word of Mouth considered marketing?

Yes, word of mouth can be considered a form of marketing. Word of mouth refers to informal communication between individuals about products, services, or companies. It is an effective and powerful form of marketing and can have a great impact on the success of a business.

Why word of mouth is the best advertising?

Word of mouth is the best advertising because it is highly trusted. People are more likely to believe and take action on recommendations from people they know and trust, rather than from a business or advertisement. Additionally, word of mouth is extremely cost-effective, as it does not require a lot of money for advertising and promotion. Finally, it is one of the most powerful forms of advertising, as it can reach a much larger audience than any other form of advertising.