84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as friends. I rely on reviews for restaurants, companies, products, and just about anything else that allows a review, along with recommendations from friends and family.
Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is one of the oldest, yet effective, methods for marketing. This works for not only consumers, but also for businesses. B2B word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly impactful.
Does your business implement WOM marketing tactics?
Ann Handley, MarketingProfs Head of Content, shared in her newsletter from October 7th some research on the WOM strategy in the B2B world:
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put 5 tips together to get the ball rolling:
Ask for testimonials
60% of B2B buyers search for peer reviews and testimonials. If a business has a good experience with your organization, chances are they’ll be more than willing to give a testimonial, if prompted. You can display these kudos on your website and share with prospects. Now, when prospects are looking for proof, they have it.
Create a referral program
84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral, yet only 30% of B2B companies have a formalized referral program. You get what you give. Create a reputation for yourself of referring people to other businesses. They’ll remember that when they meet someone looking for your product or service.
People love a good discount, prize, or reward. If you incentivize them, they’ll be more likely to refer your business. This will vary depending on what your business is, but think about what will add value to those who refer.
Business to business companies with referrals have a 70% higher conversion rate, and they report a 69% faster close time on sales.
Get to know thought leaders in your industry
Whether you get to know them in person or online, thought leaders are people you want in your corner due to their influence and vast networks.
Authentically get to know them, what influences them, and how you can give them valuable information. People trust thought leaders. 92% of people trust brand advocates.
So if they’re sharing your content, talking about you, creating buzz about your business, etc., they’re now advocating for your brand.
Everywhere you go, build relationships. You never know when someone is going to need your product or service.
Represent your brand at trade shows, events, and conferences. Strike up a conversation with everyone and see where you can add value.
You’re allowed to humble brag! Share the success stories of your clients and how your solution helped them succeed, so it’s a win-win. Post these successes on whatever social media platforms you have that are relevant for your business.
Our marketing agency got to know the Health IT Marketing and PR Community leaders by offering to share data on Twitter and Google+.
Take it a step farther, and share or retweet other businesses success stories. In a survey of 115 marketing specialists in B2B roles, Omobono found that 79% rated social media as the most effective marketing channel.