As marketers, we’re constantly being told that content is king. But where is this fresh, relevant, regular content that dazzles prospects and delights customers supposed to come from? Is there a queen hiding somewhere churning out blog posts, whitepapers, videos, and slide presentations?
Especially for small businesses, this is one of the biggest challenges of inbound marketing—how do you create great content on top of everything else you have going on, like oh say, creating a top-notch product and running a business, for example.
We all know the challenges marketers face in their quest to create engaging content that captures the attention of prospects, delivers value to existing customers, and makes your site a destination spot which people return to again and again. We also know from recent studies that social savvy (and let’s be honest, slightly skeptical) consumers trust the opinions of their peers more than your best-crafted marketing messages.
Social recommendations from people your prospects perceive as similar to themselves come with a higher level of trust and authenticity. As such, leveraging the voice of your customers for word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful ways for marketers to supplement their content marketing strategy.
This is especially true for small businesses, which don’t have access to the resources required to churn out an unending supply of interesting, new content. The great thing about social media is that it has democratized the creation and distribution of content. Not only do people have the ability to produce content, they actively want to share their opinions and experiences with their network. The secret for businesses (small and large alike) is to systematically operationalize the process of finding and incentivizing these brand advocates.
So how can marketers effectively leverage word-of-mouth marketing to increase brand awareness, boost conversions, and drive revenue?
Imagine a giant room where your customers are interacting with each other and prospects. They’re having genuine conversations about your products and services, which are easy for you to engage with and embed in relevant places like on your website, digital campaigns, and product pages. This place exists in the form of a customer community. Communities provide you a systematic way to identify, recognize, and incentivize your brand champions, while simultaneously connecting them to prospects.
Word-of-mouth marketing is no different in the age of the social customer; it’s about people who like your products and services—brand advocates—telling other people about the value of your company’s offerings. But it’s not just important to know this; marketers need to find effective ways to operationalize word-of-mouth marketing in a way that generates leads. What are you doing to put the voice of the customer to work for your organization?