3 Word of mouth marketing tactics for your mobile app

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Maria Colgan

Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is one of the biggest influences on product purchases. In fact, McKinsey estimate that WOMM is behind 20-50% of all purchase decisions. They say that marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth marketing generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising in categories as diverse as skincare and mobile phones.

And according to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising. 

So what is word of mouth marketing?

Word of mouth marketing is where consumers share positive information about a product, service or company. They do this in person, or in today’s terms, online and through social media channels.

Organic word of mouth is where people naturally talk about your brand and amplified word of mouth is where your company launches a campaign designed to encourage word of mouth marketing. If according to McKinsey that marketing induced word of mouth marketing is responsible for twice the sales of paid advertising then it makes sense for brands to play a part in this.

Word of mouth marketing is an important part of your marketing strategy

According to Invesp word of mouth marketing drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending and is estimated to account for 13% of consumer sales. Word of mouth marketing impression results 5x more sales than a paid media impression and people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.

3 Tactics for creating a word of mouth marketing campaign for your mobile app

1. Create something worth talking about

The first step in creating a word of mouth marketing campaign for any product or service is to create something worth talking about. This can be something as simple as a warm greeting at a restaurant or hotel to a heavily invested marketing video, such as the Chipotle 2013 Scarecrow one.

The video is an animated fictitious portrayal of a food plant being run by robotic crows. The scarecrow is saddened by what he witnesses in the plant. It highlights the issue of processed food thus reinforcing Chipotles use of sustainable ingredients.

The video was created as a trailer for a free iOS game that enables players to earn buy-one, get-one-free deals on certain Chipotle menu items. The app incentivises players to complete all levels of the game, whereby the can seek rewards at any of their US, Canadian and UK outlets.

The video was viewed 6.5 million times on YouTube in under two weeks. The game became number one on the app stores. And here’s the thing, there was no paid media for the first four weeks. Traction occurred naturally through social media.

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Word of mouth marketing campaigns don’t have to be an expensive investment. Tinder started out on college campuses and was an instant hit among students because of its simple swipe feature. It relied entirely on word of mouth marketing by students telling family and friends about it. It was so successful that it made over a million matches in less than two months.

2. Encourage user generated content

Social posts, images and videos are a modern form of word of mouth marketing. It’s easier than ever for people to create and share content because of smartphones and social media apps. One of the best and potentially free tools to increase user engagement and get people speaking about your app is user generated content. If you give people something to talk about they’ll be happy to engage and create their own content.

Did you know that:

  • 85% of consumers find visual user-generated content more influential than brand photos and videos.
  • 50% of consumers want brands to tell them what to include in their user-generated content.
  • 93% of consumers find user-generated content helpful when making purchase decisions. 

Starbucks creates user-generated content campaigns on social media from time to time. Their 2014 Twitter campaign #WhiteCupContent encouraged users to do artistic doodling on their white coffee cups. The winning cup would be used as a limited edition template for the Starbucks cup design. In just three weeks Starbucks received 4,000 images of white cups with drawings on them.

3. Share testimonials and reviews

Crossfit is a brand that knows how to use testimonials and reviews as an effective word of mouth marketing strategy. Crossfit has millions of loyal followers globally. Many of these followers have shared their stories on how Crossfit has changed their bodies and lives.

They have thousands of testimonial videos on their YouTube channel and on their website. They even have an upload photo section on their site called Photo of the Day. If the photo is chosen for their site or any of their social media channels the person uploading it will be compensated with $300.

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Another tactic for Crossfit is workout of the day, which they share on their social media channels. This keeps their loyal fans coming back for more and causes them to leave comments about their own experience of the workout.

When people have such a positive affiliation with a brand they naturally want to share their experience with friends. In fact, the number one reason why consumers are likely to create and share content is that they want a friend to know the brand. 

Conclusion

Word of mouth marketing is an extremely effective marketing strategy. It has a better effect on brands and apps than many paid advertisements. The campaign can be created in-house by your marketing team, externally by your most loyal followers. Or, accidentally such as Wendy’s word of mouth marketing campaign from 2017.

Twitter user Carter Wilkerson asked Wendy’s how many retweets he would need to qualify for free chicken nuggets for a year. Wendy’s said 18 million! His tweet became the most retweeted tweet in history and within a few short months he reached his target and so did Wendy’s with the sheer volume of free brand awareness.

Word of mouth marketing is essential in promoting your app. As David Greer writes, “A customer talking about their experience with you is worth ten times that which you write or say about yourself.”

Maria Colgan

Digital Marketing Manager