Positive comments, reviews and referrals can do wonders for your business. So, word of mouth marketing is extremely important for your advertising strategy. Word of mouth marketing has changed over time, originally it would just be recommendations from one person to another, normally verbally. However, the more modern version has adapted and evolved. This is where recommendations and opinions are shared online and on social media and are often targeted advertising too. All driving more traffic to your website.
What is word of mouth marketing?
You could say that word of mouth marketing is like free advertising. It is a way of getting your brand website and information shared by your customers and potentially reaching people you would otherwise be unable to reach. Sharing real life experiences and offering advice on what it is like to deal with a brand or visit their establishment. It is a fast moving and growing way to get your message out there. To improve trust in your brand, as the more you are talked about the more familiar you will be and familiarity leads to trustworthiness in the eyes of your potential customers.
How does word of mouth marketing work?
The more you interact with people the more the word is spread. Encourage sharing on social media and on other websites and the referrals to your website will come flooding in. It can start with just a small post or article, then once it starts being shared, traction grows and your brand will become more recognisable.
It works by sharing your website, increasing the audience and likelihood this will result in conversions. You build a community, engage more people and consistently get feedback and shares each time you post and talk to that community. Sharing information and articles on your website in this way will mean more visits each time from your fans but also more views from new people too.
What do you need to do to make it work?
Now you know what word of mouth marketing is, but what do you need to do to make it work? Here are a few different things you need to consider when developing your word of mouth marketing strategy.
Do you want to reach a large audience of targeted followers? Of course, yes you do! And this is the great thing about using influencers, choose the right one and they already have a large following of people who will be interested in your brand. Using an influencer service, you can reach the right people quickly and easily with just one article, video or endorsement. Consider using those who are top rated in the field or niche you are most wanting to reach.
You could work with an influencer on just a one-off basis, or build a relationship and a regular contract to use your brand. An increasing number of people are attracted to brands and products that are endorsed by their favourite influencers and it is a great place to get fans talking about your clinic and the services that you offer.
Having your own blog is an important way to share information about your products and services and will get website hits without just sharing your site information. Creating sharable content that contains valuable information is essential to any blogs success. To do this you need to make sure you are writing content that your customers and new potential clients will be interested in.
Not only should you share your own blog posts, but also connect with other blogs too. Endorsements or stories on blogs that are recognised as popular within your niche are an excellent place to start. From reaching out to bloggers personally to employing a digital marketing agency to do this for you. Blogs are a great way of word of mouth marketing directing visits to your website and you should always include a call to action for visitors to find out more and book.
Encourage genuine reviews
When someone is sharing their genuine experience with your Physical Therapy brand, the review is so much more powerful than any other form. By encouraging your clients to leave reviews and feedback, you will encourage the spread of word of mouth recommendations. You need to consider the consequences of a less flattering review, but as long as you answer and deal with this correctly, the positive will still outweigh the negative.
Reviews can be shared in a variety of places. On your own website you can offer the option to review directly, or add the reviews yourself from feedback forms or email reviews you have received. Then there are your social media pages where reviews can be left and viewed by anyone who follows your page. Then there is also your google business page, where reviews can be left and will help your SEO, improved appearance in search results too.
Why is word of mouth marketing important?
When you are given a genuine recommendation from a family member or friend you are more likely to trust their judgement as this is someone you know. You understand what they are expecting to receive from a service and feel that they will only give you genuine advice without any other gain for them. This is the best and most thought about word of mouth recommendation and an important way to grow your business.
But this is just one referral or endorsement leading to perhaps one or two new customers. So, it is important to expand this to reach other people who may not personally know someone who has visited your clinic. This is where sharing content and online information comes in to reach a wider audience and grow familiarity with your brand.
Combine the two and you have an honest customer who has experience in your services, sharing information to other people on social media and other sources. This is when word of mouth marketing becomes really important. The real recommendation and the information and call to action to back it up. Reaching a far greater number of people, than just talking face to face could possibly do.
Making your website sharable
In order to encourage sharing and build momentum, you need to make sure your website and the information you are putting out there is sharable. But how do you do this? Here are a few ideas to make your website sharable:
- Be interesting. It can be as little as including a catchy tag line, or an interesting photo or picture. Making your website share or blog post intriguing helps make the content more sharable. If it is not, the article will be passed by.
- Add value. Don’t share just for the sake of it. Make sure the content is relevant to your audience and this may be achieved by targeting the sharing of certain articles or information in your advertising strategy.
- Trigger emotion. You are much more memorable if you connect emotionally to your customers, so try to trigger emotions and real feelings when you consider the content you share.
- Create links. When you link one service to another, you can make your website and services more relatable to those sharing. So, they are more likely to share when it is connected to something they already know or are aware of.
- Use infographics. They are extremely sharable and hold a lot of valuable information in one place if it is done right. Creating a great infographic for your own website may take some time, but they are a great way to get your brand noticed and recognised.
Although not the same as word of mouth, referral marketing can be seen along the same lines. This is usually a way to get people to bring in new customers and is usually tracked for reward or gain. This can be considered both in clinic and online. Referral and word of mouth strategies are often thought of as separate marketing methods and one of the other is used. However, by combining the methods, you can use both to achieve a greater end result. If you are wanting to track conversions this way though it may be difficult, so you will need to devise a way to do this before you start.
How will you use word of mouth marketing to improve your website visits?
There is a lot to think about and it is not just about talking any more. There are so many different methods to consider, so you need to develop a strategy to deal with how you will create and monitor how well your word of mouth marketing methods are working.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to do this all alone. At patient sites we offer a range of services that can help you achieve your marketing strategy and make your content work for you. If you think you might need some professional help, or just don’t have the time to do everything yourself. Check out Patientsites, to see what we can do to help you market your physical therapy website.