Category: Reputation Management

Why You Shouldn’t Rely On Word of Mouth for your Business

Majority of traditional business loves word of mouth. It’s one of the most powerful forms of marketing and if a word of mouth referral contacts your business it’s almost a guaranteed sale. That being said if your only marketing strategy is just word-of-mouth then it’s going to be an uphill battle for your business.


Every time we meet a business client the majority of them will always say that they are only relying on word-of-mouth marketing to generate leads and sales.


Stop crossing your fingers and hoping one of your customers will refer your business


If you have a well-established business, those word-of-mouth quality leads might be coming in. And you should be loving every one of them. And they might be coming in for a solid month or two. But what happens when that pipeline dries up? What happens when the word-of-mouth stops?


That’s right, nothing.


No leads, no business, no incoming money.


Then the panic sets in. Hard. 


And that’s what we have seen for a lot of businesses this year. We have seen countless business owners (Electricians, Plumbers, Restaurant Owners, etc) all saying that they are receiving fewer leads (and fewer bookings) than years prior.


And it wasn’t until we started having real-world conversations with each one of these business owners that had these same complaints that we found a commonality.

The common item was that they were relying heavily on word-of-mouth, referrals, being on some form of preferred vendor list, or something similar. They’re just crossing their fingers hoping that something comes in because they weren’t actively going out and doing what’s necessary to be omnipresent with those potential customers.


Slow & Steady


One of the biggest issue with word of mouth marketing is the fact that it takes a really long time to kick in. First of all, you need to provide such a great service that your customers will actually want to tell their friends about it.


More often than not word of mouth marketing is a slow draining process. Sometimes it can have a great effect and it can spark interest on new customers, and other times it will just die out.


The Digital way of word-of-mouth


With increasing access to technology and with so much information available online. Customers can simply research and look at several businesses online. You might have the service or product that they need, but on the other hand, another business is offering a discount or a newer product or additional services than what you are offering.


And even if one of your customers recommends your business to their friends, family or colleague they are still going to do quick online research about your business before doing business with you. They can do this in a matter of 1-2minutes by simply typing your business in search engines like Google or even Facebook, so if your website doesn’t show up, if you have a terrible looking website or if you have negative reviews online, it may make them a bit sceptical of your business.


Another factor why your businesses who are relying on word of mouth is struggling is because of online reviews. Online reviews show the experience of other customers about your business and not just the person who recommended your business. In a recent survey done by Brightlocal 90% of consumers today read at least 6 reviews before deciding if they will be dealing with your business. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a family, friend or colleagues.


No Data to work with


Understanding your data is one of the most critical parts of growing and scaling your business. Tracking the activity of potential customers with various marketing strategy such as Social Media, Paid Google Ads, or Google SEO.


With all the data in hand, it allows you to change your marketing strategy to be more effective. And with word-of-mouth referrals you do not have this data, making it extremely difficult to understand what your customers want and what aspects of your business needs adjustments or improvements.


Without the data, You don’t have a strategy and without a strategy, it is almost impossible to make the right decisions to scale your business.


The choice is yours!


You now have two options you can either.


  1. Keep crossing your fingers and hoping a need customer will call you, you can also hope that someone happens to pass by your storefront and decide to check the business out.
  2. Or you can proactively go after potential customers by implementing a great marketing strategy.

Creating an Effective Marketing Plan


The problem with businesses today is they don’t know how to leverage the positive experience of their customers to influence cold buyers who never heard about your business. We suggest starting with simple steps to get the most out of your word-of-mouth referrals and turn them into ways of actively promoting your business.


  1. Highlight some of your biggest client’s testimonials or feedback on your website. This should be easy to find either on the first page of your website. You can also take it a step further and create a blog about how you solved their problem and what’s their experience doing business with you.
  2. Use online advertising. Yes, we understand most small-businesses don’t have a lot of money to spend on online advertising but paid advertising has been a huge reason why there are businesses out there who are smashing their sales targets. And yes, it can be quite expensive. But you are a business owner. And you have to think of these as investments to your business and not just an expense.
  3. If you are not sure where to start your online advertising efforts. We suggest understanding your audience demographics and where do they spend most of their time online. For example, if you are selling fashionable clothes then you should be going for Instagram. You need to understand your audience’s online behaviour so you can create a marketing message specifically for them. Because if you simply create a message just saying we are having a 30% discount then your message will just get lost!
  4. Talk to your audience. One of the reasons why some of the biggest brands hire a dedicated social media manager is so they can talk to their audience and understand what exactly what they want. Ask them a question. ask them for feedback about the recent product or service they bought from you.

Final Thoughts


Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful types of marketing. The aim is to get your existing customers to talk about positive experiences about your business.


We now live in a world where consumers don’t necessarily need to ask their friends or family for recommendations or referrals. Instead, you can just go on Google and type that product or service you are looking for and judge the businesses’ service or credibility by what they saw online through your website, social media or online reviews. This is why businesses who rely purely on word of mouth marketing struggle to find new customers.


The best option is to use a variety of marketing techniques such as SEO, Social Media Ads, Email Marketing and Content Creation to ensure your business has a great chance of being seen by new customers.

To learn how you can take control of your company’s lead generation strategy or discuss options for your specific needs. Contact our team. We’ll help create a plan specific to your business, no matter what stage you are in scaling your business.


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Why having an Online Review Strategy is a must for Businesses


Why having an Online Review Strategy is a must for Businesses in 2019!


First Impressions matter, especially in the business world. With the internet at our fingertips, consumers can easily do a quick search about your business and find the information they need. Customer reviews are one of the first things they look for when they decided to do business with you.


With as much as 88% of consumers relying on customer reviews, you want to make sure that the first thing they see are positive, glowing recommendations. Otherwise, it can ruin your business.

Here are some of the reasons why you need a Review Strategy for 2020!


Online Reputation


With the Internet’s help, Word-of-mouth spreads like a wildfire. The good news about your business travels fast while bad news travels faster. If you receive a single negative review recent report says that review will cost you about 20% of your potential customers. With other statistics saying the numbers can jump to as high as 59%! Do not underestimate the power of a negative review. It can make or break your business.


Customers are more likely to write about negative experiences than positive ones online. They won’t hesitate telling everybody how unhappy they are with the service they received. Whether in Social Media, Telling their friends and Family, Online Review Sites such as Yelp, Trustadvisor and worst on your Website or Google My Business listing.


To gain the trust of potential customers, you need to prove to them that you’re a professional. One way to do this is to encourage all of your happy customers to leave a 5 Star review on your business listings. There is no one better to tell your success stories than your satisfied customers.


Boost your SEO rankings


One of the most effective ways to improve your online Local visibility is to list your business on online review sites like Yelp, Yellowpages, Trustadvisor, and Google My Business.


Google is the most used search engine on the Internet. Google’s goal is to provide the best possible result you a query. The reason behind this is the more accurate the information they provide, the more likely you will use Google again to find answers. Since they know how important online reviews are for the majority of the customers, they tend to pay attention to these online review websites. Online reviews are one of the key factors that influence local search rankings. The diversity of review sites, Your rankings, The speed at which reviews are generated, and the total number of reviews your company has – all of these factors play a major role in whether your business appears on the local search results.


There are plenty of review websites online and because of this, it can be quite difficult to choose where to have your business listed. But one of the most important ones is Google My Business. since the most turn to Google for online research, that means a larger audience will see your Business profile.


Google My Business focuses on Local search results to help local businesses reach their target audience. 90% of consumers today will Google your business before doing any business with you. They want to know more about your business, and Google My Business can provide some quick answers.  It provides information such as contact number, address, and opening hours.


Influence buying decision


Buying something online is one of the most popular ways to make purchases today. Consumers flock the internet to buy items and inquire about a service.


Most people start their buyers’ journey buying looking up the product online. Buyer’s today are smart. They don’t just buy anything from anybody. They’d go from one site to another to compare prices and reviews. They take time to read online reviews before making a purchase.


Online reviews play such a crucial role and are relied upon by a lot of people. According to a survey that was conducted by Brightlocal 90% of consumers read online reviews. 88% of them trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a family member or a friend. Reports also mentioned that typical consumers read around 6 reviews before they form an opinion about a business. Do not hesitate to show off your best reviews on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Blog or even your website.


Get found Online


The majority of consumers tend to start their buyer’s journey online since it’s easier and more convenient. They go online not just to find who’s the cheapest or who’s offering the best deals, but to research about the products or services they need. They already know what they want. Right now, they are in the process of selecting a business that can cater to their needs. This is where online reviews come in.


Reviews are usually the first thing they look for when they want to buy something online. As a potential customer, they want to know the opinion of previous customers. What do they think of the product? or the service? Is it worth their money? These are the things they want to find before buying or using your service.


Reviews are an absolute essential for businesses. Consumers may not be familiar with your company, but they are likely to come across your business during the shopping process if you have some customer reviews. The more reviews you have, the more reliable and trustworthy you’ll be in the eyes of potential clients. not only will it make the decision process easier, but it also helps you generate more leads.


Drive Sales to your Business


If you’ve ever bought anything online, you have probably read online reviews. You are not alone. As mentioned above, a huge majority of consumers read online reviews. Why? It’s because people want an assurance that the product they are planning on buying is of good quality.


When considering buying a camera or a smartphone, they often consult the reviews to check if previous customers are satisfied with the purchase. Another reason is to determine the quality of a local business.


A huge percentage of buyers take time to read product reviews before making any online purchase. They are more likely to get that camera if they find ratings with an average score of 4 on the particular model they are eyeing on. 5-star reviews may provide the extra push they need. They just need reassurance and confirmation that they are getting the right product.


Having no reviews is as good as having negative reviews. Since many of them rely on product reviews, some people may see the lack of reviews as a red flag. It leaves your reputation in a vulnerable state. People may not even consider buying your products without them. Think about how many potential customers end up buying from your competitors because they can’t seem to find any reviews.


If you want full control over your online reputation the Shoutout Digital team offers a reputation management tool that lets you completely monitor all mentions of your business online.


Contact us today for a demo of our Online Reputation Management 


Here’s a quick tour of our Online Reputation Management Tool.

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