Word – of-mouth marketing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to grow your business.But how do you turn the idea of gaining referrals through such marketing into an online strategy? It's easier than you might think.
The Internet has now of days become more powerful medium because it gives a digital trail. It's easy to way word-of-mouth behavior from one place to the next because once something is posted online; it becomes a permanent part of the Internet.
Word-of-mouth marketing programs work because they are initiated from a trusted source and shared through a network of friends, family and acquaintances. It works because we ultimately believe someone we know and consider them to be more credible than an advertiser.
A study showed in 2004 -2005 that recommendations from others and consumer opinions posted to online forums significantly carry a higher trust factor than virtually all other forms of advertising on TV, radio, in print and online.
Because word-of-mouth marketing is such a powerful mechanism, many businesses continue to place high emphasis on networking within their community. They continue to join groups and make face-to-face contact with those of influence.
But how can you carry this line of thinking over to the Web? This is the major subject or you can say it is very difficult task for online marketer.
* Search engines
Every body knows the easiest place to start is with the search engines. Think of them as you would a networking group. The only way to benefit from a networking group is to attend regularly and interact with other members. Likewise, the only way to benefit from a search engine is to continually add new information that will be of importance to a searcher.
A company's Web site is dedicated to providing detailed information on its products and/or services. After the site is built, there may not be changes for months.
A growing number of Web sites are allowing people to share opinions. People come together in one location, and talk about everything from a good (or bad) business experience, to selecting a favorite restaurant. What used to occur only on a personal basis in a group of family or friends is now occurring online with people from all over the world.
The search engines love it. They bloom on detailed information that changes frequently. Because opinion sites allow a user to easily add detailed information, they're filling up quickly with quality information.
More than 1 billion comments are archived online, and that's growing 30 percent per year, making this form of high-reaching media impossible to ignore.
* Online opinion forums
Two large opinion sites, Epinions.com and PlanetFeedback.com, were built with the exclusive goal of creating a place for consumers to share their opinions and experiences.
Sites like these are popular for two reasons.
First, they allow a person to do research on a product or service without having to make a decision based on marketing hype. Instead, they can read through an endless supply of reviews written by people just like them, using the product or service for similarly desired purposes.
For example, if you're planning a vacation and start looking for a new digital camera, the local camera store may provide you with dozens of possibilities. Friends, family and acquaintances may provide one or two referrals. But by searching online, you can easily find dozens of recommendations for a camera that will specifically meet your needs.