How to Capitalize on Word of Mouth in the 21st Century

By Zach Williams

The power of word of mouth advertising is undisputed. The internet and social media have given consumers a stronger voice than ever. Consumers are constantly blogging, posting and tweeting about their interactions with brands.

Social shares and general posts have a strong influence on readers. But even in this digital age, a direct recommendation, either verbally or via a direct online message, is still the number one way to get consumers interested in purchasing from your brand.

So the question remains then, how do you get consumers so excited about your brand that they will make face-to-face recommendations offline?

Two Things Will Get Consumers Talking Offline

1. Your online presence

2. Their in-store experience

There are a lot of factors involved in making your brand tweet-worthy. Review the information below to see how you can get consumers talking about your brand to their friends on a more regular basis.

Your Online Presence Will Get Consumers Talking

Set your brand apart with a unique online experience for DIY Consumers.

DIYers talk the most about DIY brand’s prices and charitable giving or charity events at your location in online forums or social media posts(1).

Your online presence can get them talking, tweeting and posting about more things than just price.

Few things interest DIYers more than online tutorials. Get your consumers talking about the wealth of knowledge available on your site.

Peak consumer interest with seasonal campaigns and videos from experts around frequent questions or walking viewers through projects step-by-step.

Highlight exclusive features and benefits of your products to appeal to the DIY Consumers desire for high value items.

Get Creative With Your Online Presence

According to this infographic featured on, interesting online content is one of the top 3 reasons consumers follow a brand online. Furthermore, consumers who follow your brand are 60% more likely to purchase from you.

Get consumers talking about your brand by thinking outside the box and posting content worth tweeting about.

Benjamin Moore decided to get creative with their new fast drying paint campaign. They set up a spooky halloween prank for some local painters and recorded their reactions. The YouTube video of the prank has over 100,000 hits.

Videos that get consumers talking will also get consumers buying. Make your brand more relatable with candid videos like Benjamin Moore did.

Bring Consumers into Your Online Conversation

Create opportunities for consumers to be a part of your brand’s online presence.

Here’s an example:

We’ve all tried and failed at DIY projects. Often failing makes for a better story than actually succeeding. Consider getting consumers in on the discussion by having them submit their “fail” moments, pictures and videos make the best fail examples.

Keep the conversation going by troubleshooting their issues through live twitter chats or perhaps a YouTube channel. Have participants tweet back with their eventual success. Create unique brand hashtags for added marketability.

The purpose of fail videos and live Twitter chats goes far beyond simple brand exposure. The completed project, or now just the funny story of the failed attempt, will be a trigger for your brand.

When consumers think about the project or when their friends ask them about it, they will mention your brand over and over again. Through these creative online interactions, you’re creating multiple opportunities for consumers to mention and recommend your brand in one-on-one conversations offline.

Shoppers will travel further, accept fewer choices and even pay more if the experience is better for them.

– Juanita Neville-Te Rito, Idealog

Their In-Store Experience Will Get Consumers Talking

In a previous blog post I discussed DIYer’s desire to pay more for a positive in-store experience. But this is about more than making a sale on the spot, this is about turning one sale to one consumer into multiple sales from multiple consumers over and over again.

Displays, merchandise availability, interactions with sales personnel, checkout speed, store layout, all of these things add up to how consumers feel about your brand.

Not to mention, several researchers show that consumers will travel farther simply for a better in-store experience. I know I go out of my way to shop at the newer, bigger, cleaner Kroger rather than the older Kroger that’s right by my house.

Your Sales Staff Can Make or Break the Store Experience

Just as your tutorial videos are your most important asset online, your sales personnel are your most important asset in the store.

DIYers want to interact with your staff. They want to ask them questions about your products, their projects and how to get the job done right. This is your opportunity to make an impact on your consumer that will get passed on again and again.

A well trained and friendly staff can make or break both the immediate sale, and the potential for future sales as well.

If consumers find all their questions answered from a friendly staff member who helps them get the right products for the right price, how could they not share that experience?

What do you think is your most valuable asset that gets consumers talking?


1. Mintel Group Ltd. (2013). DIY Home Improvement and Maintenance – US. Chicago: Mintel Group Ltd.

Zach Williams is the Founder and Creative Director for Venveo, a digital marketing agency. Zach has logged countless hours creating strategies and developing brand loyalty for Home Improvement brands. Follow him on
Twitter or find him on LinkedIn

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