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How Online Reviews Have Changed the Meaning of Word of Mouth Marketing

Undoubtedly, online reviews have become an essential driver of influence for a business. So important, in fact, that large organizations are now devoting resources to ensuring the credibility of these reviews. As a result, organizations such as global e-commerce giant Alibaba recently sued a competitor for $300,000 in response to an online review of a restaurant. Here’s a look at how online reviews change the meaning of the word of mouth marketing.


Influence of online reviews on word-of-mouth marketing

The Internet has transformed the power of word-of-mouth marketing. It has become a powerful marketing tool, as ninety percent of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Consumers believe online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, and they will trust high-quality and authentic ones. However, online reviews don’t always reflect the honest opinion of consumers. To get the most out of word-of-mouth marketing, businesses should focus on creating and promoting authentic reviews.

Despite its many benefits, word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful and organic marketing method that doesn’t cost a penny. According to marketing expert Jay Baer, it is also highly effective. In fact, 92% of unhappy customers do not complain about their experience. On the other hand, one-third of low customers will tell 20 people about their bad experiences, while only three will share good reviews. Moreover, consumers trust online reviews just as much as word-of-mouth recommendations and count them as much as they make recommendations from friends and family.

The impact of word-of-mouth is often indirect and subliminal. For example, when a friend raves about a new electric grill, you may decide to purchase it. However, several factors may affect a consumer’s decision. This is why marketers must understand both the impact of word-of-mouth and online reviews and how they impact each of these.

Consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations more than ever before. For example, one study found that 65% of Boomers and Millenials rely on word-of-mouth recommendations when choosing a new restaurant or physician. In addition, 65% of internet users in the US look for physicians and health insurance providers through word-of-mouth recommendations. In addition, 51% of consumers use online reviews to learn about new products and services.

Another way to boost word-of-mouth marketing is to give consumers visual triggers, which is possible through Instagram and other social media. For example, a vegan fashion accessory brand, Pixie Mood, ran a social media contest on Instagram to reward its Instagram followers for spreading the word about their brand. This strategy encourages consumers to spread the word about the brand by tagging their friends. Furthermore, consumers trust reviews – nine out of ten consumers report that they will use a product or service after reading a positive review online.

Another important factor is volume. In a recent study by Fan & Fuel, consumers read online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In fact, nearly half of consumers rely on online reviews as much as personal recommendations when making a purchasing decision. Therefore, for a business to be considered reputable, it must have positive reviews. At the same time, it must maintain an active online presence. So, how can companies leverage the power of online reviews to improve their word-of-mouth marketing?


Impact of customer referrals on word-of-mouth marketing

When a consumer recommends a business, they trust the recommendation because they presume the source of the advice was satisfied with the products and services they purchased. According to Nielsen, 90% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations over advertisements. Furthermore, eight in ten consumers are more likely to buy based on an offer. And word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly effective regarding big-ticket items and financial products.

Studies have shown that 59% of consumers want to give word-of-mouth feedback about their experiences with a business. And of those who do, more than half of buyers share their experiences. This happens both online and offline. In fact, people are four times more likely to purchase a product or work with a business recommended by a friend than from a company or brand they have never heard of. This is because they have a higher level of trust in friends to give honest reviews and recommendations.

While a brand can’t control its customers’ opinions, it can significantly increase its word-of-mouth marketing with the help of stories. The power of words cannot be underestimated. Stories can create an emotional connection with customers and help them envision familiarly using the product. When a brand has a report explaining how their products or services benefit people, they are likelier to share it with their networks.

The effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing depends on how a brand uses its referrals. Using customer testimonials can make a huge difference in a brand’s sales. Businesses can create a steady stream of repeat business by using a good referral strategy. In addition, by providing an excellent experience for their customers, loyal customers will be able to recommend your products and services to others.

The impact of customer referrals on word-of-mouth marketing is often underestimated. Referrals aren’t just casual recommendations; they’re transactions between a customer and a friend. One study shows that a customer referred by a friend is four times more likely to buy a product or service. It’s also possible to increase your profit margin by as much as 25%. However, unless you offer a rewarding incentive for customers to send a referral, most customers won’t bother sending you a new customer.

Word-of-mouth marketing has been proven to be an effective marketing technique. It has been shown to reduce the spread of negative attitudes and opinions. It can also lead to exponential growth of your business. Word of mouth marketing is a powerful and inexpensive advertising method, with the added benefit of increasing your revenue. However, there are ways to improve the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing. Consider the following:


Impact of customer testimonials on word-of-mouth marketing

A testimonial has many benefits for a brand. First of all, it helps potential customers see that the product or service is a good one. It shows that others have found value in your brand and helped you in the past. Potential customers will feel trust in your brand and are more likely to buy from you if others are satisfied with your product or service. The testimonial should include real stories from real people, not just sales figures.

There are many testimonials, but the type you choose depends on your business goals and the kind of testimonial you seek. Whether using testimonials on a website or other means, they can increase conversions and sales. Boast is the only Proof-Based Marketing platform that offers a wide range of benefits for businesses. By empowering your customers to leave their comments, you can increase the likelihood that they will share your testimonial.

Reviews are the apex of word-of-mouth marketing. They are organic testimonial ads. Reviews are so credible that a person is likelier to buy a product or service based on a recommendation. However, people are busy and sometimes forget to leave a review after a purchase. Therefore, a business can ask for reviews by emailing or scheduling a social media post.

In addition to influencing consumer decisions, word of mouth has a powerful influence on a brand’s image and perception. Even a negative review from a friend can reduce market share by up to 20%. Conversely, positive word-of-mouth is a one-time-magnolia that can make a company or brand famous. That’s why it’s essential to pay close attention to customer testimonials.

While customer testimonials are a powerful way to increase your online visibility, they can also harm your business. While positive word-of-mouth can significantly impact sales, negative word-of-mouth is far more damaging. According to a study, 94% of consumers base their purchasing decisions on reviews posted by other people on the Internet. Therefore, negative reviews can influence more potential buyers to purchase in addition to bad reviews.

Another study found that consumers value direct recommendations from friends and family. In addition to increasing brand loyalty, a Wharton School of Business study found that customers who were referred to a brand by friends and family are far more likely to buy that product or service. In fact, word-of-mouth is the fourth most-cited source of brand discovery, behind ads and search engines. It is more personal and tailored than traditional advertising.