Word-of-mouth is a traditional marketing strategy that has been passed down for a long time. It has become even more potent as its domain expanded from offline to online.

Nowadays, customer reviews and business recommendations posted online can spread within seconds. So, how can IT companies utilize word-of-mouth in their business?

What is Word-of-Mouth Marketing?

Word of Mouth

Word-of-mouth marketing, as the name implies, is marketing done through ‘word of mouth.’ Customers who have used a company’s product or service share their experience with friends, family, colleagues, and so forth. This method not only serves as free advertising but is also considered a very powerful marketing tool.

According to a statistic, 88% of consumers stated they “trust online customer recommendations and reviews as much as those from friends or family.” Additionally, 97% of B2B customers named customer reviews and peer recommendations as the most trusted content type.

There are various ways to generate word-of-mouth, and thus, today’s companies have a variety of word-of-mouth marketing methods at their disposal. Let’s examine a few types and real-life examples.

Types of Word-of-Mouth Marketing and IT Company Examples

Types of Word of Mouth Marketing

01 | Referral Programs

Referral programs involve existing customers recommending the company’s product or service to acquaintances who haven’t experienced them yet, and receiving a reward from the company in return.

For instance, the accommodation sharing platform Airbnb issues promotional coupons (travel credits) that can be used for future accommodation or experience reservations when members recommend Airbnb to their acquaintances and they sign up as new members.

Not only Airbnb but also many IT companies that need to increase their user base for business growth utilize this method. A prime example is Dropbox!

Dropbox – From 100,000 to 4 Million Users in 15 Months Through a Referral Program

Dropbox is currently valued at $7.5 billion. But did you know that Dropbox achieved such a huge success through a referral program?

To be specific, it started with 100,000 users and exponentially increased to 4 million in 15 months through a referral program.

But it didn’t stop there; it doubled its user base every three months over two years. According to the founder and CEO, Drew Houston, the number of subscribers increased by 60% through referrals.

02 | Influencer Marketing – Social Media

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing via social media is a form of word-of-mouth marketing. If you are a start-up or a latecomer in the industry, you can improve brand awareness in a short period by partnering with influencers who have many followers and posting content related to your product or service.

This is effective because most people trust the recommendations of influencers they follow. At this time, many companies use unique codes assigned with the influencer’s name (e.g., ELANCER23) to track new customers acquired through the influencer!

3 | Viral Campaigns – Social Media

Viral Campaigns

Social media is an effective tool to reach more users and attract customers. Specifically, through user engagement-based viral campaigns, you can increase brand awareness while securing many followers and customers. Taking Instagram as an example, users can post and share their own content using a specific hashtag!

Daniel Wellington – $220 Million in Revenue by Selling Over 1 Million Watches in a Year Through Influencer + Viral Campaigns

The watch brand Daniel Wellington, popular for its classic design, achieved huge success through a social media viral campaign. They created a social media campaign with the world’s top Instagram influencers and encouraged users to create their own content using the Daniel Wellington watch and post it using the hashtag #danielwellington.

Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy

Resource : ReferralCandy

The result?
Over 90,000 posts were generated on Instagram, selling over 1 million watches in a year and earning $220 million in revenue!

4 | Customer Reviews (Business Recommendation Reviews)

Customer reviews (business recommendation reviews) are the most common form of word-of-mouth that we all have encountered at least once. They can be in text format or video content.

When you try to purchase a product, you may visit a company’s website to compare products from various brands. There you can find reviews where other customers recommend the company’s products or services.

For example, in the case of Elancer, business clients who post projects want to hire reliable talents. A way to confirm this is to refer to the recommendation reviews left by the managers of companies who previously collaborated with the freelancer.

This is a driving force that provides high satisfaction to companies using Elancer’s freelancer matching service! 

Elancer – The Secret of 98% Project Reorder Rate?

28,000 Reviews, 3.5 Million Freelancer Evaluation Data

Although many freelancer platforms have emerged, Elancer has achieved an astonishing accomplishment of a 98% reorder rate from business clients.

One of the main reasons for this is their support for businesses to check other customer other customers'(about freelancers) recommendation reviews and proceed with the hiring process.

That is, companies ordering projects can check if the freelancer is a suitable talent for their needs in terms of job competence, attitude, and personality through the feedback of other companies, leading to high hiring satisfaction, and therefore a high reorder rate. 

Statistics Highlight the Importance of Word-of-Mouth

Consumers are becoming smarter:
“No more fooled by ads! I will purchase based on trustworthy information.”
Consumers no longer trust only the company’s advertisements. They want to check the opinions of friends or other customers who have experienced the product first. This can actually be confirmed through several statistics:

-92% of customers read online reviews before purchasing (Big Commerce).
-72% of customers responded that their trust in the company increased through positive reviews and evaluations (Big Commerce).
-72% of consumers will take action only after reading positive reviews (Search Engine Watch).

Many businesses have confirmed the effect of word-of-mouth:
Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool that can increase the likelihood of potential customers buying and reduce aversion to purchasing more expensive products or services.

In reality, companies have succeeded in increasing trust in their products or services by utilizing customer business recommendation reviews:

-Regular use of customer recommendations can increase revenue by about 62% (Strategic Factory).
-Customers who interact with reviews are 58% more likely to purchase (Big Commerce).
-Reviews listed on the sales page bring an average of 34% increase in conversion rates (Impact).
-Posting customer reviews with high-priced items increases the conversion rate by 380% (Power Reviews).

This reaffirms that the impact of word-of-mouth on businesses is clear. Shall we then explore specific marketing methods that IT companies can utilize?

Word-of-Mouth Marketing Techniques for IT Companies

Lastly, if an IT company wants to utilize word-of-mouth marketing, there are things to keep in mind. Even if customers have a positive impression from their customer experience with your business, they may not necessarily take action.

In that case, a company can kindly ask customers to write a review. To increase the response rate, they can offer a small reward that can be used in the next transaction.

Let me tell you some simple ways to utilize these valuable testimonials you’ve gained!

01 | Referral Programs

Homepage – Create a “Customer Review” section on the main page of your website. Again, 72% of customers responded that their trust in the company increased through positive reviews and evaluations!

Blog – For B2B companies, share customer success stories through “case studies” on your website’s blog. Providing details on how customers utilized our business’s product or service and what results they achieved helps gain the trust of other customers.

Here’s a tip: When writing a case study, structure it as a problem(current situation) → solution(method of utilization and support) → result for a convincing article.

Additionally, you can provide “inspiring content for customers”. Airbnb shares the success stories of various hosts using their service through ‘Host Stories‘. By providing useful information that aids potential customers considering hosting on the Airbnb platform, it’s a strategy to attract more hosts.

02 | Utilize Social Media

Social Networking Service

Potential customers will inevitably look up the company’s products or services through online search. If you’re a company like Elancer that operates separate social media accounts like a YouTube channel, try sharing video content with customer interviews and other useful information.

If you’ve increased traffic through word-of-mouth,
it’s now time to win over your customers, isn’t it?

In order to capture customers, your project must be solid.

Meet IT specialist freelancers at “Elancer
who can solidify your project!

Elancer is the first and largest freelance platform in Korea,
started in 2000, and it has about 390,000 domestic professional IT freelancers.

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