NOTE: This is a re-print of an article that Nancy Beth Guptill wrote from November 2007
Who ever said you need a multi-million dollar advertising budget to create brand awareness? Today, marketers can successfully generate high reach and frequency on a shoe string budget that motivates literally millions of people through combining the use of Word of Mouth Marketing, Social Media and Viral Marketing. Besides, consumers are tired of being inundated with over 1000 marketing messages per day.
They are exhausted from trying to keep up with the zing and bling of traditional media hype. To alleviate themselves from the confusion, they are turning to what they believe to be the most reliable and trusted information source – people within their own social networks.
A 2004 Forrester/Inteliseek study found that recommendations from others and consumer opinions posted online outranked traditional media on the trust scale. Further research indicates the human voice and human contact are the most powerful communication tools we have. That being said, small businesses must learn how to combine and harness the power of Word of Mouth Marketing, Social Media and Viral Marketing.
Word of Mouth Marketing is giving people reasons to talk about products and services, while making it easier for those conversations to take place. WOMM is the most honest form of marketing building upon people’s natural desires to share their experiences with family, friends, and colleagues.
Social Media Marketing provides people with the tools that give them a voice so they can share their opinions, tell their stories and make recommendations to others. These tools include: email, blogs, video logs, photo sharing, podcasts, and discussion boards. Social media tools uses the wisdom of the crowds to connect information in a collaborative manner, making it easier to create and distribute content while discussing the things people care about most.
Viral Marketing is really “Network enhanced” word of mouth. It is a marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message voluntarily. It is a marketing technique that uses pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness. It can be word of mouth marketing delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the internet.
So if you are a small business, or any business for that matter, if you haven't started using these no-cost marketing tools, now is the perfect time.
You do not need a multi-million dollar advertising budget ... you can successfully achieve great marketing objectives on a shoe string budget by combining the use of Word of Mouth Marketing, Social Media and Viral Marketing.