Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the oldest and most successful forms of promotion. This is because consumers trust each other’s opinions on what products are worth their time and money and which ones aren’t. But what exactly is word-of- mouth marketing, and why is it so important? Just to clarify, word-of-mouth marketing is the type of marketing that takes place whenever a friend tells you about a new brand of coffee they like or a great CD they just purchased. A word-of- mouth marketing strategy basically takes place any time anyone talks about your brand, refers your brand, or even criticizes your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing can be great for companies looking to promote their products and services, and it is often more effective than traditional advertising or social media marketing for a variety reasons. In fact, word-of-mouth marketing has even been regarded as the most valuable form of marketing overall. Why? Well, according to Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers believe recommendations they receive from friends and family over the advertisements seen on TV or in a magazine. Although many business professionals agree that word-of-mouth marketing is by far a more effective form of promotion than other types of marketing, very few marketing professionals can actually say that they’ve utilized this tool effectively. In the next few paragraphs I’ll supply you with all the tips you’ll need to master the art of word-of-mouth marketing. This strategy is highly effective when used correctly, and in my opinion, it is a skill that all marketers should seek to further understand. First of all, in order to promote good word-of-mouth marketing, it is important to offer your customers a service worth talking about. Offering customers excellent service will always benefit your business in the long run, but especially in realm of buzz marketing (another term commonly associated with word-of-mouth marketing). Companies should constantly strive to provide their customers with top-notch service, and word-of-mouth marketing will come on its own. However, in order to help push this process forward, it is important to have a trustworthy spokesperson for your brand. If customers trust the referral given to them by your spokesperson, they are more likely to believe that your products are decent and worth purchasing. Keeping your most loyal customers close could also potentially benefit your company’s word-of-mouth marketing. Making long-time customers feel valued and appreciated will encourage them to advocate for your brand when the time comes. This can be as easy as an anniversary card commemorating the day they became a customer, or a thank you card after every purchase and every referral. One other issue of the utmost importance is to make sure you don’t ignore your other marketing strategies in the process outside of word-of-mouth marketing. For example, using social media to interact with customers is a great way to build relationships with them. If your customers think that you are relatable and trustworthy through their online communication with your company, they will refer others to your page or even send them directly to your place of business. Lastly, I recommend sticking to your mission. If your company is perceived as inconsistent to your customers in any way, their trust may waver. Being true to the core of your mission is important in all aspects of business and especially while implementing marketing strategies. Customers are the most important contributors to your success, and the growth of your brand is fully dependent upon their satisfaction. By using these tips, your brand’s word-of-mouth marketing will succeed, and your customers will be satisfied. This in turn will only lead to more positive word-of-mouth marketing for your company. Word-of-mouth, or buzz marketing, is one of the most important strategies you can utilize to improve awareness of your products and services. Learning more about these topics is imperative as a businessperson looking to succeed in the marketing world. I hope these few short tips are helpful reminders to better engage with your customers and enhance word-of-mouth marketing strategies overall. What suggestions do you have for improving word-of-mouth marketing? Please share below.