5 Ways to Engage With Word-Of-Mouth

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This post is based on information in our “Build & Evangelize Your Community With Word-Of-Mouth Marketing.”

Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) comprises traditional media relations, engagement with audiences through social, influencer relations and customer evangelist programs.

A brand doesn’t have to undertake all of those. So which are the best tactics for you? It depends on your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Once you determine those, you can choose the most appropriate tactics from the five below.

1. Triggers

Has a brand ever surprised you in such a kooky way that you just had to tell someone. You were the target of trigger marketing, which can come in the form of ads, branded content and live events.

Southwest Airlines excels at creating triggers. Passengers irked about a delayed flight will find themselves playing a silly game with gate attendants. They’ve also presented the passenger with the oldest coin or the most broken down briefcase a gift card.

Though these occurred offline, they’re textbook examples of triggers that lead to successful WOMM. Instead of just discussing their trip, flyers can’t resist talking about their travel.

2. Grassroots

Grassroots marketing can come in the form of a letter to your local news outlet, arranging volunteers for local outreach or many other things. One thing all grassroots marketing campaigns have, though, is an extremely engaged and hyperlocal community.

Lots of organizations from political campaigns to indie musicians to big brands use grassroots communication. What makes grassroots marketing successful is a compelling story, a unique service and, of course, a loyal following.

3. User-Generated Content

A photo posted by YETI Coolers (@yeticoolers) on


User-generated content is content that your audience creates. Often, people share photos and reviews they’ve created about your brand online. It’s powerful because it’s organic. The best part? You can harness the power by cultivating it.

Forrester’s “User-Generated Content’s Impact on Brand Building” study determined that the key to cultivating this type of content:

Consumers trust content from their peers more than any other form of marketing communication. Harnessing UGC’s storytelling power can help build brand trust and ultimately a deeper, emotional connection to the brand.

YETI Coolers launched its #BuiltForTheWild campaign, which asked customers to show themselves using their product when they go hiking, climbing or any other adventure.

“(The goal is to) make an aspirational connection between the features of our products and the lifestyle that is so important to our customers,” says Sara Kenton, YETI Coolers’ director of e-commerce and online marketing. “By offering a storytelling platform for our passionate consumers, we’re constantly sharing impactful, authentic stories that justify the investment in our products.”

4. Social

Social is a tack-on medium, meaning that it can enhance just about any marketing tactic. However, it can also serve as a primary means of furthering your brand awareness goals. Contests are a great example.

Social works well, but you need to truly understand what motivates your audience. A contest won’t work if your audience doesn’t value the prize more than whatever they’re being asked to do.

5. Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing jumped to our collective consciousness thanks to Oreo’s famous “dunk in the dark” tweet during the Super Bowl.

Oreo capitalized on a piece of current news, a blackout during the game, to get people to engage with its brand and share their tweet with their networks. Real-time marketing can also leverage trends.

When done perfectly, real-time marketing makes your brand apart of the story as it unfolds…just ask Oreo.

Want more word-of-mouth marketing tactics? Get our free white paper now!

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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