The art of word-of-mouth marketing has transcended time and technology, remaining a potent tool for business growth. There is immense value in positive patient experiences shared among friends, family, and communities. Check out how to effectively use word-of-mouth marketing to propel your physical therapy practice to new heights. It’s the low-hanging fruit you don’t want to miss out on. Of course, marketing can support this — and if you have questions there, we can help.
If you have started a company or have an existing business with ambitions of growth, you need customers. That includes both new and existing customers and with ever-increasing distractions, it is an endless task to stay top of mind with your customers. Marketing is the tool that helps keep those customers coming, and, in my opinion, word-of-mouth is the king of them all.
Word-of-mouth marketing has been around for a long time, but it often comes in many forms. I grew my last business to $230 million and didn’t spend a dime on marketing for the first five years of growth. Understanding the various types of word-of-mouth marketing and how to tap into them will help you better utilize tools as well as help your customers help you grow.
The Original Word Of Mouth
Once upon a time, we were hunter-gatherers, and if we came across something life-threatening, then yelling at everyone else was a very effective way to market such dangers. Now, we do it at kids’ soccer games, barbecues or even standing in line at the post office. What we say to others matters. Whether it is bad or praise, it comes off as a personalized recommendation or point of caution.
We do it in almost every conversation we have. Discussions like where to eat, favorite park, favorite cheese—all of these are our preferences that we share with others. Sometimes we share it directly with someone we’re talking to, but oftentimes it is conversations that are overheard. The overheard conversations are where word-of-mouth marketing takes on a new ability to reach so many.
Digital Word Of Mouth
Social media has changed the way we talk to our friends, family, neighbors and the world. It has made the world a much smaller place. We can easily send direct messages, but instead, we share a video or picture, and the world is able to see it and thus listen in on our conversations.
This is what powers the social media marketing industry. These conversations that are open to the public are integrated with various advertising, and thus we trudge through the advertising to follow the conversations and updates.
In fact, it seems one of the most popular forms of social media marketing is “boosting” posts, so they are more often in our feed than otherwise. Of course, we can spot these advertisements, so we skip through them.
However, I believe the most powerful advertising we often don’t catch on to is when the shared post or video is a recommendation. My son and daughter now send me many videos via text message of their favorite videos that never cease to make me laugh. Those videos themselves often share a brand or idea, which is marketing.
Utilizing Word Of Mouth For Your Business
Getting your customers to talk about your business isn’t easy, but it can come from a number of methods. You could make the best product on the market, which is so superior that people want to just talk about it randomly to their friends. In my own experience, that is rare and would most likely require your product to be the elixir of life.
Short of immortality, you can also do something spectacular that makes your business stand out from the crowd. If you gave every customer a car or built a rocket to Mars, then I guarantee they won’t forget you. This, however, can be expensive and require a lot more effort than it’s worth. Shy of creating a publicity stunt, let’s look at options that might have some middle ground.
This means you still need to provide a great service or product paired with customer service as the baseline. This prevents customers from wanting to do or say anything negative, so your efforts will tend towards a positive trajectory. So the real work is around having something that is easily accessible for customers to then share with friends and family.
In the digital world, this is referred to as content and comes in many forms. It can be a video, picture, phrase or business name. If you produce it, then it gets expensive, and it’s difficult as it will be biased. Your “brand” will always be what you want it to be and not necessarily what it is to the various customers that want to share it. An example of this is an outdoor burger store that the business owner feels has the best burger in the world, but to most people, it is just average, and really why they go there is that they can bring their dog. Chances are, many of their friends also have dogs and would love to be customers knowing they can bring along their furry friend.
The uniqueness of word-of-mouth marketing is that it has to be authentic. Customers who like your business are happy to help spread the word if given the right incentives. A great way to incentivize local customers to help create and share content is by holding contests or giveaways that have prizes for the best ad created. You could also work with local micro-influencers who can create lots of content that can be shared both in their network and with others.
The benefits of both of these methods are that they create a variety of content from the customer’s point of view. Additionally, micro-creators who only have a handful of followers are looking for quick ways to make money, and they have followers who actually live within your business’s local area.
Many companies try to control their “brand” and, unfortunately, miss out on many opportunities to utilize customers’ word-of-mouth marketing. Instead, they spend a fortune advertising their biased view of their company. Allowing customers to create varying content from their perspective makes marketing simple, affordable and most importantly, effective. This is how word-of-mouth marketing can help in driving new customers and helping your business grow.
Transform your physical therapy practice with our effective physical therapy marketing solutions. Elevate your reach, reputation, and impact with Perform Practice Solutions. Schedule an appointment today at (833) 764-0178 and visit our IG @performpracticesolutions