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How to shortcut word of mouth marketing success

word-of-mouth-marketing-influencers-1Word of mouth is the holy grail of viral marketing because its hard to come by, right?  Wrong.

Word of mouth is the easiest form of marketing available.  Everyday your prospective customers are talking to each other about brands, products, and services.

The problem is that they aren’t talking about yours.  Well today’s your lucky day. I’m going to provide you a surefire shortcut to solve this problem using one simple (yet overlooked) digital marketing technique.

We all know that word of mouth is about influence.  So why do we spend so little time cultivating the influencers in our niche?  Take a look at this chart below from eMarkter.com:

word-of-mouth-marketing-influencers

The Missed Opportunity

As you can see, Fortune 1,000 companies are only spending 6% of the 10% advertising budget used on social media on influencer marketing.  Some also include the 6% spent on blog advertising as influencer marketing as well, and call it 12% of the 10%.  Even with this assumption, this is still barely 1% of the total advertising budget.

This is a huge mistake that you don’t have to make.

Influencers are real people.  Real people that talk to other real people. A whole lot of other real people.

Studies show that 1% of the people on social media create more that half of all content.   50% of that content then come from celebrities and the “internet famous” folks.

Who Cares if 90% of Word of Mouth Happens Offline

Many “experts” write off this data as non-critical by citing recent reports that suggest that 90 percent of word-of-mouth happens offline.

However, what these so called experts fail to mention is that according to Pew’s biennial study of news consumption, 50% of all americans get their news digitally.  In addition, adults who have smartphones are more than twice as likely to regularly get their news from social networking sites, email, or blogs exclusively.

This tells us that it doesn’t matter not one iota if 90% of word of mouth conversations happen offline. The vast majority of the time, the topics of conversations are coming from online sources.

Engage Influencers in Your Niche

With that said, the simple digital marketing technique to shortcut word of mouth marketing success is to engage the influencers in your niche.

Depending on the demographics of your niche (gen x vs. millennials vs. baby boomers), this could be the only digital marketing technique you will ever need.

Surveys show that blogs are the #1 place for influencers to engage with their audience.  In addition, according to Technorati’s 2013 digital influencer report, blogs influence almost 1/3 of all internet purchasing decisions, beating every single social network including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

A Simple Recommendation

As a result, my recommendation is simple.  Find the top influencers in your niche with the most active blogs and find a way to get your brand included in that influencer’s conversation.

In part II of this post titled 21 techniques to influence the marketing influencers, I provide you some ideas on the best way to do both of these things: Find top influencer blogs and become part of their conversation.

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