23 April 2018/ For CRE Professionals

3 Ways To Drive Word Of Mouth Marketing Digitally

The digital ecosystem provides scale to your marketing at a lower cost than traditional media. Word of mouth is a popular and often very effective way to promote your service. It’s a very traditional approach to promotion; however, give it a digital spin and the results from a word of mouth campaigns can be multiplied.

Share your opinions and expertise online

You don’t need to look far for examples of how powerful social media is in building (or destroying) reputations. Some global brands like Tesla were created through the reputation founders/CEOs established through digital communications. If you’re interested in examples closer to home, Monzo is a fintech startup that uses digital word of mouth really successfully.

LinkedIn - LinkedIn is an extremely useful platform if you want to build or extend your professional network. Utilising LinkedIn’s position in the professional world, you might consider publishing your own original content on the platform. It’s likely you already have a number of connections which makes it easier for the content you publish to reach a wider audience (your content might be shown to the connections of your connections).

Blog - Becoming a contributor to your corporate blog could be a good way to humanise corporate opinions/expertise. You could approach this idea by talking to your marketing team. To start, you might want to propose a list of topics you could write about. It’s likely you would need to stick to your brand guideline when writing. People are more likely to share content published by an individual (even if representing a company) than an anonymous corporate post.

Medium.com - Although mostly catering for a US-based audience, UK users follow close behind. Medium.com was set up by the co-founder of Twitter, Evan Williams. Medium.com is perceived as a platform where opinion-led pieces are most popular. You could either post original content there or repost your LinkedIn posts. Plus, the Medium.com interface features a modern UX design which makes it user-friendly.

Build up a network

Building a strong network of connections is hard to do but not impossible. Digital strategies can be a useful way of extending your network reach. You could try the following:

Sales Navigator - Sales Navigator is a paid subscription tool offered by LinkedIn. It’s a platform that allows you to prospect and qualify your potential clients. It offers messaging functionality (LinkedIn InMail). Plus, it enables users to monitor social media activities of prospects in a pipeline.

Partnerships - Partnering with a company with similar customer personas can help you raise your own profile and extend their reach (a good example could be fit-out companies partnering with agents to cross-sell their products).

Guest blogging - Showcasing your expertise by publishing guest posts on websites or blogs where the readers’ profile matches your target audience will expand your reach and help you build a reputation online. A good reputation is the fuel for a digital word of mouth strategy.

Online reviews - Allowing clients to leave online reviews seems like a B2C marketing idea. However, it doesn't need to be. Google algorithms shows a preference for the websites with online reviews. Having a higher ranking in Google will increase your online exposure.

Social media at events

Social media as an online channel can support your offline marketing efforts, such as events. Here are some examples of tactics you could deploy next:

Meetup.com/Eventbrite - Your usual event invitees are tenant agents. If, however,you want to try a slightly different approach you might incentivise them to attend with an interesting speaker. For instance, WeWork allows companies to use their event space for free in exchange for event attendees data (email addresses and the information if they are interested in WeWork offer).

Event hashtags - If you don’t do it yet, you might want to set up a unique hashtag for each event. Attendees can use this hashtag to share their experience of the event. If you can create a special experience for the event, that’s event better. Unusual things tend to attract more online shares than a bog standard event.

Digitalised event registrations and feedback - You might be doing it already, and if you do, that’s great. When checking in attendees at the registration, you could use an online form (get 2-3 tables for check-in). It’s a reliable and fast way of getting the list of attendees right. Plus after an event, always send a follow-up email thanking them for attending and including a link to a photo gallery and key information about the building. From time to time, you can send out a survey to all attendees asking how they found the event and if they have any suggestion on how to improve future events.