Anyone in business knows that marketing is a key ingredient in selling the products you make and the services you deliver. If people never hear about the things you sell then, chances are, they won't buy them.
But what kind of marketing works best? According to a Nielsen survey, 92 percent of Americans trust recommendations from friends and family more than they trust other forms of marketing. Long story short, word-of-mouth marketing works better than anything else you can do.
So isn't that where you should focus your marketing efforts?
In his book Fizz: Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth, marketing expert Ted Wright answers that questions with a definitive YES! According to Wright, the secret is to create a "talkable" brand story--one that influencers will want to share with others they know. When you give those influencers a great story to share, then you'll be well on your way to a successful word-of-mouth marketing campaign.
Here are the three qualities of a talkable brand story.
1. Make it relevant
For a story to gain word-of-mouth momentum, it has to be connected in some way to the people who are doing the talking.
2. Make it interesting
While there are all sorts of ways to make your brand story interesting, two are particularly effective. First, does your story make people go, "hmmmm?" That is, do they make people stop what they're doing to consider it? If so, you're on the right track. If not, then try again. Second, does your story present news? People pay attention to information that is new and noteworthy to them. If you can provide people with real news, they will stop and pay attention.
3. Make it authentic
Your brand story must match what consumers already think about your company, its products and services, and its values. If it doesn't pass the smell test, then try again.
Bonus: The Brunch Test
Once you've got a brand story that you think meets all three of these criteria--relevant, interesting, and authentic--then invite some friends to brunch and try it out on them. Are your friends engaged and excited to hear what you've got to tell them, or are you putting them to sleep? If you've got their interest, then you just might be ready to try your message out on the general public.