“Nothing is better than making something so good that users spontaneously recommend it to others” – Paul Graham
Traditional advertising is going through an existential crisis as consumer trust in ads is hitting all-time lows. According to American Association of Advertising Agencies, 96% users don’t trust ads anymore. The all-important question for businesses, then, is: who do consumers trust? Answer: each other. According to Nielsen, 83% people trust recommendations of friends and family. Humans are wired to trust items, services and products that are validated and approved by social proof. The power of social proof is exactly what makes word of mouth marketing so strong.
Think about all the famous online companies and services that have disrupted several industries over the past decade. Amazon (shopping), Glassdoor (workplace reviews), Yelp (restaurant reviews), Good Reads (book reviews), Facebook businesses, Google Reviews, Foursquare (places to visit recommendations), Trip Advisor (travel), Upwork (employment) and the list goes on. All of these services are based on word of mouth. People always trust genuine reviews, recommendations, real-life experiences and advice from humans.
Heck, Amazon even started a special physical store selling all products that have 4 stars and above on its online shopping platform. Let’s dive deeper into some more details and see whether word of mouth marketing could actually work for your mobile app.
In this article/
- App reviews
- Recommendations from family and friends
- User app recommendations
- The power of online WOM
- Marketing executives believe WOM works
Word of mouth is decisive when it comes to mobile app marketing. According to a study, over 56% of users read ratings and reviews before downloading an app. User reviews can make or break your app. Google and Apple Play Stores favor those apps that are of high quality. And how do they gauge quality? User reviews and ratings. Therefore, word of mouth always works for mobile apps. Just focus on fulfilling the core needs of your audience. If your product is strong, you don’t have to worry about marketing.
Recommendations from Friends and Family Always Have an Impact
According to a study, over 90% of people are more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by their friend. The reason behind this startling fact is simple: people are risk-averse by nature. When a friend or a family member recommends a service or suggests a product that solved their problem, we are prone to buy it instead of taking risks by trying something totally new or going against the tide. The same study shows that word of mouth impressions also result in 5 times more sales as compared to paid ad impressions.
Users Will Always Recommend Your App If They Like It (Or Advise Against It If They Hate It)
Word of mouth marketing also works because humans keep recommending stuff to each other. Once you build an app or a product that works or solves a problem, you give rise to a never-ending marketing spiral that keeps working for you automatically. Research found 83% of respondents having made a recommendation to a friend or family member, while 55% said they make a recommendation at least once a month. This trend is even more common amongst younger consumers, with 77% making recommendations to their friends or family once a month.
That’s why marketing guru Seth Godin talks about the power of word of mouth marketing by saying, “Being known by lots of people isn’t really the goal; it’s a by-product of certain kinds of marketing for certain kinds of products. What you’re really seeking is to be trusted, to be heard, to be talked about and to matter”
The Power of Online Word of Mouth
When it comes to mobile apps, the word of mouth marketing expands beyond personal, real-life connections to online reviews written by actual users. If your app is good and actually delivers what it promises, people will not only recommend it to their friends and family, their reviews will also impact thousands worldwide. According to a detailed study by BrightLocal, over 88% of users trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Up to 85% of respondents in the same study said they read close to 10 reviews before making up their minds about a local business or product. Over 72% of consumers said positive reviews increase their trust in a brand or local business.
Marketing Execs Believe Word of Mouth Works
Marketing juggernauts are coming to terms with the importance of word of mouth marketing all around the world. In a study, about 64% of marketing executives said they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing, even more than social media marketing. However, only 6% of these executives think they have mastered the art of word of mouth marketing. That’s because traditional marketing practices focused more on amassing numbers instead of connecting with your audience. That is set to change as companies understand the importance of focusing more on their product instead of marketing.
Now that we know the power of word of mouth marketing in terms of statistics, let’s see this form of marketing in action.
Examples of Word Of Mouth Marketing
Krispy Kreme is one of the best examples of how companies could achieve success without spending a dime on marketing. For over 70 years, Krispy Kreme has relied solely on its product: tasty doughnuts. The rest is taken care of by loyal customers. The company has over 7 million fans on Facebook and thousands of excellent reviews. The company’s chief marketing officer says, “Everybody at the stores is a marketer.”
Famous hot sauce company Siracha sells over 20 million bottles of its flagship sauce annually. Big restaurants like P.F. Chang offer Siracha-flavored dishes in their menus. Bon Appétit magazine declared the sauce its ingredient of the year back in 2010, while Cook’s Illustrated called it the best-tasting hot sauce in 2012. Lays chips offers a special flavor based on Siracha sauce.
All of this despite the fact that in its lifetime of 33 years Siracha never hired a single salesperson or spent a penny on ads. All of its advertising is based on word of mouth.
”I don’t advertise, because I can’t advertise,” said Siracha CEO, David Tran.
Atlassian is an Australian software company with a market cap of over $35 billion. The company is famous for its project management tool Jira. The company has an annual revenue of $320 million.
And yet Atlassian operates without a sales team. Atlassian relied totally on word of mouth marketing in its initial days. It focused on its product and spent every dollar to make it more interesting and useful for customers. As a result, its initial users became its enthusiastic marketers.
Dropbox is a pioneer in Cloud storage solutions. The company is now public, having a market cap of over $8 billion. In its initial days, Dropbox leveraged the power of word of mouth marketing by offering 500 MB of free space to its new customers and users who referred them. Linking an incentive with referrals along with a strong product boosts the chances of your users recommending your product to their friends and family.
Want to Implement Word of Mouth Marketing For Your Mobile App?
If you are interested in finding ways to use word of mouth marketing for your mobile app, check our article mentioning some excellent ways to grow your app without a marketing budget.