In a time when branded content is continuously given less importance in search and social feeds, it can be difficult to find fresh ways to show-off your company’s products or services. You know that video is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the age of social media, but how can you get your customers to create it or share it with their family, friends, and followers? The answer: word-of-mouth marketing.

Word-of-mouth marketing is by far one of the most effective ways to raise brand awareness. According to CMO, word-of-mouth marketing drives a whopping $6 trillion of annual consumer spending. AdAge also reported that 20% – 50% of purchases are the result of a word-of-mouth recommendation.

Thanks to social media’s wide acceptance of video content, it can be quite easy for your brand to get your customers to do your marketing for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Encouraging Customer-Generated Content

A Nielsen report revealed that 68% of consumers trust online opinions from others and place online opinions as one of their top three most trusted sources of product information. Customer-generated reviews, posts, and even videos can help promote your brand far better than any paid advertising.

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You can incentivize customers to share videos on social media and use unique hashtags to identify customer-generated content. Remember, when crowdsourcing content from your followers, you’re much more likely to get them to participate if you keep things as simple as possible. If you’re running a customer-generated video campaign, be sure it involves low barriers to entry, and you’re open to accepting all forms of creativity. Your followers are much more likely to participate if they can let their personal creativity flow!

Building Relationships with Influencers

Online influencers can have a big impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions and can rapidly spread the word about a product or service. According to The Content Marketing Institute, brands that leverage social influencers to spread their message can see up to a 10X increase in conversion rates.

In order to build relationships with influencers, you need to have a good reason to reach out. You’ll want to target influencers in your niche who write about and share similar content. For example, SnackCrate, a monthly subscription box service featuring foods from around the world, is a good match for YouTube influencers who have posted fun product review videos in the past. Because their monthly boxes are filled mostly with candy and snack foods, they tend to appeal to influencers with a younger audience on YouTube and Instagram. Here’s one video review example from social influencer, Maddie Welborn, who has 63K+ YouTube subscribers.

Gathering Customer Testimonials

Customer testimonials are the last powerful word-of-mouth marketing tool we’re going to discuss. And while text-based testimonials may be more common, they often fail to establish the same genuine, personal connection that a video can create. Video testimonials can not only show how your customers benefited from your product or service, but they can also increase your brand credibility with your customers’ friends, family, and followers.

When requesting a video review from a customer, or deciding on a video testimonial to share, the key thing to look out for is if the video feels genuine. If there is even the slightest suspension the testimonial was pre-rehearsed, or someone is recording it as a favor, it will instantly come across as fake to any potential customers who are watching.

Rather than working from a script, allow your customers to speak about their true personal experiences with your brand. Have them share a specific story or encounter with your brand – such as how they found you, why they chose you over a competitor, or how they use your product or service on a daily basis.

TYME, a brand that sells products to curl hair, is a great example of a brand that uses customer testimonial videos to demonstrate their products. The videos show TYME products being used by all different customers with all different hair types and styles. In a short clip, their Facebook audience can quickly see real examples of results they can achieve. Here’s an example of one customer testimonial video posted on the brand’s Facebook page.

 

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Posted by TYME on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

 

Video allows your customers to tell stories about your brand that are personal, shareable, and most importantly – authentic. Thanks to the numerous social video tools that now exist, there are now many creative ways you can get your audience engaged in word-of-mouth marketing and get them talking about your brand.