With the steady rise in digital technologies, combining traditional marketing practices with modern technology has given rise to digital marketing. Digital word of mouth marketing has come about as an all-inclusive marketing strategy that not only focuses on marketing on social media but also takes other forms of online communications such as blogs, online forums, and discussions.
Word-of-mouth marketing is a tried-and-tested method of marketing that has been successful for over centuries. The basic premise is when customers experience a satisfactory service from a business, they spread the word about the quality of service. Through this and other such oral referrals, new leads were generated which were followed upon. While the ways of communication have changed significantly since the ancient days, the concept of word-of-mouth remains powerful enough to be relevant even today. This is doubly true for businesses in the hospitality sector.
Customers today have access to unlimited information via the internet. In this digital age where information is everything, consumers find it difficult to trust all sources of information. They usually focus on trusted sources such as communities they are members of, online information shared by their friends and families, and content written or shared by their favorite writers and social media personalities. This is where digital-word-of-mouth comes in. This not only goes true for product or brand recommendations but also hotels and restaurants. Since consumers naturally engage more with their friends and peers, it makes sense to utilize this connection in order to generate more leads.
Initially, word of mouth was spread at social gatherings, on phone-calls and other platforms. Today with social media, word-of-mouth has come into the public domain with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. These channels are used continuously to share opinions about brands and businesses along with reviews, problems with services and responses.
Advantages of Digital-word-of-mouth
One of the most obvious advantages of digital-word-of-mouth is that it is relatively free. It is also one of the most trusted sources of marketing as consumers are more likely to accept digital-word-of-mouth coming from personally reliable sources. Added to this, social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are more easily accessible to consumers and businesses alike when compared with independently operated forums or company-owned platforms. Digital-word-of-mouth also shows to the consumer that the business by being available on public domain is actually willing to have a personal conversation or interaction with all its consumers. This creates a positive brand image and helps in building brand reputation.
Digital-word-of-mouth, other than being an extremely effective marketing tool also helps in creating a space for healthy discussions about what the consumers want from their product and the changes or improvements they expect in the services. It is also effective for exchanging views and opinions in-between customers regarding their trusted brands, products, and services. It also allows immediate collection of feedback and response, showing the consumers that the business is always ready to serve them irrespective of time or location.