Why WOMM is as integral to online as it is to offline strategies

By our News Team | 2022

A growing emphasis is being placed on the importance of word-of-mouth marketing online as a primary component of e-commerce success.

Word-of-mouth marketing – often simply referred to as WOMM – has been integral to many offline marketing strategies for years. But, in the rapidly evolving world of online marketing, WOMM is also changing to remain relevant.

“It’s not that WOMM requires a comeback; it’s that it is already here – it always has been – only that now it shares its voice with an online buzz and has reshaped itself to be stronger, bolder, quicker and more impactful in the online amphitheatre,” says Pieter Groenewald, CEO of Africa-based media and communication agency, Nfinity.

“In a world that increasingly leans towards digital, automation, tools, views and clicks, we’re seeing growing emphasis placed on the importance of word-of-mouth marketing online as a primary component of e-commerce success.”

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Image by Dandelion_Tea from Pixabay

According to Groenewald, there are three key factors as to why word-of-mouth marketing – both online and offline – remains an avenue well worth investing in.

The Age of Influence

Traditionally, the power of word-of-mouth marketing has been believed to belong firmly in the realm of celebrity. The mistaken perception is that millions of followers mean best ‘bang- for-your-buck’ when partnering with people to spread the word about your product or service.

But there’s increasing evidence to demonstrate that this is not the case. Currently, we’re seeing a larger band of potential word-of-mouth ‘advertisees’, which means more people are putting their degree of influence – both big and small – to work, sharing recommendations and tips to the benefit of the brands they work with. 

It’s also worth noting that brands now tend to utilise micro-influencers and nano-influencers more regularly than celebrities and mega-influencers – and for good reason, since their content receives higher engagement, which arguably delivers a more meaningful ROI at the end of the day.

Power to the People

Long gone are the days when creative careers were limited to those who were fortunate – and funded – enough to make a name for themselves on the big screens or sports fields. Now, we’re seeing ordinary people amass millions of followers through the combination of natural talent, creative flair and dynamic tech platforms engineered to facilitate the widespread consumption of entertaining content. 

Accessible platforms that empower users to craft unique content are producing an entirely new generation of entrepreneurs (with big and small audiences) who put their time online to work earning money in ways we’ve never seen before.

The Power of Trust 

There’s no denying that the Internet of Things has rapidly become a space in which an array of mixed-quality (and often terribly poor quality) information is available with just a few clicks. 

To this end, people with smaller, more engaged online communities tend to have a higher degree of trustworthiness in the eyes of their friends, family and followers. In the world of word-of-mouth marketing, that trust is gold – and that’s why brands are moving towards building relationships with real people, who lend their own authenticity and credibility to the brand as well.