How to Make Your Product or Service Go Viral: Strategies for Building Word of Mouth

In today’s digital age, the success of a product or service often hinges on its ability to be talked about and shared. Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful forms of marketing, and understanding how to harness it can set your business apart. Here are key strategies to make your product or service worth spreading.

Understand the Power of Social Influence

People are heavily influenced by the opinions and behaviors of others. When developing your product or service, consider how it can serve as a status symbol or a way for individuals to express their identity. Products that make users look good or feel special are more likely to be shared. Think about how luxury brands, tech gadgets, or exclusive services create an aura of desirability. By positioning your product as something that enhances a person’s social standing, you encourage them to talk about it.

Create Memorable and Emotional Experiences

Humans are emotional beings, and products or services that evoke strong emotions are more likely to be shared. Whether it’s joy, surprise, or even anger, tapping into emotions can make your offering memorable. For instance, a touching advertising campaign, a delightful unboxing experience, or a service that resolves a frustrating problem can create a lasting impact. Emotional connections are the fuel that drives word of mouth, as people naturally want to share experiences that moved them.

Leverage the Power of Stories

Stories are a fundamental part of human communication. They help us make sense of the world and share information in a way that’s engaging and easy to remember. Craft a compelling narrative around your product or service. This could be the story of how your company was founded, a customer success story, or the innovative process behind your product’s creation. A well-told story makes your product more relatable and shareable, turning users into storytellers.

Make Your Product Visible and Easy to Share

Products that are publicly visible are more likely to be talked about. Design your product or service in a way that it’s naturally exposed to others. For example, branded merchandise, distinctive packaging, or features that encourage social sharing can increase visibility. If people can see others using and enjoying your product, they are more likely to be curious and want to try it themselves.

Provide Practical Value

People love sharing things that offer practical value. This could be in the form of useful information, tips, or a product that solves a common problem. By highlighting the practical benefits of your offering, you give customers a reason to talk about it. Educational content, how-to guides, and product demonstrations can showcase this value and encourage sharing. The key is to make your product so useful that people feel compelled to tell others about it.

Timing and Context Matter

Understanding when and where people are most likely to talk about your product is crucial. Aligning your marketing efforts with relevant events, seasons, or trends can amplify your message. For example, launching a fitness product at the beginning of the year when people are making resolutions can increase its likelihood of being talked about. Similarly, aligning your product with cultural moments or trending topics can make it more relevant and shareable.

Encourage User-Generated Content

Involve your customers in the promotion of your product. Encourage them to create and share their own content related to your product or service. This could be through social media contests, hashtag campaigns, or simply by creating a product that’s so enjoyable people naturally want to share their experiences. User-generated content not only increases visibility but also adds an authentic touch to your marketing.

Ensure Quality and Consistency

Ultimately, no amount of clever marketing can make up for a product that doesn’t deliver on its promises. Ensuring high quality and consistent performance is essential for generating positive word of mouth. Satisfied customers are more likely to become advocates for your brand, while negative experiences can quickly spread and damage your reputation. Focus on delivering exceptional value and customer service to create loyal customers who are eager to spread the word.

Be Responsive and Engage with Your Audience

Engaging with your audience builds a sense of community and loyalty. Responding to customer feedback, addressing concerns, and showing appreciation for their support can turn customers into brand advocates. Social media provides an excellent platform for this engagement, allowing you to interact with your audience in real-time and amplify positive word of mouth.

Use Influencers and Advocates

Partnering with influencers or advocates who already have a strong following can help spread the word about your product or service. These individuals can reach a wider audience and lend credibility to your brand. Choose influencers whose values align with your brand and who have a genuine connection to your product. Authentic endorsements from trusted figures can significantly boost your word-of-mouth marketing efforts.

To Summarise

Creating a product or service worth spreading through word of mouth involves understanding human psychology and leveraging social dynamics. By focusing on social influence, emotional engagement, storytelling, visibility, practical value, timing, user-generated content, quality, engagement, and influencer partnerships, you can build a powerful word-of-mouth marketing strategy. In an age where digital chatter can make or break a product, these strategies can help ensure your offering gets the attention and sharing it deserves.

A great resource for learning more about these topics is the book Contagious Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age.

Let Cognite help you to clarify your message, creating a brand that’s worth talking about.
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