Industry Insights

What Does It Take to Create Word of Mouth Advertising?

Getting your customers to talk about a product or experience is what every business hopes for. At the end of the day, you can spend hundreds on marketing strategies and advertising on every media there is, but nothing will be as effective as having one customer tell a friend or two about something they love.

But the problem is, and always has been, how do you create word of mouth advertising? By nature, word of mouth is meant to be organic – something that comes from a truly unique experience. However, it is possible to generate natural friend-to-friend sharing.

The key is to do something unique, consistent, and honest. Add something to your business or product that no one else can offer – something different – and soon you will have all the best reviews in your area and enough word of mouth buzzing around for everyone to hear about you.

Show Customers You Walk the Walk

What is the hardest part about running a business? Is it creating a budget? Perhaps you have trouble thinking strategically? Or maybe you are reading this blog because you have trouble creating a solid marketing plan.

Ultimately, the most important part of a business is the hardest part that people often do not consider: creating a unique experience. Your business might be great at all the above, including financing, planning, and marketing. It could be the be the best choice for what you do, but you will still struggle to find new leads until you show your customers that you won’t just talk the talk. You can walk the walk too.

That means showing them a business experience they haven’t had before. What that means will vary depending on what you do, but a start is to sit down and consider any aspect of your business that is different within your industry. Some starting points to consider could be: Do you have an add-on service you provide for free? Is there a contest you could run each month that people would enjoy?

However you choose to show you are different, make sure to advertise that aspect of your business. Once a few interested people share that experience, they may start doing the advertising for you.

Use Social Media To Trigger Word of Mouth

How you use social media will always be unique to your business simply because it is your space to talk to customers. There are many debates on the best way to use social media though, and many experts tell us that it is best to create different content for different social platforms.

For many small business owners, however, you may only be on one social platform that needs to serve as your main point of contact with your customers. So what is the best use of your social media time then?

The answer is easy. Simply put, the best use of social media is sharing. Once you figure out what can make your service or product truly, 100% unique, use your marketing time to promote that difference.

For example, if you work at a cell phone repair company, maybe you can offer your customers a free clean up of their device. That probably won’t take very long in most cases, but you can be sure your customer will leave smiling. So before they head out the door, ask if they would be willing to take a selfie with you for the company’s social media.

Chances are, they will be delighted – and so will each of the friends they share the experience with.

What is an Effective Talk Trigger?

A talk trigger, as Jay Baer describes it, is an exceptional experience that inspires conversation about your brand, just like in the example above. These talk triggers do exactly what it sounds like they would by generating discussion surrounding your company due to a perceived difference between you and your competitors.

This is a fancy way of talking about word of mouth advertising, giving a name to the missing key that many businesses are trying to find. Jay discusses the “4-5-6” of talk triggers, meaning there are 4 key requirements (the 4 R’s) a talk trigger can have; 5 types of talk triggers; and 6 steps to creating a worthy talk trigger.

The 4 R’s of talk triggers are as follows: every talk trigger must be remarkable, repeatable, realistic, and relevant. In short, that means don’t try to shoot for the moon when you sit down to brainstorm a talk trigger. While being unique, keep it simple and make sure it’s something that won’t hurt your business if you do it frequently.

3 Tips for Creating Memorable Talk Triggers

Your next question about this seemingly easy – but actually quite tricky – method of marketing is probably still, “So…how do I create a talk trigger and get word of mouth advertising?”

In the next few sections, I will walk you through three tips to help guide you to your talk trigger. Each of these sections relates to how you interact with your customer. While you are looking to receive something good out of this exchange, it is important to remember that the end goal is truly just making each and every customer as happy as possible.

Keep this in mind as you continue reading and researching word of mouth advertising. For something that sounds very simple, it’s truly much more difficult than we realize at the beginning of our marketing journeys.

Show Customers How Much You Care

Our first tip starts out simple: just show your customers that you care about them, their well being, and their happiness.

You may be thinking, “Well, of course I care about their happiness. If they aren’t happy, my business won’t be happy.” And that is certainly true. However, if your aim is to create a talk trigger, you want to do more than make them happy.

You want to relieve some sort of pressure from their lives with your care. To use our example from before with a cell phone repair store, offering a tech clean up service with a repair leaves your customer with peace of mind. This action goes the extra mile for the customer so that they leave thinking, “Wow, they really did not have to do that, but now I know they are looking out for me.”

Now that customer fully trusts the repair shop to have their back, to watch out for them. They will go home, tell their friends about the service, maybe even leave a review on Yelp – all because you took one extra step to show you care.

Make Your Customer Feel Special and Unique

At the end of the day, marketing is all about your audience. That is why every time you start to Google something like, “How to build a social media following,” the first step in each and every article you find is “Know Your Audience.”

That is the first step here too. In order to make your customer feel special and unique, you will need to know them. Understand what they want and what gives them joy. Once you make this first step toward acknowledging the needs of your customers, it will be that much easier to take action toward making them feel special.

If it isn’t too much work, you might be able to come up with a couple talk trigger options that can vary based on the individual customer’s needs.

If you do work in a tech repair shop, you probably know of something many folks need more than a data clean up. If you are able, you could make your customers feel extra unique by offering them the small extra service they didn’t know they needed, based on their individualized recommendations from you.

Tailor Talk Triggers to Your Industry

Finally, the last tip for creating a talk trigger and generating word of mouth is to tailor what you offer to your industry. Any business can offer a two for one coupon or a 10% discount. Offering one of those options won’t make any customer feel special. In fact, they may just throw the coupon away.

Instead, create an offer that other industries can’t offer and that no one in your local industry has thought of yet. By taking this extra step and coming up with something special, you will be locking in loyal customers for years to come.

You won’t just gain customer loyalty though. With these tactics, you will even earn some new customers with that tricky word of mouth advertising method we have been talking about here.

Learn More From Jay Baer

You can learn more from Jay about talk triggers and plenty of other marketing-related topics at His digital marketing advice firm, Convince and Convert, also hosts plenty of podcasts, eBooks, webinars, and blog posts from Jay.

Watch for Jay’s new book about the power of word of mouth advertising and how you can use the 4-5-6 secret to talk triggers too.


David Reimherr

David Reimherr

David brings 20 years of sales, marketing, strategy & branding experience to the table. He is the founder of Magnificent Marketing which specializes in content marketing, video marketing & social media advertising (e-commerce, lead-gen, strategic content distribution) and is a lover of marketing, dogs and life!


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