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Home Blog 20 Powerful Word of Mouth Marketing Statistics [2020 Update]

20 Powerful Word of Mouth Marketing Statistics [2020 Update]

by Darko

What is word of mouth marketing? What is amplified word of mouth? What are the types of word of mouth marketing? 

We have all the answers to these questions and more. Are you ready to discover word of mouth marketing statistics that will change the way you do business? 

To whet your appetite, here are 8 of the most fascinating word of mouth marketing statistics 2019 revealed.

Fascinating Word of Mouth Marketing Stats and Facts

  • 92% of all people trust a word of mouth recommendation over any other kind of marketing.
  • A staggering 85% of small businesses are discovered by new customers thanks to word of mouth recommendations. 
  • Positive word of mouth occurs 3x as often as negative word of mouth.
  • 54% of consumers share their negative experience with more than 5 people.  
  • Positive word-of-mouth increases the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by 54%.
  • 74% of consumers count word of mouth as a key decider in their purchasing decisions. 
  • 19% of a business’ reviews can be found on Facebook.

General Word of Mouth Marketing Statistics

Many people ask the same question: 

Is word of mouth a form of advertising? 

The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, word of mouth is one of the most powerful advertising avenues a business can have. 

Don’t believe us? Here’s the proof:  

1. 92% of all people trust word of mouth recommendations from friends and family 

(Nielsen) 

The overwhelming majority of all people will trust a word of mouth recommendation over any other kind of advertising. Let’s be honest, though: 

Wouldn’t you trust your mother’s recommendation on a certain product as opposed to the brand that wants your hard-earned money? Thought so! 

But it’s not all about “real life” recommendations:

2. 70% of consumers trust online reviews. 

(HubSpot) 

You might be surprised to hear that seven out of people believe online reviews left by other consumers. What this means is that people would rather trust the online opinions of random internet users over the direct marketing strategy of a brand. 

3. 13% of consumer sales are the result of word of mouth. 

(Invespcro) 

An estimated 13% of all consumer sales are the result of word of mouth. To put this percentage into context, that’s approximately $6 trillion worth of consumer spending per year. 

4. Only 4% of American consumers trust ads and the media. 

(American Association of Advertising Agencies) 

There’s no denying it: 

The integrity of the marketing and advertising industries as a whole have been called into question a few too many times. A tiny minority of consumers actually trust the marketing industry, and 96% of all consumers distrust the ads they see and media they’re exposed to. Yikes!  

5. People are 4x more likely to purchase a product or make use of a service when referred by friends. 

(Impactbnd) 

When a person is referred to a specific brand by a friend, they’re considerably more likely to end up purchasing a product or making use of a service. On top of this, reviews left by other customers are 12x more trusted than descriptions provided by brands.

Word of Mouth Influence Statistics

People from all walks of life are influenced by word of mouth – some people don’t even realize to what extent. Let’s take a look at some of the people who DO. 

6. Word of mouth influences 91% of B2B buyers. 

(USM) 

We all know that everyday consumers like you and I are influenced by word of mouth but fewer people know that a staggering nine out of ten B2B buyers also are!  

7. 64% of marketing executives stand behind word of mouth as a marketing strategy. 

(Invespcro)

Well, it’s fair to assume that marketing executives know what they’re talking about when it comes to marketing strategies. So it stands to reason that when nearly two-thirds of marketing executives rank word of mouth as the most effective form of marketing – well, we believe them.  

8. Millennial voters are influenced by word of mouth 115% more than by traditional advertising. 

(Talk Triggers) 

Don’t think that word of mouth only has an impact on sales; it also has affects who the next president could be! The word of mouth marketing statistics 2018 revealed included the fact that millennial voters are influenced by word of mouth 115% more than presidential advertising campaigns. 

9. 51% of marketers agree that word of mouth marketing trumps content created by brands. 

(Oberlo) 

The rise of the influencer has been unprecedented, brands feel its effect. Around half of all marketers agree that word of mouth marketing trumps content created by brands. Only 6% of marketers feel that word of mouth influencer content underperforms.  

Word of Mouth Marketing Statistics - shouting

Statistics that Show Word of Mouth Effectiveness

Once upon a time word of mouth was done entirely offline and brands had no way to influence it. Today, it is an effective marketing and advertising tool that brands can control to a certain extent. 

But just how effective is it? Let’s find out.  

10. Word of mouth improves the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by more than double. 

(Forbes) 

Positive word of mouth increases the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by 54%. These are definitely not rookie numbers we’re talking about over here. 

11. 85% of small businesses gain customers through word of mouth recommendations. 

(Small Biz Trends) 

When it comes to small businesses specifically, the majority of small businesses are discovered thanks to word of mouth recommendations. Word of mouth and social media reviews are invaluable tools that all small business owners should be cashing in on. Literally.   

 As if these small business statistics weren’t enough:

12. 74% of consumers count word of mouth as a key decider in their purchasing decisions. 

(Ogilvy Cannes) 

When deciding whether or not to purchase a product, just under three-quarters of consumers turn to word of mouth channels such as online reviews and conversations with friends, family members, and neighbors to help them make their decision.

Negative Word of Mouth Statistics

Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and roses when it comes to word of mouth marketing, and the consequences of a poor experience are far-reaching. Have you questioned the negative impacts and how word of mouth affects a business?

13. Consumers are 34% more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one. 

(Review Trackers) 

People are more likely to leave reviews referring to a negative experience with a brand. In addition to this, 3.48% of people say they trust 1-star reviews over higher reviews. 

14. 54% of consumers share their negative experiences with more than 5 people. 

(Zendesk) 

More than half of all people who have a negative experience with a brand share their experience with upwards of five other people. An interesting customer experience stat shows only 33% share their positive experiences with more than five people.  

15. 94% of people have been convinced to stay away from a business because of negative word of mouth. 

(Review Trackers) 

Almost all people are willing to ditch a business because of negative word of mouth in the form of online reviews. Only 5.7% of people choose to support a business in spite of negative online reviews. 

It’s not all bad news:

16. Positive word of mouth occurs 3x as often as negative word of mouth 

(Research Gate) 

When the results of 15 independent studies were analyzed, it was found that positive word of mouth is far more common than instances of negative word of mouth. What’s interesting is that most respondents participate in both positive and negative word of mouth.

Word of Mouth and Social Media Statistics

Now that we’ve covered word of mouth marketing advantages and disadvantages, we’ll be taking a look at how word of mouth and social media tie in to one another. 

17. 31% of people turn to social media when looking to purchase a product.  

(Marketing week) 

When looking to purchase a product, nearly a third people turn to social media. The most common platform is Facebook (26%), while Instagram (8%) and Pinterest (6%) are catching up slowly but surely.   

18. Facebook holds 19% of a business’ reviews. 

(Review Trackers) 

Word of mouth stats from 2017 show that just shy of one-fifth of a business’ reviews can be found on Facebook. When compared to sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, Facebook has the largest amount of positive reviews. 

19. 49% of people rely on the opinion of Twitter influencers when making a purchasing decision.  

(AdWeek) 

Twitter users sure are a vocal bunch. When you consider that almost half of all people trust Twitter influencers as much as the people they know in real life, it’s easy to see why Twitter’s ad revenue is dismal

20. 96% of brands take too long to respond to mentions on social media. 

(Brand Watch) 

Only 4% of questions directed at brands are answered within the 15-minute window consumers deem appropriate. What’s shocking is that 88.8% of brands fail to respond to questions and queries within a 24-hour period.

Word of Mouth Marketing Statistics - social media

FAQ

Before we finish off this compilation of word of mouth marketing stats, here are the answers to the questions people often ask about word of mouth marketing. 

Q: What is the Word of Mouth Marketing Association? 

A: In case you’re still doubting if word of mouth advertising statistics are a real thing, the fact that it has its own association should put any doubt firmly to rest. Word of mouth publicity has significantly increased over the past few years, so the need for some kind of regulatory board arose. 

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) was founded back in 2004 and promotes WOMM by defining standards and methodologies to adopt the strategy as well as identify the industry best practices. 

Q: How do you stimulate the word of mouth marketing recommendations?

If you want to encourage your customers to help in your word of mouth marketing strategy, you need to give them something to talk about! In addition to delivering a customer experience worth sharing, you need to:

  • Make it easy for customers to share their thoughts and opinions on your online platform.
  • Encourage them to spread the word to their family and friends by offering them an incentive to do so such as a discount on their next purchase or an entry into a lucky draw. 
  • Respond to ALL online reviews about your product or service, even the bad ones.
Q: What are some word of mouth marketing examples I can apply to my own business?

A: Word of mouth marketing examples can be found anywhere on the internet. Just look at the comments on a brand’s latest Facebook post or head over to word of mouth marketing sites such as your favorite product reviewer’s YouTube channel. 

To see how Coca-Cola, Pinterest, and Dropbox used a word of mouth marketing strategy to their advantage, check out this article

To Sum Up

After reading all of these word of mouth marketing statistics, we bet you fully understand just how powerful a tool this is when properly implemented. 

Bottom line:

Word of mouth promotion is far more effective than any lead generating tool. So, business owners need to do all they can to make sure their happy customers spread the good word, as the latest word of mouth marketing stats suggest they should. 

Sources:

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