Communication tactics like publicity, referral networks, and special events are popular because they create buzz in the real world. In fact, 90 percent of word-of-mouth happens offline or face-to-face. Your content—both spoken and written—is critical to spreading the word about your business.
Here are 3 key points that will help you spread the word farther and faster.
- Select the right words
Boil down your information to the important key messages (3-5 maximum). Repeat, repeat, repeat these messages in all you do. Consistency is key to helping people remember what to say about you.
In the online world it’s common to visually analyze and represent the most used terms in a website by using a tag or word cloud. There is a web application called www.wordle.net that allows you to do the same thing for any written communication. All you have to do is copy and paste in your text on their form. It’s an easy way to see if your key message is punching through in all your materials.
(Listen to the narrated presentation that was given to a small business group.)
- Make your content easy to share
Words aren’t everything, your actions and nonverbal cues also send a message. Be real and generous in all that you do. It resonates with people and supports what you say. If you say your business has a personable approach, then people expect you to behave in a personable way. A good example comes from a Milford, Michigan realtor, Gail Bailey. She loves to cook and she frequently gives baked goods to people that she wants to develop a relationship with.
Communicate at an 8th grade level and purge the industry jargon from your everyday language. If someone doesn’t fully understand what you are saying, or if he/she feels they have to explain your business too much they won’t feel comfortable sharing about you.
- Be memorable through story telling
Develop a personal library of stories based on customer accomplishments. When you create your story make sure you have a beginning, middle, end, and punch line. The punch line is the results you achieved for your customer. Stories are more memorable; therefore more easily shared. Here is one of my examples:
- (Beginning) Our client, a mobile phone provider, wanted to position its product as safe and generate general awareness.
- (Middle) We staged a one-on-one basketball game between a professional basketball player and a Michigan State Police officer at a media event. The basketball player had to talk to on the phone when he played the officer. We used the event to share safe driving tips with the press.
- (End) Being competitive, the basketball player threw down the phone because he couldn’t win and talk on the phone at the same time.
- (Punchline) The press loved it and we got a lot of news coverage. Our best support came from the Michigan State Place who endorsed the mobile provider’s safe driving tips.
Best wishes to you with generating your own positive buzz.