Archive for October 2012

Get People to Throw their Money at you using Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of mouth marketing harkens back to the days when friends told friends about businesses that they liked. People share information, and it can either hurt you or help you. Here are some tips from my interview with Dr. Martin Russell on the Web Marketing Adelaide podcast

Referrals are Warm Lead 

When developing your business through word of mouth marketing one of the biggest positives is that you have a warm lead. Trust in any business is huge. You want your client to feel that you do have the right product and the right information. When the client has been referred to you by someone that they trust, they are more likely to trust you, the first time. 

Asking for Referrals is NOT Begging 

Businesses are built by good word of mouth. Encouraging your clients to refer their friends and family is not the same as begging them. Chances are you have a service that many people need. When you get your happy clients to tell their friends, who are also looking for the service you provide, this is part of your marketing. Much of your business can come from referrals, so, how are you generating them?

One positive strategy to get people talking about you is to put it into your marketing. Talk about a time when someone was referred to you and then that same person referred someone else. Show people that there is a chain reaction of happy clients. They will trust you, and be encouraged to spread the word.

Networking on a Business Scale 

Word of mouth marketing is customers talking to customers. Anytime you have a connection that can lead to business; that is your network. Do you work with other vendors that can refer you? Do you work with vendors that you can refer? The more people that are connected the more opportunities will arise.

You Can’t Prevent Everything

Positive word of mouth marketing is wonderful. However, there will always be the other side of that. As a business owner you need to know what people are saying about your business. What negative aspects are popping up? This is why it is important to follow up. After someone has worked with you, how do they feel, are they happy? Search the internet to see if there are complaints about your business.

If there is negative word of mouth about you, you may not be able to remove it. However, how you handle it can make all the difference. Contact those who have had an issue. How can you rise to the challenge and turn them into a happy customer? Remember, if people like something they may tell three people. Alternatively, if people hate something they may tell everyone who will listen.

Follow Your Demographic

Talk to the customers who you want to refer people for you. What social media do they use? If you find they are on Facebook all the time but you have spent your marketing budget on Twitter then you will want to change your focus. You are relying on the people who rely on you and this is why you want your budget to fit their styles. If you end up saving money, great, funnel that back into your product.

Listen to the whole discussion in Episode #6 of the WMA Podcast.

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Website Usability Tips [Guest Post]

This article is going to give advice on how to make your website easier for it’s visitors to navigate and use. We will be covering the topics of:

  • URLs
  • Breadcrumb links
  • Sitemaps
  • Custom 404 pages
  • Website Navigation
  • Linking Out 


URLs will often contain a bunch of indecipherable codes and numbers. To make it easier for users to remember the URL to a particular page, make it so the URL is short, simple and uses words that relate to its page (eg. ).  It is also useful to make it so parts of the URL can be deleted and the URL will still work. For istance, if you deleted everything after the ‘2008’ in the example above, would lead to a page containing all the blog posts from 2008.  It is good practice to only have one URL leading to a particular page.


Breadcrumb links are a really useful way to help people better navigate your website.  Breadcrumbs are usually located near the top of the page and look like this:

Home >
Shoes > Kids > Sandals > Kosh Leather Sandals  

Visitors can use this to find their way back to pages they viewed previously.


To help users find their way around, include an HTML sitemap with links to all the important pages.  If there are a lot of pages, they should be organised on the sitemap by subject. To make it easier for search engines to navigate pages on your website, create an XML sitemap file for your site using a sitemap generator.


Custom 404 Page

There will be times when visitors will try and open a page that doesn’t exist. This is often because of misspelling a URL. Setting up a custom 404 page that guides users back to a page that works (typically the home page) can make peoples visit to your site easier and more enjoyable. Google has a useful 404 widget you can embed in your 404 error page.

Website Navigation

Most sites have navigation links near or at the top of each page. These usually include the home page, about, contact and any other important pages such as products or a blog. These are good for helping visitors find their way around your site.

Linking Out

The last bit of advice is about linking to other pages or websites. It is better to use text links rather than pictures, because people don’t always know to click on a picture to go to another page. It is always good to make links words or phrases (known as 'anchor text') that describe the place you’re being linked to rather than just a URL. This is especially important in the case of websites like Youtube that have a bunch of seemingly random letters and numbers in their video URLs.  If you just provide a raw Youtube link, people might not know what is on the other side. That is why it is important to use words as links.
This article is a guest post by Sam, a year 10 student at Heathfield High School who has been doing work experience with us at Wicked Cow Marketing recently. Sam and I discuss all of the tips given here in Episode 12 of the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast.

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