Whether you’re a first-time app developer or a pro, you know that app monetization is key to the success of your product. There are several monetization strategies that you can employ and a mobile discovery platform like Revmob, AdColony, Appnext can help you establish premium monetization that leads to meaningful revenue, providing relevance, engagement and experience. However, while this is a key component to your success, another key component that should also not be overlooked is Word of Mouth marketing.

Word of mouth (WOM) is a form of marketing that is defined as influencing and encouraging organic discussions about an organization, brand, event or resource. It has been around for ages and it remains today to be one of the most effective forms of brand marketing. Some people might tell you that it is not an ideal method for marketing apps, but this is entirely false. The simple fact of the matter is that if you have something to sell, whether it’s a service, a product, game, etc. WOM marketing is an effective way to get the word out there because most people believe what they hear from their friends and family.

In fact, according to a Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising report involving 28,000 internet respondents in 56 countries, 92% of consumers from across the globe say that they trust recommendations from friends and family (earned media) above all other forms of advertising. What’s more, a Radius Global report found that Millenials ranked word of mouth as the top influencer in their purchasing decisions.

These statistic probably don’t come as much of a surprise to you though, right? After all, when you’re looking for a referral, on whom do you rely? When you are seeking a good deal or a good service, who do you ask? You ask your family, your friends, your acquaintances – the people you know and whose opinions you trust – because they’ll provide you with the details about the personal experiences they’ve actually had.

Social media is the heart of WOM marketing success

Today’s digital consumers are social and savvy. They don’t just want to see flashy advertising, they want interaction. What does this mean for you as an app developer and/or a business owner? It means that even though you may be investing in different forms of advertising (e.g. in-app advertising, native advertising, banner ads, etc.), you need to set up an active social platform to give you the power of reaching out and interacting with your consumers.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, etc. are all social media platforms that are free to join and can help you connect with your target audience in social spaces where they will go for recommendations. That said, every one of these social networks offer different features and appeal to different types of users. With that in mind, make sure you place your focus on the ones where your target market is most likely to frequent and that also makes the most sense to your app and what it offers.

Whichever platform(s) you choose, remember that social media is based on relationships. It’s how people stay in touch with what matters to them and hopefully this will include your app. Posting interesting and relevant content as well as other incentives like coupons, contests and giveaways, will lead to consumers regularly interacting with your page. Social interaction will build up your app’s brand and will lead to more consumers telling others about you (WOM), which will help you to earn new customers.

Consumer reviews is the perfect complement to your WOM strategy

User-generated content is closely related to word of mouth marketing. While there are different types of user-generated content, one of the most powerful is consumer reviews. When potential customers read the reviews of other consumers, it builds customer trust by showing these consumers that other customers have voluntarily offered their endorsement of your brand.

In fact, according to the same Nielsen study, 70% of the global consumers surveyed ranked online consumer reviews as the second most trusted source of brand information and messaging, behind word of mouth marketing. This indicated that they trust messages on this platform.

Therefore, encourage your customers to leave feedback about your product. While some may be more likely to leave the feedback if some form of reward is offered, others will be happy to have the opportunity to share their honest opinion about your app.

Create a buzz: give them something to talk about

Producing a quality app that users will actually want to use is just as important as creating a buzz about it. If you want people to talk about your product, it has to be good and your brand needs to be interesting and stand out from the crowd by being unique, fun or by doing something meaningful.

Essentially, you can either identify something about your brand that will generate organic buzz or create something that will produce the noise you want. For instance, the shoe company TOMS enjoyed massive WOM marketing success by creating organic buzz through a good deed. They launched a campaign that when a customer buys one pair of shoes, TOMS would donate a pair of shoes to a child in need.

Coca-Cola is another brand that also enjoyed a very successful word of mouth marketing campaign with its “Share a Coke with Friends”. This campaign asked consumer to take part by sharing a personalized soda bottle with friends in person and on social media. This clever strategy ensured WOM marketing happened both on and offline.

Finally, remember, when you’re thinking of how to build an effective word of mouth marketing strategy, get ideas from successful brands who did it right.