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January 22, 2021

Why Word-of-Mouth Beats Influencer Marketing

To say word-of-mouth marketing is nothing new would be an understatement. Despite first coming under the academic spotlight in the 1970s, as a medium, it's been around pretty much ever since the dawn of civilisation. But that doesn't mean it isn't constantly evolving, even to this day.

So how does this relatively ancient channel stack up against more modern competition? Incredibly well, in fact. And whilst word-of-mouth isn't the be-all and end-all, it's certainly not something you can afford to leave entirely to chance.

Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.

Nielsen Study

Pretty impressive – right? Surely with word-of-mouth being such a strong player in the channel mix, every marketer and their dog must be flocking to capitalise on it? Well, that isn't exactly the case.

So, why aren't more more event promoters utilising word-of-mouth?

In short, it's always been something event promoters largely considered to be out of their control. And that definitely used to be the case. Besides being difficult to manage, it was almost impossible to track or attribute any success to. So marketers, rightly so, focussed on channels where they had more influence, leaving word-of-mouth to fall by the wayside.

The good news is, a lot has changed in the past fifteen or so years thanks to the advent of the internet, as well as some other clever technology that came along with it.

At Audience Republic, we believe nothing beats word-of-mouth. Our product helps event organisers sell more tickets, and sell them faster by increasing word of mouth, capturing data & building your audience.

But, what about influencer marketing?

Like word-of-mouth, influencer marketing has been around for a while – 'celebrities' have been endorsing products in exchange for financial gain long before the days of Instagram. But what are the key differences between word-of-mouth and influencer marketing?

WOM vs Influencer Marketing

While influencer marketing is all about reach, word-of-mouth focusses on authenticity. And authenticity drives action. Would you pay more attention to a recommendation from a friend over someone on Instagram you've never met? Find out how to drive authentic conversations about your event.

One thing to look out for when considering whether to use influencers in your next campaign is the fact it's still difficult, if not impossible, to measure success. Just like traditional word-of-mouth used to be.

Selling an e-commerce product, or something easily accessible to the majority of an influencer's followers? Perfect. If not, consider whether it's the right option for your next campaign.

Word-of-mouth marketing will be more important than ever in 2021 and beyond

As the world begins to emerge from restrictions in place throughout most of 2020, people will be looking for meaningful experiences to share with loved ones. Some regions will take longer to bounce back than others, but there's promising signs globally that live events will prosper in 2021. Take New Zealand for example, where 20,000 people rung in the New Year at the sold-out Rhythm & Vines festival in Gisborne.

When it comes back, it will come back huge.

Marc Geiger, Former Global Head of Music, WME

WME’s former global head of music, Marc Geiger predicts a second "roaring 20s", 100 years since the world recovered from the 1918 Spanish Flu. “We’re going to see more blow-outs and sell-outs, and huge consumer interest."

Leverage the power of word-of-mouth for your next event

We've worked with thousands of event organisers all around the world to exponentially increase their reach, sell more tickets and better manage their audience data. Audience Republic campaigns turbocharge fan engagement for your pre-sales, competitions, wait lists and more.

Sign up for a free account today or schedule a demo with one of our team.

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Article by
Joshua Young

Josh is a Growth Marketer at Audience Republic. He has previously worked at Sydney Fringe Festival, Live Nation & Disney Channel.