Is word-of-mouth marketing something that happens by accident? Years and years of marketing research has shown that it’s not. In fact, word-of-mouth marketing can be consciously created – if you understand what drives it.

Here are some of the most important factors that drive word-of-mouth advertising.

Something That’s Really, Really Different

If something is really, truly different, people are going to talk about it. Things that have never been done before are hot topics of conversation.

Whether it’s a new buffet restaurant in town or the iPhone 5 release – if it’s new and unconventional, people are going to talk about it.

What if your product isn’t 100% original? You can still do something unique. For example, a cake company isn’t anything new, but one cake company generated a lot of buzz by baking the largest cake in the world.

Extraordinary Human Interactions

Another thing that tends to drive word-of-mouth marketing is human interactions.

When someone spilled coffee on an executive’s suit on a Southwest Airline’s flight and a flight attendant offered his own suit so the man could go to his meeting well dressed, the story spread like wildfire throughout the internet.

Another example is a restaurant whose waiters are constantly insulting customers. It’s their brand. It’s actually funny and customers go to this restaurant just for the unique experience.

The examples go on and on. Out of the ordinary human interactions drive word of mouth.

“I Think Person XYZ Will Really Like This”

Another core thing that drives word of mouth is the “I really think Susie will love this” mentality.

Friends are always on the lookout for friends. If your product, service, article or blog post is really written so it will help other people out, chances are friends will pass it along to friends.
Try to create content or products that’ll appeal to different kinds of people that still have a common thread. For example, if you have a website about making money on the internet, create content that’ll appeal to both freelancers and internet entrepreneurs.

Different Formats

Different people like to share different kinds of things.

Some people like to share and talk about contests. Others like to share and talk about videos. Still others love funny graphics, while others will only share strictly educational material they think friends will love.

Don’t just appeal to one kind of person. Create your word-of-mouth marketing so that it will appeal to a wide range of people.

These are some of the main factors that drive word-of-mouth advertising. Word of mouth can absolutely be planned. You don’t have to hit all of the hot buttons discussed above, but to succeed you should aim to hit at least one or two of them.