Stop Ads! Start Word of Mouth!

We are being exposed to countless ads each day. In fact, according to the Marketing Firm Yankelovich, “we have gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970’s to as many as 5,000 a day today.”

That is a ton of ads!

Consequently, we have become “immune” to ads. We have learned to look only at the information that is relevant to us when reading through a webpage, effectively ignoring surrounding ads.

A 2012 study by Infolinks showed that an overwhelming percentage of online consumers suffer from “banner ad blindness.” The study reports: “Only 14% of respondents recalled the last display ad they saw and the company or product it promoted. Even with today’s sophisticated targeting technology, relevance remains a key challenge with only 2.8% of respondents stating that they thought the ad they saw was relevant to them.”

For small businesses, spending on Google or social media ads can incur a steep cost.

What are the alternatives?

Businesses have long benefited by word of mouth from brand advocates. It is the oldest yet most effective way of convincing people to buy a product or service. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.

One surprisingly simple way to implement word-of-mouth marketing is to ask your advocates for a recommendation, be it a Facebook post or Twitter tweet. Don’t worry - your advocates are more than willing to say a few good things about you because you have already earned their trust. The not-so-simple part is how to find your advocates and when to ask for their kind words.