Bloggers are an important source of potential revenue for anyone doing business online. New research on the trustworthiness of advertising shows – as if we didn’t already know – that word of mouth recommendations are more trusted than any form of advertising.
The two worst performing kinds of advertising were web site banner ads and text ads on mobile phones. Well there’s a surprise. Both of these kinds of advertising are real interruptions. When we visit a web site we want to read the information we went there for, not have some garish advert flashing in our eyes. Similarly, we use our mobile phones for – well, phone calls…! Hearing your cellphone beep only to find you have an advert, instead of a message from your lover, is a real interruption.
Looking at the chart, you’ll see that the best performing adverts are those which represent the least interruption. Newspaper adverts, for instance, represent a low form of interruption because they are sectioned-off and there is a clear divide between adverts and editorial; we only have to look at the adverts if we want to. But we don’t like adverts before a movie because we went to watch the film, not see advertising.
So, if you sell products and services, much of your advertising is wasted because people will ignore it. However, two high-performing forms of advertising are word of mouth and consumer recommendations. Online, blogging is the same as word of mouth. What you need are bloggers to talk about their experience with your products and services.
So, by encouraging people to blog about what you sell, you will sell more. Why not put in place incentives for people to blog about their experiences with what you sell and with your company. Competitions for the best blog posting, free upgrades or extended warranties for recommendations that come via a blog – you can think up other ideas I am sure. But if you encourage people to blog about your company and what it sells, you will benefit from the best kind of advertising you can get – personal recommendations.