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.