In this series of articles, we are talking about the importance of word-of-mouth advertising. Our introductory piece touched on the increased significance word-of-mouth advertising has taken on since the Internet age began and people started to become ever more cynical about products that a company might be trying to sell them, from women's clothing stores to caregivers. In this article, we will take a look at specifics when it comes to online shopping and word of mouth.
As we touched on, most consumers are aware that any company can make any claim about their product, and are much more likely to be skeptical about online site claims than any other type of marketing medium. However, studies show that online products backed up by word-of-mouth (usually in the form of a person similar to the consumer viewing the ads) are much more likely to be accepted and the product purchased than those that are not.
Just how much more likely are customers to trust a site that includes some word-of-mouth advertising? Well, the exact numbers depend on the demographic themselves, but a recent Nielsen report indicated that word-of-mouth trust is around 68%, a number that tripled in the two years between surveys. That may be because now you can find everything from a video game to expensive jewellry.
Moreover, certain demographics are better disposed towards word-of-mouth than others. Mothers, for example, overwhelmingly prefer word-of-mouth endorsements from other moms. 91% of those surveyed said they would be more likely to buy a product such as a cloth diapers or diaper rash cream if it was supported by another mother.
Not only are people likely to trust online endorsements from similar people than just an advertisement, they are also more likely to trust a product endorsed by a peer over one supported by the experts. The same Neilsen survey indicates that 68% of those questioned would trust a product recommended by a friend more than one recommended by an expert. If a businessman found the your business card designs exceptional, he may tell others in his field.
The results of this survey and others like it can't be ignored by companies advertising products and services on the Internet. Word-of-mouth advertising is much more likely to bring in positive results and conversions than any other form of marketing there is, making testimonials and other forms the most powerful marketing tool in the kit.