Quick…which would you prefer your company could obtain, the best Ad ever created or the best word-of-mouth recommendation from a trusted friend?
Most business owners I know would pick the word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend every time. Nothing helps move a sale to closure better than a friend recommending the company or product.
Facebook has definitely been gaining Advertisers mostly due to this belief. They believe that Facebook’s ability to tie together social friends and target demographics with more ‘personal information’ will provide better conversion metrics. In other words, higher sales for same or less Ad expenditures.
One of my clients recently received a letter from the Google Adwords team providing information about Google’s upcoming “Google +1” implementation. Google is adding an ability for users to promote Ads, indirectly promoting the company, brand or product within the Ad. Even more importantly, Google will begin showing these personal promotions in Ads shown alongside of search results. In other words, if I were to search for “remote control toys”, it is possible that I will see a Google Adword Ad on my Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that mentions a real person I know within my known online social networks has previously ‘approved’ or ‘liked’ that Ad, company, or product. Google hasn’t gone so far as to copy the word “like”; instead they are using “+1”, which I think is not as effective as Facebook’s Like button, but the end result could still have similar impact.
I’m including Google’s letter in two parts. Part one is the intro and an example of how an Ad looks today:
And the second part of the letter shows how the Ad could mention a friend has ‘approved’ or ‘likes’ this Hotel:
Why is this a big deal, so much so as to call it a Game Changer?
Google Adwords has had huge impacts across all areas of advertising from print to broadcast to online. With this one change, Google has enabled their Ads to be displayed with personal recommendations, a quick online “word of mouth” approval, which will undoubtably increase clicks and conversions. More sales for same or less money will drive more advertising dollars. Which will increase Ads, which will increase the amount of word-of-mouth exposure, which will convert more Ads. And it goes on and on.
If you already have Ads running on Adwords, be prepared to solicit friends and fans to “push that PlusOne button” and help promote your word-of-mouth. If you aren’t yet running any Ads via Google Adwords, you definitely need to consider doing so.