Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say the trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising, according to a 2012 study by Nielsen. B2B and B2C brands are leveraging advocate-created content such as reviews, recommendations and stories in their marketing collateral, digital messaging and more. Advocates create content marketers dream of and Google is taking full advantage of this.
" To ensure that your recommendations reach the people you care about, Google sometimes displays your reviews, recommendations and other relevant activity throughout its products and services. This sometimes includes shopping contexts, like the Google Play music store, and ads. Your profile name and photo may appear with the recommendation." - Google Support
Shared endorsements are the next best thing, as long as your advocates are writing reviews about your product and/or service. A lot of articles I have been reading that announce this new feature on Google have had similar reactions as to when Facebook changes its privacy settings. I'm here to point out the good in these new endorsements.
3 Great Things About Google's Endorsements
- Advocates' reviews show up in Google search results - no clicking to review sites required
- The potential for your brand to gain a new customer is [insert not yet determined statistic by Google here], let's just say the chances are great because 92% trust word of mouth recommendations.
- New customers that enjoy your business based off a recommendation they read are x amount of times higher [another statistic we have to travel to the future for] to write a review because they want to pay it forward to their friends who may be in search of the same product or service in the future
According to an article on TechCrunch, Google pulls a guilt trip when a user opts out of sharing endorsements: "your friends will be less likely to benefit from your recommendations." I hope my friends opt-in to the option because word of mouth recommendations weigh heavy on my decisions and I value my friends' opinions.
It will be interesting to see the statistics that come from this, but for now, opt-in to this new feature and help your networks discover new products and services, then come back and let us know how this is working for your brand.
Bottom line: energize your brand advocates to write reviews and recommendations.
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If you're serious about wanting to rock advocate marketing, let's schedule time for a strategy consultation and while you're waiting, check out the book on advocate marketing: Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force
Hang out with Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO of Zuberance and Author of Brand Advocates on My Community Manager's Google+ Hangout on Friday, October 25. Register: owl.li/pO5oZ
Learn more about advocacy and what's hot in B2B marketing in 2014 on November 7. Register for our free webinar with 3 award-winning digital marketers: bit.ly/HotMktg2014