They don’t call it the "information age" for nothing. If you’re concerned with creating information overload, there is no need to worry. If someone isn’t interested in your product or service then s/he isn’t going to bother to read or listen to your advertising message anyway. With that in mind, remember that too much “information” isn’t going to “scare away” an interested potential customer. A great place to feature all of this information is of course, on your web site or blog.
For example, a local electrician tries to gain attention for his message by running his newspaper ad upside down. This small, upside down ad contains the company logo, name and phone number and appears almost daily in the paper. The problem is, when someone is in need of an electrician, they need more than a gimmick to motivate them to pick up the phone and call. S/he needs answers to a host of questions, all of which point to the issue of trust:
- Will this person show up?
- Does he know his stuff?
- Will he charge too much?
- Will he do shoddy work and cause a fire in the future?
- Will he finish the job?
- Will he leave a mess?
- Will he honor his quote?
If the electrician wants to keep the gimmick of running the newspaper ad upside down, he could make it more effective with one simple addition. He could include the address of his web site. A company web site can easily convey the large amount of information necessary to begin gaining the customer’s trust, which is essential in the Information age.
One of the best uses of the electrician’s web site would be to post testimonials from former or current customers. Ideally, the testimonials would address the kinds of questions listed above.
So when requesting testimonials, the electrician needs to be specific.
- “I would love a testimonial from you about the response time of our technicians,”
- “Could you include a paragraph on how competitive our price was on this project?”
Also, if the customer referred the electrician to any friends or family, it’s good to mention that in the testimonial, too. Something like, “ABC Electric did such a great job installing the new electrical service for our Christmas light display, so when my mother’s old house needed rewiring, I made sure she called ABC Electric.”
Testimonials are an essential part of the marketing message for any business engaged in making sales via the internet. A fun and fruitful way to gather testimonials from customers is to create a contest. Your business can offer prizes for the best testimonials in each category. Offer a small incentive for every entry and a nice prize for the “winners.”
Web 2.0 is all about interactivity…. Advertising 2.0 is all about two way communications…. and real communication only takes place in an environment of trust. Without trust, you’re just talking AT your audience….with trust, you’re speaking WITH your audience.