Social media and its wide reach on the Internet have given rise to word-of-mouth book recommendations. Given this trend, some book marketers wonder if there’s still a role for traditional advertising. Here are three reasons why traditional advertising is critical to promote books in a social media world:
Advertising Influences Recommendations: We don’t form opinions in a vacuum. Outside forces influence us. One credible source is advertising. These visual mediums provide a strong, but the subconscious influence of how we feel and think. This includes influencing the book recommendations we receive and give. Sometimes we even make recommendations about books we haven’t read but only saw in ads.
Advertising Reinforces Recommendations: Once we hear a recommendation we seldom accept it as indisputable. First, we contemplate it. When considering a book recommendation we often reject it if it lacks reinforcement. This is a subconscious act and advertising provides a key reinforcement of the book recommendation as it’s being considered.
Advertising Confirms Recommendations: Once we accept a book recommendation as a viable option, we seek confirmation. Without confirmation, the validity of the recommendation falls into question, and we’ll likely dismiss it. Advertising is a key means of confirming word-of-mouth recommendations.
In each case the role of advertising is subtle, and we can’t measure it. The influence, reinforcement, and confirmation roles book advertising play in word-of-mouth recommendations are seldom realized by those receiving it, but it is a critical factor. Without it, the recommendation will fail to materialize and produce a sale.
Wise book marketers use advertising to influence, reinforce, and confirm word-of-mouth recommendations. The only remaining decision is determining where to advertise.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.