Money Can buy ads but not reputation. If I had a few thousand dollars to spend to advertise Startup Meme on numerous sites it could bring me a flood of users but would last long enough? Definitely not and the day those ads are pulled down, a slow death would come to this blog and an awful lot of money would be wasted. Blogs don’t make money on advertising themselves, their PR, Marketing, Engaging bit is the Content showcased on them, nothing else. Change it over to a service and their selling point is how they serve. Take brands for instance, have you really continued to use a worthless product only because it had a superb ad on the most expensive daily? I bet not.
I came across an article on Facebook and it triggered me to write this one. You got to provide a value addition next to what you advertise for, other than just a brand name. People have no clue how much you pay to advertise on any network, they go for what feedback users/consumers have for it, something you call recommendations or the word of mouth. Even if I were to buy an Ad on Facebook that gave me the sweetest spot on the social network, it wouldn’t guarantee me a following, a loyal following to be precise. And it would be an epic fail if it has no value added to it.
Change the scenario and a bit intelligent user plans to roll out his brand and utilize social media for marketing. The product caters to users’ needs to kill time and have fun while giving them useful tips on how to be a better blogger, he doesn’t need to buy an ad. I like the idea, I hit Likes and it appears in the news feeds of my friends, someone else likes it too and requests a few friends to join in, no sooner is this done that more people flock over to the product and a viral campaign has begun.
The interesting part: the brand owner had no plans to advertise it nor did he have money to buy ads. What actually did the trick then?
Social Media Impressions and user reactions. And now if you were to actually Buy Advertisement on any network, it would pay off big time. And by that I mean you get more loyalty from consumers, they know the ad displayed leads to something useful, it has a purpose and is not just some publicity move. They know when they click on it, they will be guided to a destination that they want to be associated to. Think of Fan Pages – if I were to ask you to join a Fan Page for anything that has no activity or purpose would you join?
Take a simpler example: do you attend social gatherings where you are sure there will be a bunch of tight lipped folks who are no fun or use to be around with, even if its for free? No. Why so? Because it serves no purpose but you will readily head over to a party with a group of friends without it being advertized. I am being vague, but there is a connection to it: Parties interest you, users see a definite purpose to being a part of them and wouldn’t mind spending money on as well. Same goes for organizers, many of my friends would spend a lot to print pamphlets and banners to promote a concert, because it guarantees results and people would come.
So if you are planning out a campaign online with an idea to invest in advertisement too, make sure your need to advertise online is Earned and not bought, let users interaction advocate your decision.