The Future of Advertising: It’s Everywhere

Google and Facebook are the same in one key way. And that is, their users are the products.

Think about it. Where does each company make its money? Selling advertisements. So the advertisers must be the customers. And what are they buying? Us.

The world has evolved with the internet in such a way that advertisements can be targeted to the individual. Companies large and small can pay only for ads delivered to the people they want to reach. And the companies that have created the platforms, the ones with the most information about us that they’re able to sell, are the ones that are reaping the rewards.

But who does this hurt? Advertisers are getting the benefit of better targeting, and in most cases, cheaper ads. And the users are getting the utility of a Google, or a Facebook.

In exchange for ads (and a lot of behind the scenes data collection) it appears that we are more and more willing to accept useful, free or low-cost products.

Old media companies, think of television or newspapers, made money on both ends of the equation. We paid for the products, and we got ads.

Today, it seems to be more of an either/or situation. Netflix is a paid service that removes the ads. Spotify and other internet radio services have free versions with ads, and paid versions without. And when we’re given that option, some of us pay. But most of us accept the ads if it means we get something for free.

We are so used to ads because we have been overexposed to them since birth. Advertising is everywhere. And that trend is not fading. As companies like Google and Apple begin to make their way into the home, with internet connected consumer goods and other products, can’t you imagine a world in which almost everything we buy is subsidized by advertisements.

This is a double-edged sword for advertisers and for the end user. For the advertiser, it means more opportunities to reach people, but a more ad-burdened audience that will be trained to ignore them.

For users, if the ads work, we spend more money than we would have had we just paid full price for the product without ads.

The future of advertising appears to be ads everywhere. Our response to those ads might mean the difference between whether the ads everywhere strategy succeeds or not.

Free Marketing Ideas Part 2 – Create a Facebook Page

attraction marketing-101.gif

Welcome to the latest edition of my new weekly blog series, “Free Marketing Ideas”. Each week I will identify and explain a simple marketing idea that you can employ at low or no cost. Last week’s topic was Start Blogging.

This week’s topic: Create a Facebook Page

Facebook pages are free! And they can help you promote your business in a number of ways.

First, it is an easy way for you to create a space for your current customers and fans to “hang out”. They can communicate with one another and interact with the brand in a meaningful way. By making your fans feel more connected to the business, you can help generate more loyalty and referral business.

Second, a Facebook page gives you a place to share the content you create when you start a blog (remember part 1?). Sharing blog posts with your fans is a good way to get the conversation started. Encourage feedback, and allow them to share the content with their own social networks, thereby increasing your brand awareness and reaching new audiences.

Third, you can promote the Facebook page on your website or in other marketing materials, encouraging people to Like you. While I can’t give you any hard data on the ROI of a Facebook Like (as some people have attempted to do in the past), I can tell you that its better to have someone Like you on Facebook than do nothing.

And fourth, the Facebook page will come in handy when we get to future free marketing ideas in this series.

Share your thoughts on this idea, and other free marketing ideas in the comments section below and keep the conversation going!


5 Reasons Your Facebook Fans Don't Purchase

Welcome to another edition of the “5 Reasons” blog series. This will be a weekly blog series, with a fresh post every Monday. Last week’s topic was “Five Reasons People Are Unsubscribing from your Emails”.

This Week’s Topic = Five Reasons Your Facebook Fans Don't Purchase

So you amassed a ton of fans (or likes) on Facebook? That’s a goal of many companies. Congrats. Now you’re wondering why those fans are not driving profits for your business. You had the right strategy to get fans, you just aren’t quite sure what to do with them.

Here are five reasons they might not be buying:

  1. You don’t sell to them. Don’t assume that these fans will magically visit your website and purchase something. Message them with links to new products. Create offers specifically for Facebook fans. You’re not done marketing to them just because they decided to like you.

  2. All you do is sell to them. This will turn any group off. Social media is a great tool to communicate with consumers. But if it’s a one way communication, where all you do is blast them with sales and calls to action, you may be creating angry fans.

  3. You’re not involved in the community. Like reason #2 above, if you’re not active in the community, you’re less likely to attract customers from it. People may be asking questions and expecting a response. When you don’t respond or comment, you’re seen as an absent brand. And an absent brand is not necessarily one you want to do business with.

  4. You got them by some other means. Too often a strategy to get fans only works to get fans, but does nothing to ensure that these are the “right” fans. Maybe they liked your page because you offered them something, or you were giving something away. It’s easy for anyone to go around liking pages just to get freebies, and it doesn’t mean they ever planned on purchasing from you.

  5. They’re not really your FANS. Like reason #4 above, some “fans” of your page are not really fans. They may have liked the page long ago but your messages have been removed or filtered from their news feed. In other words, their name is on your list but they will never hear from you. The number of likes you have is just that, a number.

As always, if you have your own tips, please include them in the comments below.

How to Get Free Facebook Ad Credits

The following is a guest post by Sherrie Lim. Sherrie is a digital media marketer and technology writer who recommends setting up an autoresponder in your site to build a mailing list and get repeat customers for your business. Check out her latest posts and how to build a mail list guide.

1. Create a new Facebook account. Let this account be the one you'll use for developing, managing and tracking your Facebook PPC advertising campaigns.

2. Complete the profile of your newly registered Facebook account. Use your business details, logo and other images. Also use your business contact details, such as your business email, office address and phone numbers. Upload photos of your business and products. Also create posts in your Wall that can provide your target viewers with helpful info about your niche, site content, products and services.

3. Use Google to search for Facebook PPC coupon codes. By doing this, you can collect many Facebook PPC coupon codes that can give you up to $250 of free Facebook PPC credits.

4. Develop your Facebook PPC ad campaign. Keep in mind to include an attention-grabbing image that's related to your offer. Your ad headline should be catchy enough to grab the attention of your target customers.

5. Develop a short and sweet description of your ad. This description should be able to entice your target customers to click the ad and view the rest of your offer.

6. Select the most relevant targeting details for your ad. These include country, specific places within the country, gender, age bracket, interests, hobbies and profession among other things.

7. Choose PPC and not PPM (Pay Per Impression). Set a reasonable price for each click that your ad gets. Keep in mind that the higher you pay for each click, the more frequent your ads are displayed in front of the eyeballs of your target customers in Facebook.

8. Monitor your results. Keep on developing, testing and monitoring other ads, until you get substantial results from your Facebook PPC tests. At this point, you can then decide whether to continue with your best converting Facebook PPC ads, or spend your time and money doing other things to get more traffic and sales for your business.

New Business Idea: Peer Ad Reviews

Have you seen the new Facebook commercial? By now it’s made its way around the web, but in case you missed it, here it is:

It’s bad. By all accounts, it’s a mess of a commercial. It’s their first try, and it didn’t go so well. I hope someone was fired over it.

But it brought up an idea that I think has potential. I have not researched it too deeply, so I apologize if someone else is already doing it.

What about a Peer Review Network for ad campaigns?

How it could work:

Companies and ad agencies could post ideas, designs, test spots, or full ads on the site. The campaign could be set to private, invite only, or public. There you could invite people to give feedback, like or dislike, and offer ideas. It’s something of a crowdsourcing site for advertisers, and something of an advertising test network.

I think it would give those advertisers that are willing to test it out some good insight into what ideas catch on, and which ones should go back to the drawing board. That way they can avoid an absolute flop, like the one Facebook experienced this month.