Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Ashley Ford-McAllister
Founder & Owner of: Negative is Also a Charge
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Business and Successful Living Writer
Yesterday, I ordered a Christmas gift for my wife on the spur of the moment – it wasn’t something I’d even thought of before, and I wasn’t actually looking for gifts – we celebrate a little differently, as our focus is on Yule, and personal reflections associated with our belief system – we buy, typically, one or two gifts for each other, and that’s it. And I’d already sorted gift-buying – or so I thought!
So, why did I – the least likely person ever to impulse buy, fall for an impulse purchase? Was the strapline enticing? Were the graphics really cool? Was there a lot of clever CGI? Did the ad make effective use of cultural references that were relevant to my demographic?
No. (I probably wouldn’t have got the cultural references, anyway – I’m very atypical for my demographic – most of the “Heterosexual white urban male, 18-35” references, for any income bracket, pass me by.)
Was the product from a known and trusted brand, or supported by celebrities I identified with?
No. (I don’t really identify with any of the celebrities that’re likely to be endorsing products, to be honest.)
Did the advert weave a beautiful story, complete with evocative sound effects and imagery?
Was I feeling pressured into buying something, anything?
Did the product promise to meet a need (perhaps one I’d been unaware of until now?)
No – my only unmet needs, right now, are the money to repair my toilet and boiler, and a regular income – I don’t think anything that’s being sold to me is going to meet those any time soon.
So – how did the people behind this product make me buy it? How did the marketing work?
The marketing worked in the way all marketing will come to work, in that it (the marketing) wasn’t really “working” at all – if it was doing anything, it was sitting back, watching TV with its feet up, half an eye on what was going on, a glass of something pleasant in its hand.
I was browsing Facebook, just scrolling to chill, really, and happened to see a picture of this product – just the picture, no information, no “buy it now” link, no credits, even – in one of the groups I’m in – a group discussing Goth and its associated culture and lifestyle, as it goes. The post had been shared from another page, which primarily focuses on alternative news, and urban legends.
I Googled the product, went to the first website that came up, liked the price, and bought the item.
That’s what advertising should become – hopefully, will become: SEO for your product is set up well in advance of any product placement, and, once the SEO is running fine, you simply place a single image of your product – nothing else – in social media posts that aren’t about advertising. You run a page discussing urban legends, conspiracy theories, alternative news, marginal identities, the counterculture, celebrity fashion, music, a popular TV show, or whatever else you feel like discussing day in, day out, with high-volume, quality-content posts, and, every so often, you place a post that is simply a picture of an item you, or an advertiser, wants to sell, that is relevant in some way to a significant number of the people who follow your page. You keep the advertising posts to one a day, at absolute maximum, so that people don’t actually notice them, and you keep it to an image of the product, and maybe a comment as your page (keep the comment in line with your page identity.)
People see the picture of the product. They like the product. They Google it – make sure your SEO is set to basic, obvious keywords, as well as the fancy, clever, witty descriptions you’d use for your product. (The product in question, in my case, was a candle with the slogan “Date witches not bitches” – something my wife will find pleasantly amusing, and that is relevant to her attitudes and interests. I simply Googled “witches not bitches candle”.)
Also, it’s worth placing the same product, at a lower price, on Ebay, Amazon, etc – not everyone will be able to afford your target retail price. That’s not an excuse – it’s a fact. Sell at your target retail price on your website, at a “bargain basement” (meeting costs plus a little extra) on Ebay, etc, and maybe set up another, distinct website, with a “luxury” or “boutique” feel, and sell at your “dream price” there. Make sure this site also places in search results, and maybe make this the site you mention in print advertising (which is more expensive, and thus requires a higher return.) Most of your sales will probably come from the first two channels – the site selling at your realistic, target price, and the discounted third-party sites. But, every once in a while, someone will pay your “dream price” for your product – if you get the marketing right.
People’s attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter – many people probably won’t even read this post. They’re not interested in clever advertising, engaging product descriptions, etc, etc. You’re dealing with the mentality of the meme featuring a baby’s face, and the tagline – “Saw it, wanted it, got it.”
Consumers are used to Googling. They’re happy using Ebay, Amazon, etc to find the cheapest version of what they want. They don’t care about your story – they care about what they want. If they don’t want it on sight, you probably won’t ever convince them.
Article Credits: Ashley Ford-McAllister
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor