There is one absolutely certain, fool-proof method of winning the lottery, which I will reveal at the end of this article. Mean time, let’s talk about advertising online. To spend money on a conventional online advertisement campaign is to buy a set number of impressions, where x number of users will be exposed to the advertisement. It is commonly accepted that about 1 in every 50 users will click on an online advertisement. How many of the users who actually make it do your site then act on the ad is almost completely a function of luck.
Do not allow luck to determine the effectiveness of your ad campaign. Rather, be proactive and draw users to your site through an advertisement-action process.
Advertisement is often thought of as a stand-alone process, its goal only to lead the user to the website and then abandon him, as though in the gift shop of a museum. Instead, any online ad campaign should have a counterpart, a custom-designed web landing page or set of linked pages to which the user should be directed on your server. Here is how to design a complete ad campaign in three steps…
1. Preach to the Faithful
Find specific ways to target users who are specifically interested in your message. Advertise on opinion blogs or forum communities that are related to your product or service. Here, you can feel free to use jargon or specifics in your ad and explain clearly and without marketing-speak why it is worth their money and time.
2. Engage the Interested
Once someone has clicked on your ad, they should not just be directed to a spread of your products or services. Create a splash page with a compelling visual message, a graphic or short movie. Follow this with a simple, one-option, call-to-action…
3. Rally the Troops
Like our page!
Follow our twitter!
Buy our product!
Attend our event!
Organize your community!
Share our message!
It should be clear and certain what you want the user to do. Provide the resources for them to do this, either by linking them directly to the action that they should perform, or by showing a simple numbered (and preferably illustrated) flowchart about how to engage in the process. Make it easy, certain, and helpful.
Current advertising theory might equate user collection to running around in a rainstorm with a teaspoon. Instead, stand below a waterfall with a bucket. Valuable potential users are best found in intentional online communities built around the market or your product or service. Provide these users with something engaging and informative and direct them towards a definite call-to-action.
Only in doing this can you avoid the tragedy of wasted impressions and useless clicks.
Oh yeah, how do you win the lottery?
It’s simple: don’t play.
The odds are bad and the house always wins. So why bother? Don’t play a rigged game. And by extension, recognize that the conventional online ad game is rigged as well.
It is a game best played by making your own rules and creating a better game.