#FakeRules & #RealRules of Marketing

As Tim Ferriss wrote a few months ago:

Now, the bad news: no one “trick” will do the job. Marketing isn’t about hacks.

As renowned venture capitalist Ben Horowitz says: “There is no silver bullet. We’re going to have to use a whole lot of lead ones.”

There are a few hard and fast rules, but there is one you may have heard that isn’t true. It goes like this: “You have to get your advertisement in front of someone X times before they notice it, X more times before they click on it, and  X more times before they buy it.”

Baloney. #FakeRule. If it takes that long, one of the following is wrong:

A. You aren’t getting your book (or other product) in front of your market: The people that are actually interested in the genre you are writing.

B. Your ad isn’t good, or not connecting with people (or maybe, especially if you’re an author, you don’t get branding).

C.  A combination of A. and B.

I have wrote about how everyone has access to marketing tools on-line, and everyone is using them, so you are competing with thousands for potential readers. At the end of the day, however, the above points still apply. Many have seen the promises of easy, cheap ads on Facebook and forget how advertising works.

It comes down to money.

You do the right thing and dial in your precisely targeted audience of millions of people. You make a great ad featuring your book.  Your brand is amazing. But you get down to where you choose how much you’re willing to pay, and that $20 only gets you in front of a few hundred of the couple million.

Placement of a product in advertising, no matter the medium, is always driven by how much you want to pay. We all cannot afford bottomless marketing budgets, so what to do?

First, take advantage of the low-cost, entry level ads on Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads, etc., to beta test your ad campaigns. Review the stats, tweak as necessary, test again. Their may be no silver bullets, and sometimes your ad can be in the right place at the right time, but there is some science to it. You will begin to see what works, even from small results.

Second, after your cheap testing, draw up a plan for the coming year. Pencil in ad campaigns and events on a set schedule. Determine your budget. Since you’re planning months out, you’ll have more time to amass funds. You’re still going to have a spending cap, but you have built the foundation for success. After each ad runs, review, and improve when necessary.

Marketing and patience go hand in hand. It’s a long-term, ongoing process. It’s also a dynamic one and those dynamics are influenced by you.

However, don’t get completely enamored by at-your-fingertips on-line marketing.  Often, real, face-to-face connections with people — even only a handful — can trump the best internet marketing.  More on that next time.

Until then, continue to,

Find your Purpose. Find your Story.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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