Alright, I understand that the header here might sound like a very raunchy kind of bad acted movie, but it is actually not the case. As I write these articles usually the evening before I have them published, I am watching outside our house right now, and see a ‘For Sale’ sign lacking the glittering red star-shaped balloon it had two hours ago. Somebody stole it (Scary ‘Tuh-Dum-Dum soundtrack here)!
Should I care? Am I completely in shock right now? Well, to be honest, it could hardly bother me. We have six signs outside, freshly printed. Three showing the for-sale sign, and three mentioning the open house. The five remaining ones still have their balloon attached at the moment of writing. And let’s be honest, the balloon is perfectly missing, including the string, so it feels like some parent took it for their kid. Which still doesn’t bother me. What does bother me, is that it has been happening for the last 3 weeks. And what’s worse, that it clearly seems to be okay to just take it for some people.
How is this going to be an article about IT. Well, it is pretty simple; because if you happen to have a website, a sort-like thing happens non-stop, and you probably don’t even care, or even think about it. But people steal your resources you need to promote and sell your products or services all the time. And I am talking about the effectiveness of your website, or even advertising in general.
If you have a product or offer a service, you only get paid if people actually buy that product or make use of your service. That makes total sense. But if you have a successful website, but fail to sell your products or services through it, it is like having a balloon you attach to a ‘For Sale’ sign stolen without someone returning anything for it. You invest in a site, people do use it, but it does not deliver you anything. It is like placing a Google AdWords advertisement that people also click on, but you don’t sell. In other words, you invest, but don’t see the slightest return.
Of course, it sounds to make sense, because their will be words floating in some minds about ‘but that is normal with advertising’. With advertising in the old-fashioned way, yes. If you would put a ad in a newspaper or magazine, and you won’t get any response at all? Fine. Ad campaign failed. Next try. Or putting a commercial on television and not receiving any calls or visitors. Fine. Fail and try again. But with the internet, you can track the effectiveness of advertising, and if people actually moved to your site, but not did anything there, it is something completely different. That is like someone reading your store’s ad in a magazine, deciding to go to the store because they liked your ad, and once there, not buying anything. The ad worked clearly, it triggered people’s interest. The same with online marketing. If people liked what you had to tell in the ad, and they decide to go to your website, and then not do what you thought they should do, it is something different.
In a simple technical economical way; people made use of the resources of your site – the server, the hosting, even a tiny little electric footprint, and it did nothing. Now, although this is ‘normal’, a lot of site owners do simply feel sad about it, but don’t do anything with it. They simply hope for a better batch of visitors next time. But what only a small number of site owners actually do, is grabbing the information and sit down and think. Because there is only one thing that requires your attention:
Your message in your advertising is wrong, and delivering the wrong expectation. So when the user clicks on it, thinking it would lead to one thing, but once on your site, they realize the site does not reflect that expectation.
So, or you messed up creating your advertising message, or you messed up on your website matching it to what people expect.
Think about it, you might absolutely lure people into coming to your website; ‘Free’, ‘Sale’, ‘Sex’, ‘Amazing!’… and then the bummer when you click on it. No Free. No Sale. No Sex. No Amazing anything. You put money into it, but there is no return. And it might be that you believe more in your advertising than the public does.
It sounds logic, doesn’t it? It still follows the path of knowledge you were taught in you economy and business classes. A commercial company only has right of existence by producing or plan to produce a profit in the foreseeable future. Let’s make it a bit more difficult. What does it mean to add in social media to the mix? Social media is more than just pages of people sharing what they do. It allows people to put a stamp on your product. In the Netherlands, for a long period of time in the ’80s and ’90s, there was a commercial series for a peanut company called Duyvis. It always showed a person with a stack of peanuts and he stamped every single one of them with an Ok stamp to show that they only approved the best peanuts. Well, that is what Social Media is now allowing everyone to do. With a ‘like’ you provide your own stamp of approval. And everyone does it. Anyone can do it. So it is important to have people ‘like’ you, even if it meant only that they like your product, page or service. It is good to have that going on. But, it doesn’t mean that people are actually customers. It doesn’t even mean that people are actually even interested in your product, service or page.
So, social media is important, but you might not have an idea in what way. People and companies might be so proud of having thousands of likes or followers, and although they deliver you exposure, it might not do anything for you, while another company might only have a few, but with a very high quality of an audience.
And that brings me to the message of this posting. It is not about marketing being a waste. Not at all. As I mentioned in my last posting, it is very important, if done right. The thought I want to put in your mind is that you should not want a lot of visitors, if they are not in some way doing something for you. Because no matter what, you pay for each visit to your site. No matter if it is time, money, or time and money. You pay. So you want to get as little amount of visitors that provide you with the most effective return to your investment.
So, if you like to have those thousands of people on your site, but just love to see the numbers get high, but don’t learn anything from it. Then you might not yet be up to play the game of running a commercial website.
It doesn’t mean that visitors should always return money in some way, although it is preferable. They also deliver you with data. Data why you are successful, or even more valuable, data why not. Take that, learn from it, and become better. Internet delivers you that powerful tool that no one had in the past.
So, about that balloon? Two couple’s came by showing interest in making an offer on the house. $1.09 well spent. I don’t give a crap about the balloon 😉