Should You Pay to Promote Something with No ROI? Yup.


You guys have all heard me talk about the jab jab jab right hook concept. You know I’m all about it and think it is the number one way to grow a business. Quick crash course if you don’t know: you jab your customers over and over to begin with and provide them with nothing but value. Forget your ROI. Just make great content that they can use. Then, hit them with the right hook. The sale. The ask to buy. But those first jabs are crucial, and you can make them all pretty much for free using social. I did it for Wine Library, and spoiler alert: it worked really well.

But a question I often get is whether you should ever pay for those initial jabs.

A jab, which is to say something without a call to action — not “buy this wine” but rather an infographic describing the different grapes and regions — should just be a piece of good content. Should you spend $300 or $400 on promoting it? Is it worth it for building up equity and then later coming with the right hook?

Absolutely yes.

BUT. It definitely depends on a few things. Namely, how much money do you have?

I couldn’t do this three years ago. I couldn’t afford it. Ten years, forget it. So it depends on where your business is. If you have a limited budget, you’re probably going to want to save it for the right hook: “Hey, buy this wine”. Direct. To the point. Tell people what you want them to hear straight away. Never stop jabbing though! Just reap the benefits of the free jabs social media gets you.

Content that doesn’t have an ROI has an enormous purpose

But let’s say you have an actual marketing budget. You’re a bigger brand or shop or business. In that case, there is enormous value in getting your jabs in front of more eyes. And the best way to do that is paid promotion. I’m spending a TON of money on jabbing to build up awareness, so obviously I’m a big fan of putting money behind jabs. Content that doesn’t have an ROI has an enormous purpose. You spend money not only on making it but also on getting it out there, because you have to think of yourself as a marketer AND brand manager, not just a core salesman. Get it?

So if you can afford it, do it. You won’t be sorry. Allocate some level, 10% to 30% of your budget, on just jabs. If you’re a huge brand with big pockets, there I even say 50/50, half on jabs and half on right hooks. They’re both equally important. The setup, then the sale. Boom.


Thanks for reading! If you thought there was some value in this (maybe you felt a little jabbed?) I’d really appreciate you sharing it out to your network and recommending it.

Like what you read? Give Gary Vaynerchuk a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.