After reading a post from Jon Jackson titled “Hello, I’m here. Please do talk to me” I had an epiphany. I wrote an opinion just around a week ago about the old saying “Content is King.” I also made the tired statement that traditional advertising is dead.
My epiphany? Both of the comments I made, and the opinions I wrote about them are wrong.
Content is critical, but it is worthless if people can’t find it. Your website may have the best content in the world but, if no one is showing up to check it out, then it’s certainly not King.
Traditional advertising is no longer working, that much is true. But the correct statement would be ALL advertising is dying a slow death.
We are so oversaturated with colorful ads full of fantastic pitches that we’ve gone blind to most of them. Do you even notice the banners at the top of any webpage you go to? Unless it’s an ad for a movie you already anticipate you probably don’t even notice that banner.
Need gas? You’ll be treated to ads in the office or store windows, on top of the pump, on the new TVs mounted in the pump bodies, and even on the pump handle itself.
At what point does it all just become background noise?
Personally, I find the pump TVs all blaring at me in unison so obnoxious that I will avoid a station that has them. If I’m forced to fill up at one I will walk away from the pump so I can’t see the ads and hopefully cut down on their volume by hiding behind the back of my car.
But that’s not the only advertising assault that bothers me. All if it does. I now catch myself thinking “I will now NOT buy that product because they’re beating me over the head with the ad.” How much is too much? I feel like we will all know that answer very soon.
Advertising is no longer as effective as a sales tool as it once was. Something good is beginning to happen- for a product to sell it has to have enough value that it generates buzz. People have to like it enough to talk about it.
That’s the killer feature now - quality. And networking. Content isn’t “King,” conversation is.
Discussions sell. Referrals sell. Reviews sell. And to get those you need quality, or at least value.
It can be lasting or fleeting value. It can be classic or silly value. It can bring us joy for years or happiness for an afternoon. But it has to deliver well enough that people will go on Facebook and say “hey, check this out.”
The barrier to market is so minimal now, for any idea or creation. Wrote a book? Amazon will make you an overnight success. But, only if it’s good enough that people will review it favorably and share info about it with their friends or followers.
Created the next million dollar widget? If it truly is an earth-shattering idea just put them in people’s hands and they will advertise for you.
Humans want to know something others don’t. It makes them feel powerful and special in some way. It’s almost like we’re all a little slice of Galileo, discovering something amazing and desperately wanting to be the first to share it with the public. There is some kind of deep satisfaction derived from saying “look what I found.”
All advertising is nearly dead. Your success as a writer or inventor now depends on the little bar at the bottom of Amazon or eBay’s screen that says “People like you also bought…” and the reviews under the suggestions that make the product interesting.
After that, it’s the buzz that counts. It’s the networking, picture sharing, Twittering public’s conversations that will make or break you.
If you build it, they probably won’t come.
But if you build it and they talk about it, then you’re golden.