Monday, April 20, 2015

Stop Wasting Cash Online

You are probably wasting your money online. Most people are, even when they have other options. In the early days of the Internet, advertisers simply took the print world and superimposed those metrics and practices on the web. So we ended up with banner ads, pop-ups and a plethora of annoying space fillers. Well, umpteen years later, click just about anywhere and what do you see? Yep, banner ads, pop-ups and a plethora of annoying space fillers. Meanwhile, consumers long ago stopped paying attention. Many have even added ad blockers to their browsers, and they don’t even see what you are trying to offer.

See, the Internet is not a static medium where people are forced to interact with your content. It is a conversation people choose to have, both on social media and in traditional web forums. People simply do not “talk” they way they used to. They go online to interact, to be entertained, enlightened, and amused. They want to swap stories, share information and keep the conversation going. As a result, marketing online is much more subtle. And, surprise, surprise, content is still king.

Instead of wasting money on static ads and clickable banners, winning the marketing battle online requires a steady stream of creative and interactive content – stories, images, videos, and attention getters that users can share, trade, and, most importantly, discuss.

Content marketing is not about selling your product. It’s about adding value to the user’s experience online. This added value translates into brand loyalty, which will lead to buying decisions. No, this is not about “being visible.” It’s about being important, at that moment, enough to engage the user. With traditional print advertising, people were trained to sit and read the content, to take time with it. That dynamic does not exist online. In many cases, people only read headlines and first paragraphs. Or they look at parts of a video…or they do neither and just discuss the content at length on social media…without ever viewing it.

So, instead of trying to engage a public that is no longer paying attention to your adverts, you need to create an experience that draws users in and connects in a way only an interactive experience can.

Gennady Barsky is an entrepreneur - focused on helping companies increase profitability.

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