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That’s Not How Advertising Works

advertisingadvertisingYou know how when you’re watching TV, you see the same ad at least eleven thousand times?

And how if you’re watching something online, you get the same commercial two or three times in a row sometimes?

The internet has made it easy for advertisers with data tracking. If you look up shoes, you automatically get ads for a thousand different online shoe retailers. If you look up diets, you get ads for magical diet pills. It’s so much easier to sell you something that they already know you want.

But sometimes, advertisers have to work blindly, so they rely on repetition and inundation to convince you to buy their products.

We have a hard time filling ad space in Splickety. People purchase an ad one time, and then when they don’t get sales, they say, “Well, that didn’t work, I’m not going to pay money for that again.”

But that’s not how advertising works.

It is highly unlikely that you will ever sell much with just one ad. Unless you’re a jewelry maker and you can get your ad to pop up on someone who just looked up “custom jewelry,” people aren’t going to want what you have to offer at first glance.

The reason advertising works (and it DOES work–that’s why so many apps and games and blogs and video sites rely on ads for revenue) is because it overwhelms you.

Unless you’re actively looking for a new blender, it’s unlikely that the new SuperShredder4000 will catch your eye at first glance. But if you see enough ads for the SuperShredder4000 and all the wonderful things it can do, you’ll start thinking about how nice it would be to do all those things, and maybe you should invest in a SuperShredder after all.

The same goes for advertising your book or other product.

It’s unlikely that people will need to read it the first time they see it. But if the ad looks tantalizing, it might stick with them. Then when they see it again, they’ll remember, “Oh, yeah, that looked good. I should check that out.” And then when they’re looking for something to read and they come across your ad, then they’ll remember that they wanted to check it out.

Good advertising isn’t about persuading someone to do or buy something. Most people hate being told what to buy. So if you’re trying to tell someone they have to buy your book right now, then chances are they’ll be annoyed by you and they’ll actively avoid your book. This is why people complain when others send them messages or create posts on social media that are all about their product/business and nothing else. It’s irritating.

Good advertising is about leaving a good impression. Think of the commercials that stick with you. One of my favorites is the Geico commercial with the little piggy crying “Wee, wee, wee!” all the way home. It’s hilarious. And it makes me think fondly of Geico. So if I’m looking for car insurance, they’ll come to mind, because I have a good association with them.

If you’re expecting to get rich off of one ad, it won’t work.

Advertising is an investment. It will take a lot of time and money and patience.

But if you do it well, it will work.

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About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

One comment on “That’s Not How Advertising Works

  1. Great observations, Avily. So true!

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