“No amount of paid media is going to turn bad creative into good content.”
I read this quote from Gary over the weekend, and in my mind it was an instant winner.
As the old saying goes… if I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen a bad ad I’d be wealthy beyond belief.
Aside from posters stuck to street poles or flyers hand delivered around town, it used to be that when you were about to run an ad, a LOT of time, preparation, and thought went into that creative.
If you were about to drop 10K into a television commercial, you didn’t just throw something together overnight and send it for airing. You got professionals to go over it time and time again. You planned the visuals just right, you hit the wording absolutely perfect, and you made sure the exact message you wanted to share was delivered without a hitch.
Same with a radio spot.
Or a billboard.
Or a paper ad.
Yet even with the amount of time, focus, planning, and forethought that went into each and every one of these campaigns, they still weren’t all winners. Heck, any honest ad exec – even the biggest and most powerful – will tell you that you win some, and you lose some.
Can you imagine if Pepsi dropped half a million in a television spot and didn’t plan anything out, stayed up late one night after a few beers, flipped open their camera, filmed a quick commercial and sent it in for airing? Someone would be losing their job.
Fast forward to today where it’s VERY possible to get the exact same reach as everyone else, for next to nothing.
Today, you can create a piece of content, share it online for free, have it go viral, and have everyone with an internet connection talking about it. All for free.
This immediately causes young, naïve entrepreneurs to see dollar signs. Compound that with the myriad so-called “experts” pushing the “you can be an expert because you can be your own media company all for free,” and bam, you’ve got yourself an amplification of really shitty ads, wasteful marketing, dissolution of the global “free media,” jading of the population, and basically a bunch of broken dreams.
Sounds pretty grim, I know. But it’s the truth.
Most companies see social media as free media, which in a way is accurate, but what hasn’t changed (and never will change) is the amount of time, effort, planning, and overall good marketing strategy that should go into the creation of any ad.
The media may be free, but the marketing is not.
Listen, just because the method of delivery, the medium, is free or very cheap and can be done by anyone doesn’t mean that the creative process is cheap, or should be attempted without knowing what the heck you’re doing.
Take some of the major viral campaigns over the past few years, like the Always #likeagirl campaign that gathered over 63 million views, or the Dove Real Beauty Sketches or even the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. These were major campaigns that went viral, that accumulated massive amounts of media and hits online, all without traditional television, radio, or newspaper.
BUT, don’t for a second think these campaigns didn’t cost a fortune in back-end costs – and that’s where people get mixed up.
These brands didn’t pay for traditional air time, but they paid big bucks behind the scenes to create a story that was powerful, film it in a way that tugged at your heart, and then they released it online with massive impact.
The amount of work (and money) behind each of those viral campaigns was huge, even if they didn’t have to pay big television bucks to air it.
When a client hires us to create an online campaign it takes us hours and hours and HOURS of planning to make sure we’re hitting the right buttons, at the right time and that we’re eliciting the appropriate and desired reaction.
Here, think of it like basketball…
It’s silly to think that you don’t need to practice day in and day out, to drill the basics over and over, and to master your craft just because you can get scouted from the backyard basketball court and make it to the big leagues.
I remember a story Jay Abraham tells of a radio host whose “claim to fame” was that he could write a 60 second ad in 60 seconds, and Jay recalls how this was a massive disservice to so many because it essentially delivered no results whatsoever.
I challenge you to stop just posting anything you want on social media thinking it’s good marketing, and to actually PLAN your ads. And no, “boosting” it on Facebook won’t help.
Again, no amount of money can turn bad creative into good content.
As I mentioned earlier, with the easy nature of marketing on social media, the market has become increasingly jaded and the population is getting incredibly good at “tuning out” anything they don’t want – even before seeing if they want it or not.
If you don’t capture that prospect’s attention immediately, boy, that flick of the finger sends your ad flying into the underworld faster than you can say “fail.”
As a business owner, this is my plea to you… stop posting garbage.
- Be thoughtful
- Tell a story
- Understand your buyers’ true needs and wants (not just what you think they are!)
- Be creative
- Write out at least 100 headlines to find the one good one
- Test everything
- Use incredibly powerful visuals
- Test the best offer
- Use an excellent call to action
- Use the right keywords
- Don’t be fake – real matters
- Hit the pain points
- Highlight the benefits, not the features
- Sell the result, not the product/service
- Understand if your market reacts more to pleasure or pain as a motivator
- Use marketing driven copy
- and PLAN!
Always remember, selling has NOT changed. The medium has, but the process that someone goes through when buying has not. Understand human psychology, transfer your emotion, don’t spam, and grow your business ethically.
To your success,
CEO RYS Group
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