Dependence on Advertising is Lazy Marketing

May 9, 2011
posted by sheric

I realize that good marketing is made up of a mix of tools. One of those tools is advertising and it is probably the easiest to use and the most expensive. In order to get attention for every window of release, Hollywood studios spend buckets of money on advertising because it is the quickest and least painful way to get attention. Do they realize that they are not building any lasting assets for their company when they do this? They are renting space over and over instead of retaining consumer attention that they can stimulate again and again. But that takes work and when the budget is reduced (or gone), access to the rental space is reduced too.

I’m sure you know that your website is the biggest piece of online real estate you own. You control it and when you attract audience attention, it is up to you to keep it and to keep in touch for the future. Studios don’t do this. They really don’ t see it as useful to contact audience directly or to hear directly from them. Just have a look at the Warner Bros. site as an example. You can fill out a survey that basically asks you to be their web designer. You can click on the Facebook link which takes you to their page where they have hundreds of thousands of likes. But look at how the page is used. Just advertising the titles.  A few comments are left but rare that they ever answer them. To connect is damn hard work and if you can just buy everything, why bother?

But I’m thinking indie filmmakers can’t buy everything, you can’t just buy an audience. This is why you need to pull an audience to you rather than push a message out. Pulling is much harder than pushing, much more time and much more work. Think of this pulling as building assets to continue to attract and add value to your audience so you can minimize the amount of cash spent on renting advertising space and so you can build and maintain a sustainable audience.

What’s an asset?  A strong website that has heavy traffic derived from SEO, link authority and interesting content. A blog that repeatedly attracts the interest of your audience because you know what they are interested in and you find or create information to give them. This builds your email signup list and RSS subscriptions (the basic message here is they WANT to hear from you, you have their permission to communicate with them). A social media presence that attracts a like minded community to your work. Communities expand over time. If you are working for the long term, you want this continued expansion.

Why are these assets? Because in order to monetize your work, first you have to  build up interest in what you do and a network of people who want to support you. It is you, your talent and your knowledge that keeps them coming back, not a PPC ad, not a half baked contest. YOU and what you have to share.

It’s going to entail work and lots of time though.

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