I get asked a lot about the effectiveness of advertising and which ones should be used.

The buzz for entrepreneurs seems to be social media.
Boy, it is really powerful.
No doubt about it.

The John Deere 6110R is also powerful but it’s not the right tool for mowing your lawn.

The same goes for social media for a lot of businesses.

Why would you use social media for advertising your business?

Someone will say there are a lot of people there. And they are right.  But what about the message? Doesn’t that matter?

And someone will say that eyeballs are eyeballs and the more people who see the ad, the more people who will be engaged.

I disagree. Social media happens fast. It’s entertainment. The scrolling effect kills an ad faster than the eyeballs can catch it.

Ads have to be engaging.

It’s no longer good enough to buy eyeballs.

We live in an attention economy and the potential customer won’t give it to us, unless we’re new, exciting or different.

And if you think about it, nothing has really changed. Except where people are spending their time.

Screen times on phones, tablets and computers have skyrocketed, while tv screen time continues to hold its own with one slight change. Streaming services are outpacing cable tv.

I drive by 42 billboards every morning. I’m a marketer so I pay attention more than the average person. And I can’t remember one memorable board. It’s noise.

And that’s what happens with social media. It’s noise. Unless it’s new, exciting and different.

So please do yourself a favour. If you plan on opening an instagram account for your business, think twice about littering my feed with your garbage. It’s disrespectful.

Post a facebook ad, but make it new, exciting or different.

Adding irrelevant ads on facebook or google is worse than the paid ads on TV.

In fact, it’s way worse. Because this time, it’s personal. Commercials on tv wasn’t your fault. You had no way of knowing who I was. But now you do.

So what media works the best?

All of them work. Some will yield better results than others depending on who you’re trying to reach. But most importantly, whether you decide to use the mass media, social media or mobile media, the best way to break through all the noise is to have a compelling message.

The key to unlocking the big giant lock called persuasive advertising, is the message. The media is secondary.

But what’s your plan if you do use social media? If you post once per month. You’re no one in the digital world.

If you post for engagement, you’re wasting your time on keyboard warriors.

If you post creative, persuasive ads that force us to think, then you have a fighting chance.

Someone offered to manage my social media this morning. She gave three examples of other businesses who were doing a great job of engaging and communicating with their audience (her opinion).

A tear came to my eye. If this is the garbage social media “experts” are pawning off to unsuspecting clients, we have a bigger problem with recycling than you think.

Reuse, recycle, repeat…

But then again, maybe this is good news. Too many still don’t understand what good marketing is. Too many are wasting their money on ineffective methods that don’t return a reasonable return on their marketing investment.

Last week, a participant at my marketing presentation said billboard advertising was dead. Nobody pays attention to them and they a waste of money. The 42 I see everyday would reinforce that perspective. But what if you saw this ad? Maybe billboard ads aren’t dead after all, eh?

And the same goes for all media.

If you want my attention, you have to be worthy enough to break through the noise.

If you want my money, you have to give me hope.

And hope is all we can really strive for. Hope tomorrow will be better than today.

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