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Join the Second Life Advertising Beta!

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Nelson Linden

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As  part of our continued efforts to provide Residents with new ways to  promote and discover products, services, and inworld businesses, we have  recently launched the SL Advertising Beta at advertise.secondlife.com and we invite you to join the program.

Second  Life Advertising is a self-service advertising system allowing advertisers to purchase targeted display ads on multiple Linden Lab web  properties such as the SL Marketplace and SL Land Auction sites. If this test is successful, then we hope to extend advertising  offerings to additional Second Life web properties. To learn more, check  out Torley’s video tutorial on the wiki, where there’s also more information about the program.

Among other things, SL Advertising features include the following:

  • Display banner ads evenly over the time period you select
  • Target ads to specific SL Marketplace product categories

To join the program, just go to the SL Advertising Beta site and click on the “Get Started Now” button. Please send us all of your feedback, requests, or suggestions to sladsbeta@lindenlab.com. And if you're on Twitter, please use the #slmarketplace hashtag.

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Fairness here.  I tried the site from work, where we always use the latest version of Internet Explorer and the site worked just fine.  When I got home, I tried again using Firefox and Safari and got the same horrible looking result I had in the first place.

There should be a disclaimer in the initial post.  The site only supports IE.

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Oh Really? Thanks Ticious IE is the one browser I never use because... well because its IE.

I hope Linden Lab adds support for other browsers soon, kinda makes sense how it was unworkable if this is just a browser compatibility issue.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been so harsh & snippy with my earlier criticisms...

it does prominently say BETA on it after all

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Ticious: "When I got home, I tried again using Firefox and Safari and got the same horrible looking result I had in the first place.  There should be a disclaimer in the initial post.  The site only supports IE."

Not meaning to contradict, but I accessed the site using Firefox, and it worked "fine"-- if one defines "fine" as "mass of first-semester web-student coding".  I didn't have any trouble with actual access.  It was with core concept, design and user interface; that was not due to the browser. I managed to sign up for a $10 test run (couldn't resist-- curiousity got the best of me.  All I can say is this:  at this point, with my ad running, I've noticed zero change in market activity (and just to be fair I decided to put my best foot forward and advertise my most popular product.)

So thus far, not impressed.

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Nice posting, how does the pricing compare with the old banner ad system on Xstreet which randomly put up ad's that were not targeted to a specific category. Anyone have data on the conversion they got from the old Xstreetsl banner ad buys? Being able to target adult or the Auction site for homes seems useful.

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A couple quick points:

  • Feedback email link does not work. For some reason, Gmail is not recognized. One must manually open Gmail and type the address
  • Ads appear in the wrong slot. Purchased top slot, but ad appears in bottom slot
  • Campaign seems to have begun two days late (8th instead of the 6th)

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Followup:

I sent a note about the wrong position of the ad via SLA site help. I got a positive resolution within four (4) hours! Wonderful. Thank you. If only all SL could be like this.

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Hope this helps you keep your buisness (Idea) alive but on balance there is limited mileage in marketplace n ads and this must now be as far as they can push the marketplace any further may result in an overkill.  Just like they did with mainland pumping to much out then being stuck with it with no way of cutting back only stacking on servers.

Focus now needs moving away from established buisness (ideas) and helping the little Guy/Girl who has a very good imagination but carnt get their ideas off the ground due to not being able to compete in search and half the grid using v2 seach while the wise use older viewers where search works the gulf is getting wider.

New users struggling on V2 and oldies swaping from V2 to original viewer to keep their inworld (idea) alive. Inworld Inworld inworld that was the core design of SL and prim teir use we need users searching INWORLD not an ebay wannabe you now buy somthing offworld and then rez inworld and sit their twiggling your thumbs you automaticly end up back searching webpages just to pass the time without thinking lol.  A new breed of SL users who very rarely login because more going on offworld than in.

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IT'S A LONG ONE... BUT

I hope somebody is reading this.   There is a probelm for my specific business, I sell homes, one the the  cooler sapects of second life, and one that a huge percentage of users  take advantage of.  So here is a lil role play of that experience!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I want to find a sexy outfit for my avatar, I look at the "Catagories", and see "Appearal"

ok, thats clothes, and I'm off to the races.

So now that I look all sexy, I want to set myself up with a cool pad to meet and greet my friends, show off a lil bit!.

I  go to the search catagories, hmm where are the homes?  I see building  components, but I dont know how, or even want to build anything, I want  to buy a beach house!

Building Components

Hmm,  what the heck is all this?  I dont want windows, or elevators, I dont  want to build anything, I want a home, a cool one like I see in all the  pictures!  What the heck is a structure? part of a home, an airplane  hanger? Well lets click that.

 

Ohhhh ok, there they are, I think, residentail structures, probably?

Yep, here are the homes!  Awesome, I cant wait to get a kickA&& beach house!

Click!

 

SERIOSLY? No beach houses? WTF, 3 asian, 10 fanatsy, 8 historical? and no beach houses, I'll just type beach house in search!

type type type CLICK!

Holy crap 181 PAGES of beach houses!

and END SCENE!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Imagine shopping for example a new convertable sports car if the tree looked like this:

Transportation components

     Tires

     Batteries

     GPS Units

     Fuel

     Missle Guidance Systems

     Insurance

     Propellers

     Achors

     Brake pads

     Oil/lubricatns

     Polishes/Waxes

     Spark Plugs

     Vehicles------------

                              Air

                              Sea

                              Space

                              Land -------     Comercial

                                                    Military

                                                    Industrial

                                                    Mass transit

                                                    Recreational

                                                    Personal---------ETC!

 

You get the point!

 

Bringing this to the point of the advertising system now.

Amo  and I are both full time merchants, which is to say we earn our RL  livng by building and selling here is SL.  We think very seriously about selling in SL and we are always interested in  effective ways to reach more people, and the new marketplace has made  selling easier for the average user, and it has been a net positive for  us.

So kudos for that.  New users are loaded up with lindens, and if  they are not, they have little difficulty in getting them, and spending  them. In the old days we would spend a huge amount of time walking  customers thu that procees.  Im glad that is over!

I am however  pretty much certain that I will be canceling all my premium listing  enhancements as the new system yields us almost no return.  While sales  are up, exposure and click thrus are now a fraction of what they were in  Xsteet, and not even a healthy fraction

The net gain has been a  result of many new users, and those new users coming to the store ready to buy, and not as the result of the enhancments we pay for, as  the new configuation severely dimishinshes the amout of exposeure they  recieve.

So when I think about advertising, and paying for  advertising, I think, about the way they have organized and presented  the catagories.  Will people see it, when I need them to see it, will they click, will it generate  visits to the store, will it beat our word of mouth which costs us  nothing more than hard work.

As it is now, for our product, which  is homes, I think not.  If you look at the number of listings for  "residental structures", it dwarfs all other catagories in the "Building  Components", almost combined, yet it is burried 3 tiers deep, and given a name  that no marketing guru in the world would suggest.  You would never sell  Cola by placing it in a catagory called "pre sweetened carbonated  beverages" you also have to navigate thru elevators, scripts, textures  and temp rezzers to get to it.

I recently spoke to a manager of a  large estate, 600 regions, who told me 95% of all that land is  residential.  People buy land to express their style in a home.  Leasing  this land is the core business of LL, yet the products that drive this  business, home sales, is one of the most confusing catagories to  navigate.

If there was a Homes catagory that was obvious to the  shopper, on the main page, and at the top of the tree, and believe me  thay want that, and the subcatgories matched even relativley closly to  what people actually buy, Beach Homes, Castles, Modern Homes, County  Homes, Gothic Homes, Asian Homes, etc, and if the page loaded with more  than 3 premiu listings at the top, Advertising would make much more  sense to me.

But now the things I already pay for have such a low impact  in terms of click thru and actual conversions to visits and sales, I  cant rationalize it.

Maybe the point is to make the marketplace  more generalized, and thus increase the need for advertising, but when  the stratagies they offer now are not effective, what would motivate me  to spend more on new strategies when they do not seem to understand how  to steer the eyes to the appropraite products.

The home building  business is a core business in SL, it is the driving force behind land  sales and rentals.  If the way they organize the marketplace cant  effectively steer eyes to such a significant catagory, and acant collect those eyes as they begin shopping, what would make  me think they will steer the eyes I want to reach to my adverisement,  when I need them to see it?

Would running an be ad more powerful to me than a shopper simply typing "beach home" in search, like has to do now.

If there was a HOMES button on the main shopping tree

If that landed them on the HOMES page

If when they got there they saw a big advertisemnt.

That  would be worth paying for.  But when they type "beach home" in search,  as most do becuse there is no HOMES button, or anyother way to actually  effectively find a home on SL marketplace, and collect those motivated buyers eyes, guess what, they have already  found my products, with pictures, and details and pricing, and reviews  and a way to get right to the store to see them.

It is as thought  they lay a complicated and misdirected path to one of the most comonly purchased, and important productsto teh SL economy, and then want to sell me an advertisemewnt to reach people who  have already jumped thru those hoops and found me.

A fully finished  home is a core, retail, consumer product in SL,  It is not the same as a  door script, a sculpty map or a texture.  Those actually ARE building  COMPONENTS!

If you had a place that collected eyes interested in  the types of products I sell, when they are motived to buy them, I  happily would pay to get in front of those eyes and make an impression.

I  don't want the eye's of casual browsers.  Retention is proven to be very  weak, and broadcast adverts so comon that our brains instictively filter them out. They are simply not targeted ot timely enuff to pay off.  I  want the eyes of people who are looking for a home, when they are  looking for it.  Those people at that moment, when the ad will have the  greastet effect.

As it is now, everyone just types "Beach house",  or "Castle", or "Asain House"  in search, and that brings them directly  to the home builders product listings.  There is no way to get in front  of those eyes, beacuse they have already had to do the work of finding  you.

You are placing the "Eat at Joe's Next Exit" sign in the parking lot of "Joe's Diner",  instead of 1 mile before the highway off ramp!

Or placing it in Times Square, where nobody will remeber "Joe's" 10 seconds later.

To have any effect, Joe needs to have his billboard seen by hungry motorists, when they are approching his diner, not in the last big city, and not in in his parking lot!

Build me an off ramp and 1 will happily put a billboard there!

 

.

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The SL economy is in serious trouble - serious trouble. In four years, I have never seen things so bad. I  question my sanity for not pulling out while there is still time. I guess I am a silly romantic living on hope and a miracle. You saw Desmond's analysis in another blog. The fear is spreading to the big players now.

Confidence in Linden Lab is at an all-time low. The company has made terrible mistakes over the past three years that have undermined investor's faith in the whole enterprise. Linden Lab is in trouble and it knows it. The VCs see it all slipping away and they don't know what to do. Ergo Philip's panic secondment and the drive to create a workable SLM and SLA.

I will be very frank. Without SLM and SLA, I would be dead in the water. I would have had to bail out of SL with huge losses. I hang on by a thread only because of SLM and SLA - two projects that finally add value to SL instead of the litany of failures (VAT, OS, AU, V2, mainland supply, AC,  Zindra, Teens) that have been gnawing like termites at the entire political-economic infrastructure for the past three years.

 

 

Linden Lab have only themselves to blame.....from being on the brink of becoming something large...it manages to score own goal after own goal. You can't lay the the blame on the "Recession"....as that would contradict and not explain IMVU's rapid growth over the last 18 months along with it's buoyant economy. (I've communicated with some of IMVU Content Creators)

That's the problem of accepting VC money.....it can serve as a "noose around your head" in later years......hence some of the wierd strategies we've been seeing!

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Rene, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The current discount  price of a campaign is ample compensation for testing the system. I think I spent a measly 50 bucks so far, but if this system works, I will gladly up it to hundreds.

The SL economy is in serious trouble - serious trouble. In four years, I have never seen things so bad. I  question my sanity for not pulling out while there is still time. I guess I am a silly romantic living on hope and a miracle. You saw Desmond's analysis in another blog. The fear is spreading to the big players now.

http://blogs.secondlife.com/community/features/blog/2010/10/28/the-second-life-economy-in-q3-2010#comment-791557

Confidence in Linden Lab is at an all-time low. The company has made terrible mistakes over the past three years that have undermined investor's faith in the whole enterprise. Linden Lab is in trouble and it knows it. The VCs see it all slipping away and they don't know what to do. Ergo Philip's panic secondment and the drive to create a workable SLM and SLA.

I will be very frank. Without SLM and SLA, I would be dead in the water. I would have had to bail out of SL with huge losses. I hang on by a thread only because of SLM and SLA - two projects that finally add value to SL instead of the litany of failures (VAT, OS, AU, V2, mainland supply, AC,  Zindra, Teens) that have been gnawing like termites at the entire political-economic infrastructure for the past three years.

For once, I agree with crazy Prok. Linden Lab has got to wake up from its acid trip and turn professional. Otherwise, Second Life is going to crawl to its 10th birthday as the 'CompuServe' of the virtual universe.

Therefore, I am bloody impressed with SLM and SLA. They are the only good thing to happen to SL since Windlight. They might possibly save my business and the businesses of thousands of other SMEs. Finally, something to be happy about in SL.

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In theory, my ad was moved to the correct slot, but the slot is not rotating the ads. Someone else's ad is fixed in the slot, so not sure if mine will ever appear

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They should have been accepting linden dollars from the start
But you need a credit card to advertise with this program

Dreamstream Media,
Shoutcast Streaming Solutions
Daily, Weekly, Monthly Rentals

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Yes, I agree with you. The whole thing should have been integrated with SL from day one. It confused me greatly at first that it wasn't. I kept trying to log in with my SL account. Finally, I created a new account. I have no idea what will happen when the accounts are reconciled at some point. Seems messy to me.

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If any of these Adverts appear on 16 sq. m., 32 m., or 64 m. plot's (That we faught against.), are we (Second Life Resident's, Founders, Builders, and Patrons) allowed to sue Linden Labs for falsely selling us their Bogus, and Ever Expanding Virtual Land, to unsuspecting investor's/buyers into this Corporate Thievery, and Greed? (Consumer Protection Act of California?)

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Hey people,

I just wanted to fill you in on things.... I spent some time & took a much more granular look at this ad service and talked with the people at Glam (who are providing this ad service for Linden Lab) in much detail about what all is offered.

The Glam team is friendly, and they were incredibly prompt & helpful!

My earlier badgering of LL about this system was unneeded & based on ignorance, my apologies..... sometimes I act like an idiot

Sure the website needs work (its BETA), but once you understand what you are getting with this ad system (which right now requires the Glam team explaining it to you), it is a decent service offered at a fair price (in my opinion).

The price is reasonable (at least at their current "discount" rate) although the way the site words everything (incomprehensibly) you'd think it is insanely expensive. Honestly, at first I was offended, thinking this was basically just a cash grab to take advantage of dumb people!

I don't have a need for any big ad campaign at the moment, but next time I feel that itch to make pretty banner graphics, want to promote a special new item, or if I see any slump in sales I might use this service.

Oh oh... I'm agreeing with Prok again (does that make me officially crazy? )

...but anyways, I'll just say thanks Linden Lab for providing us with another possible way to make our business presence here more visible. It is nice to have multiple streams for this.

Kudos again LL & Happy Holidays everyone!

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Well glad you're happy.  I respect your opinion. But I have a couple of questions:

1) Did you buy an ad campaign?

2) Has that campaign produced any results?

 

Because I'm tracking my $10.oo (cheap cheap) 100,000-impression campaign, featuring my most popular product... and it has yet to produce a single result.

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I do say I like the easy-to-read demographics on the server page.  Here's what I found:

* In two days I have had 8,000 impressions appear (supposedly. Who knows?)

* 27 people have actually clicked.  That's an average of 1 click for every 296 impressions.  Not impressive overall.  Not terrible, but nothing to write home about.

* Out of those 27 clicks, not one sale.

That's okay.  I can accept that.  27 clicks, not a large population on which to build a results evaluation.  Still, one would think that out of 27 people who were interested enough in a product to actually click the banner... at least ONE might buy it.  Especially since it is a killer product that outsells all my other products fourfold.  It's cheap, it rocks... and not one person bought?

Like I said, I can accept that.  Let's see how many people click and buy over the next 2 weeks... and if the advertising proves worthwhile... or not.  It will be an interesting experiment.  But I do have to say that zero sales out of 8,000 impressions is not promising.

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Hey Wayfinder,

I haven't actually got a campaign yet sorry, but I will get one at some point down the road. I'm just not feeling the need for more advertising at the moment.

I am happy this option is there now, as before... it wasn't an option

Several times in the past I ran banners with the Xstreet crew before LL bought it up & really this new package by Glam is highly similar. It is impossible to gauge real accrued sales data from this kind of campaign but I think it can be effective (or forgettable, or even damaging if your ad sucks!).

I remember there was convos on the Xstreet forums about exactly this topic. I take it literally, I am buying "impressions" as in the most common understandings of the word (making an impression), not sales or click-throughs or anything else.

Impressions, taken literally, is yes just people "meeting" your brand, and hopefully you create a pleasantly memorable impact. One impression today could translate into multiple sales 3 months from now (or translate into absolutely nothing). Like a meme, an impression can travel between persons... somebody sees your banner... later their friend is looking for a similar item, and your name is remembered.

Powerful stuff eh?

That's how I see it anyway Best of luck with your campaigns!

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Your results from 8000 impressions doesn't surprise me. In-world Classified adverts use to be effective, but they're going down the same panner. The whole shopping expereince i've found of late....is done off Marketplace.

I can't see how in future one can maintain a whole sim (for a Main store)....when people are shifting away from inworld shopping towards Marketplace. In the long run, I cna't see how LL comes out ahead on the income curve.....i would have thought Tier income from shops & SL businesses would be more in value than Marketplace commissions.

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Hi wayfinder just a small idea that may push sales have you actually designed your own website to direct the possible traffic clicks to if you create a diffrent shopping concept to users they may want to have a look at whats on the website eg all your items, reviews, small blogs just for capture,  Your best recommended locations and tips ect.  As this seems the only proper use of adds is link to personal websites then your website can cover many many product intrests depending on the name of site you choose and therefore you can club together with others and promote your website you never know you could even start having your own adds service hehe.  But its all about costs adds will never pay to promote a few items you need a full shopping website or website service to promote. Thats the problem with these adds are they really designed for sl users to sell items?  inworld search was designed for that.

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