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How to advertise in SL?


Poenald Palen
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SL is certainly a bizarre world. I've been trying to find some good, efective ways of in-world advertising but have had little sucess on my own. I've been told things like adboards and classifieds don't really work most of the times, especially for newcomers.

I'm just look for some advice on in-world advertising for SL shops. I would like to tell people inworld "Hi, my shop exists and you can find it here. We exist."

Does anyone have some tips for me?

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There is a guide for this at teh SL wiki. here is the link to the whole section that is related and all of it's guides: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Business,_Education,_and_Marketing

I don't actively improve my business in SL, I am working very slowely on upgrades and even new products. So, I have no examples, stats or nifty charts of how things might improve. I haven't tried many avanues that I have seen. I noticed most SEO, pay tonnes for classifieds, rank higher in the places search tab via traffic numbers being high (for those looking for active places to hang out) and there are things you can join. All of this is not truly advertising and the main advertising I have heard about is on the marketplace website. I have heard very mixed responses on this, many try it and hate it because you don't get good direct response from the marketplaces banners, as far as the response being sales. But, some seem to do it constantly and seemed to have a good business going on.

I guess that I think one way advertising is not really seen as advertising (but basically is) and has worked to draw my attention is products being seen by me, editied so I can find the maker and then I visit their profiles listed store! Not orthodox advertising, but is a method to find a store when you see somethng you like. In effect, the product that is seen is in of itself capable of being a billboard type of item. Not saying it is effective, but it is not exactly word of mouth because there is a lack of advocacy or communication at all between the customer and the prospect.

 

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There really is no way to reach a broad sector of the population with advertising in SL.  Frankly most people don't pay attention to advertisements.  Your most effective advertising will be a quality product and word of mouth. Just like RL it can take a long time to build a successful business in SL unless you have a really unique product that is in high demand.

However other than Ad Boards and Classifieds

Sponsor Events at venues that cater to your target customer.  Contact the owners of these venues and offer them prizes for their events in return for some advertising.

Have an events at your store, such as a live music performance, contests etc., that brings in your target customer.

Put it in your profile picks and enourage your friends and other customers to do the same.

Blog about your shop and related things in SL that appeal to your target customer. Perhaps even use Facebook and Twitter if that fits.

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well imho, there is no secret recipe. Its a whole thing, you need to use several tricks.

ad boards and classified ads are one of them but its not enought.

You need also to attract pp in your store with some free things. Most of them wont buy indeed, but trust me, some will buy, some others will come back later and buy and anyway, everyone wearing smth from you  even if they got it for free is an ad for you, since pp will ask them where they got it.

You need to join some group, where you can send notices (you ll need to ask the owner's group the ability to do it), some of them allows only notice for free things or less than 10 l$, (you can check my profile, i have tons of them), some will allow you to send notices for regular items.

having a mm board and ad for it in tons of group help a lot too.

you can have gatchas, lucky boards, group gits, special gifts, or even reg freebies and ad for them too.

you also need to send reviews of your items to bloggers for they feature them in their blog

you can have your own blog and your own group to send regular updates to your customers

as you can see, its not only one trick but a lot to use at the same time.

but the first step is to make pp come inside your store. no matter they buy or not, you cant know in advance.. but one thing is sure is that the ones who wont come in you store wont buy.... So make your store attractive, in all the way you want to do it. Its work, and i can tell you that pp want regularity otherwise they forget you fast.  But the good point ive noticed in SL is that works always pays. 

Good luck :smileywink:

if you want to contact me inworld i may explain you in details how i do, so feel free to do. Of course, i still dont have find the secret recipe for making a thousand sells everyday lol, but it still pays and help me for my tier in a good way.

eta : and yes ive also forgot about sponsoring event and there are still other tricks i m surely forgeting

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I guess I should mention that advertising is sort of a hard thing in SL due to a few factors. 1) most people don't travel much in SL and it is all in search, word of mouth, advertisments seen online or blogs, and checking things in the flesh that they see else where.

2)hang out in small numbers. A simulator, 256meterx256meter area (approx. 16 acres) basically is not in view and holds up to 40 people, most places being busy and only holding 20 at a time! Through out the day many visit, but number 3kicks in.

3) Textures don't fully load and there are usually lots of things to see.

So, as far as advertising (by the definition) there is sort of no hope. I mean, as far as in world goes.

Having said that, you can still try adn use what is there but maybe try to find out if it is worth it by seeing the traffic, testing if the image will load and see if visitors even notice. Even then, direct response can easily be measured with a few devices (using a different landing point for your Land marks that you place in a adboard and then having a collision door mat record the people droppng in) and then you have your own data to decide. This is part of marketing, recoding and tracking response.

Not only that, but advertising coud be in your very own store to indicate products you have that are related to the one they are looking at, because some items may end up being placed logically but you find out that people who like one thing also like things in another catagory. A easy example could be advertising shoes where an outfit is. This sort of cross reference style of thing might work out well, but of course why just place an advert when you can place a purchase box or vendor! Either way, the boxes image is made to advertise this item as something else other than just simiply what it is, it is a different than usual box image for that product with a hint at why it is there. This is getting really a bit off from the purpose of advertising BUT I have heard some blogs do this with thier banner ads. They use thier own pages, thier own sections as a "product" to "advertise" to the customers and since they are not from an ad network, don't move and shout they are not blocked by ad software. Maybe the same works for SL?

I guess the issue I see here is that there are not many offering Marketing data, as in basic response to an advertisment and in fact many will advocate (for good reason) using other things as a means to get sales. Advertising is hard to do, it barely works IF it even does (as far as in-world,) from the impression I get and have experienced myself. I gues SEM, SEO, Word of mouth, branding, marketing weighted on product to end user support and community are the general direction I have seen many go. They say to have groups, subsciption services for those who don't like to join groups, gifts or competitions for customers. The idea is to do whatever you can to get a customer and then hold onto them and hope they tell others or others seek the items they see others as having. Any time your wares, logo or whatever is seen this is a time your product is being branded BUT your conduct, activities with your customer community are all effecting things as a whole to make a experience that works and then people buy again, tell again, see/hear/experience it/the brand again and repeat it again. Sponsoring events is not advertising per se, but does get a billboard or a logo placement, for example. But this is much more of a social thing, not pure advertising because you are also helping the community feel better, be better and come together and cohere as a community....it is a broader thing than just a logo placement! You see what I mean, advertising is tought but other things are out there and some may be more powerfull anyway.

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It is different for each merchant, some do great by participating in hunts or MM boards. For others it helps to advertise in magazines and on websites, others mainly concentrate on sending messages to groups they belong too. Even buying listing enhancement on marketplace works for some merchants.

I tried about everything when it comes to marketing and advertising. It will cost you a lot of time to reach a broader audience then you would have reached without advertising.

After some years of marketing activities I gave up on 99% of them. My conclusion is that the time spend on marketing is better spend on making new products. At least for my brand is a new release on marketplace the best advertisement for my other products I can get.

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  1. Decide how much money you can invest in advertising;
  2. Hire a person/people to do all your promotional stuff and pay them a certain percentage of your sales;
  3. Try to keep yourself focused on creating.

For a while now I am doing my own advertising and I can make you a huge list of stuff to do. Effective advertising happens when you cover the most of whats there, for least expense. At the end, time will be your biggest problem because if you're good at advertising, you won't have time to make products. 

My place is in top 5 of search results for a while now (when the search works lol), its a photo studio. I have ad boards (not really sure it pays off to rent them), satellite shops that are rented only to show off our photos (one of them at a place with 40k steady daily traffic), I do partnership with other businesses to promote each other, my friends are advertising me in their pics, groups and blogs, I have a website, flickr account and a page, fb account and page. I do free stuff, give gifts to our old clients, have a free public studio too, my business alt joined tons of advertising groups. I have a guy hired only to promote us on Facebook.

Most of the advertising ways are free but you need to work alot! And if you are paying, pay big or don't pay at all... 

Classifieds work, but only ones that cost more money:) 

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Spinell wrote:

Does anyone have some tips for me?

Well, I gave you tips about improving sales in the Marketplace a while ago and you have not implemented them.

Here's a tip: THERE IS NO MAGIC BEAN!

 

You have to have good products, with good titles and good descriptions and take good ad pictures ... and have patience.

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If you look back a few years, there used to be several excellent ways to advertise effectively. Linden put in a lot of effort to target & destroy all those ways one by one. I can only imagine it was an intentional roadmap. Nowadays there is no effective way. Even discussion of your own creations for sale is strictly prohibited. It is plain as day, Linden doesn't want commerce (in real life meaning of the word) to be a part of SL.

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  • 5 years later...

I have tried betaverse boards. They seem to get some hits, but it really depends where you get them.  Best has been in London town, but the cost does not justify the hits. Also they have a major glitch.  When you try to replace an item, even while using the directions, the board sometimes freezes up and stops working.  It does not give out the ad details any more to customers or allow you in to make changes or check the board stats itself. Plus there is very poor customer service, they have never answered any of my issues 

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On 2/28/2013 at 8:01 PM, Spinell said:

SL is certainly a bizarre world. I've been trying to find some good, efective ways of in-world advertising but have had little sucess on my own. I've been told things like adboards and classifieds don't really work most of the times, especially for newcomers.

I'm just look for some advice on in-world advertising for SL shops. I would like to tell people inworld "Hi, my shop exists and you can find it here. We exist."

Does anyone have some tips for me?

I am more of a marketplace person, dunno much about inworld shops.

Keyword as much as you can on the web shop, if an item is good the conversion rate is 10% (ie one purchase for every 10 views on average)

If a product is poor, the conversion rate is below 5%, don't make any more of that type, try adjusting price and quality, maybe the keyword is bad, or the picture is bad.

If a product is average the conversion rate is 5%-10%

Anything above 10% conversion rate you have struck gold. Got a few of those I think they are self explanatory, you will see a pattern with shopper behaviour when you start to get unsolicited sales.

I can see that polarize further with introduction of wishlists.

Edited by iamyourneighbour
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There are groups you can join that give you notice sending rights that have larger followings than you may have with your own newer store or just to reach people that want fewer groups with more information. Try checking the profiles of other stores you are bound to come across them. 

I did not name names, because I am not sure of the rules on that, as I............ la la la 

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I never found the big merchant groups very useful. They only appeared to contain other merchants wanting to send messages, rather than customers. About the only thing that's consistently helped me is taking part in Fantasy Faire. It provides direct sales, raises awareness that the shop exists, and sometimes means I get asked to do other stuff.

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3 hours ago, Polenth Yue said:

I never found the big merchant groups very useful. They only appeared to contain other merchants wanting to send messages, rather than customers. 

This is what I wanted to write lol, all those advertising/spam groups are just filled with people who post their own content and don't bother to look what is in the group. Not only in-world, this same thing happens on Facebook and Flickr, probably on other places too... 

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