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Lexie Linden

Inworld Marketing and Advertising Best Practices

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Where's the best place to whine about inworld marketing and advertising nerfing? Man I promised myself I'd behave too but it's so frustrating with the limited classified space these days.

 

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Ciaran Laval wrote:

Where's the best place to whine about inworld marketing and advertising nerfing?  

 

Same place where you can advertise on these forums.:smileysad:

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Lexie as for best practices, how long will the Wiki contain information such as that? There's info in the Wiki but if it's being moved anytime soon it would be better to wait than link to soon to be out of date information.

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Lexie Linden wrote:

Discuss inworld marketing and advertising best practices here!

Lol- thats the funniest suggestion I've read in a long time!! :smileyvery-happy:

 

Once upon a time...long, long ago......we had decent in-world tools, that brought traffic to our shops!................

 

Firstly, I think you'd be better off asking Sea Linden and her team, why she feels the need to change the Search algorithms every 2  months. Anyone with an ounce of common sense will tell you that in-world Businesses require consistency and stability......Sea Linden changing All Search arse about tit every 2 months does not provide that.....especially her latest failed attempt which makes very little sense at all.

Secondly, you might want to speak to the Linden Designers/ Devs and ask them how they managed to screw up Classifieds tab, the Events tab and Land Sales tabs so badly in their beloved Viewer 2....that too plays a part why the in-world economy is so screwed up since Mar 2010

....and finally......Linden Lab would do well to take some marketing & advertising lessons from the owners of IMVU who  managed to grow its active user base 3x fold during a recession, whilst Second Life has remained stagnant over that same 2.5 year period..

 

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I just wanted to throw my 2L here:

There are certainly issues with the platform-native search and classifieds system, but even so, people are still promoting their merchandise / events and it's working for them.

I would love it if SL always worked like I wanted it too, but when I help plan a marketing strategy with clients; we look at the native sl marketing tools as being somewhat like the weather. It could change. It's just not practical to rely on it always being the same or even favorable. Should you take advantage of classified and optimize search? Yes, absolutely, but it's defeatist to be narrowly focused on just that.

The marketing Wiki mentioned earlier has some solid recommendations for marketing beyond the platform tools and a little time spent with google can reveal even more resources. In the spirit of the topic ( Inworld Marketing and Advertising Best Practices), I would recommend thinking creatively about using collaborative events, utilizing specialized groups, hunts, and so on for promotion. Advertising isn't really my focus, but there are ways to advertise in-world and I use them regularly.

Also, SL is a complex environment that, as a community, has become much bigger than just what's happening at Linden Lab. The SL community media ecosystem is vast and provides SL residents with news and info even when we're are unable to be in-world. There are MANY opportunities and methods available to promote your goods that don't involve the system tools per se.

LL is obviously indispensible in that, they run the platform that our world exist on. There's no arguing that, but I look at them more like as having chamber of commerce type role in over-all trade. There are things that only they are able to do and I'm happy when they do, but I'm not going to sit around and wait for it to happen.

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I don't disagree with you Jura, but I think we'd just like a wee bit of support here from Linden Lab, I personally loathe the unimagantive adverts that are keyword city, but the reduction to 256 words forces me in that direction, it's not fun, and it's certainly stifling creativity in advertising. I've always tried to create adverts that are human readable, but we are being forced down the road of adverts that are machine readable, it's taking the fun out of inworld advertising, there's absolutely loads of potential for a great advertising system if LL let us free.

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Jura Shepherd wrote:

The marketing Wiki mentioned earlier has some solid recommendations for marketing beyond the platform tools and a little time spent with google can reveal even more resources. In the spirit of the topic ( Inworld Marketing and Advertising Best Practices), I would recommend thinking creatively about using collaborative events, utilizing specialized groups, hunts, and so on for promotion. Advertising isn't really my focus, but there are ways to advertise in-world and I use them regularly.

Also, SL is a complex environment that, as a community, has become much bigger than just what's happening at Linden Lab. The SL community media ecosystem is vast and provides SL residents with news and info even when we're are unable to be in-world. There are MANY opportunities and methods available to promote your goods that don't involve the system tools per se.

LL is obviously indispensible in that, they run the platform that our world exist on. There's no arguing that, but I look at them more like as having chamber of commerce type role in over-all trade. There are things that only they are able to do and I'm happy when they do, but I'm not going to sit around and wait for it to happen.

 

 

I've worked over 25 years in the Advertising, PR & Marketing sectors in RL.....and I can tell you the problem with the things you mentioned like Events (the current listing system is flawed in V2 viewer), Hunts, Plurk, Facebook, Blogging, SL Magazines, SL radio, announcing Sales or new products via Groups, fashion shows and traffic gadgetry like Lucky Chairs & MM Boards, ....only reaches a relatively small audience. Unlike RL tools (TV, Radio, Newspapers, Trade Magazines), you just can't hit a massive audience with a single strategy. The only exception, might be paying 50-300k for a Classified advert that sits on the front of the Search Header page with 11 other adverts. (...and to be honest i rarely pay attention to those 12 adverts, although i'm sure lots of new Residents do)

All the other methods you mentioned,  I would consider as "supplementary" marketing as they only reach several dozens to  100's at best ....as opposed to 1000's.....which are diluted by a % who actually TP over to the Store......and further diluted to those that end  up making purchases. The in-world tools are one of the major problems with this platform.....and it doesn't help that LL has degraded the effectiveness of ALL Search, Events, Land Sale, Places Search & Classifieds, primarily due to the development of Viewer 2 and incorporating GSA 6 Search Engine not ideal for the economy.

 

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I have something bizarre happening on my land right now, that only happened during a brief hiatus of 24-48 hrs when search was briefly "fixed" last year.

I have had an upward spike in traffic.  Try vertical.

I have decided to test some other advertising methods this week but the pattern of behaviour of residents visiting screams search.

I purchased a my.secondlife.com advert that doesn't go live till 7th but is paid for.  Does this improve my search ranking?  I stopped reading about seach months ago because it was making me O_O

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What's the point in discussing inworld marketing strategies when LL is hell bent on killing off inworld sales by pushing everyone at their own website mall, where they get a cut of sales - even when their system fails to deliver items! - and never ever pointing anyone to inworld stores?

Is that good enough to stay in this thread and not be deleted like my last post was? Or isn't justified criticism of Linden Lab allowed in these forums any more?

 

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Josephina Bonetto wrote:

I have something bizarre happening on my land right now, that only happened during a brief hiatus of 24-48 hrs when search was briefly "fixed" last year.

I have had an upward spike in traffic.  Try vertical.

I have decided to test some other advertising methods this week but the pattern of behaviour of residents visiting screams search.

I purchased a my.secondlife.com advert that doesn't go live till 7th but is paid for.  Does this improve my search ranking?  I stopped reading about seach months ago because it was making me O_O

 

If your traffic has gone up dramatically check to see if you have been put in the destination guide.

My traffic shot up and it took me a while to figure it.I was put in the destinations,and that boosted traffic. You do not get any message to tell you ,worth a check.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

What's the point in discussing inworld marketing strategies when LL is hell bent on killing off inworld sales by pushing everyone at their own website mall, where they get a cut of sales - even when their system fails to deliver items! - and never ever pointing anyone to inworld stores?

 

 

The point for me is that, despite whatever LL is doing, people are still coming into stores to buy things.

My experiences are not like Rene's at all. For some, the cumulative reach from a distributed approach to marketing isn't hundreds, it's easily thousands and even that isn't considered a great feat. Now, that would be cumulative in that it's on and off world efforts and I would agree that in-world reach is much less. Even so, the caveat there is that the conversion rate for in-world efforts are much much higher than off-world. If reaching hundreds is simply not worth the effort for some, that's fine, but I can assure you that there are diligent brands that will be happy to take those hundreds from you.

Again, I'm not saying now, or in my previous post, that the native tools aren't a problem. It absolutely is and I don't like it. All I'm saying is that crippled system tools aren't an argument for doing nothing.

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I was making the point that LL does everything in their power to kill inworld sales, so that they can get more and more commissions from MP sales. The point being that it was a Linden who asked for discussion on inworld commerce, quite against the LL policy of pushing all users to their website mall - at the literal expense of inworld stores.

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Jura Shepherd wrote:

 

The point for me is that, despite whatever LL is doing, people are still coming into stores to buy things.

My experiences are not like Rene's at all. For some, the cumulative reach from a distributed
approach to marketing isn't hundreds, it's easily thousands
and even that isn't considered a great feat. Now, that would be cumulative in that it's on
and
off world efforts and I would agree that in-world reach is much less. Even so, the caveat there is that the conversion rate for in-world efforts are much much higher than off-world. If reaching hundreds is simply not worth the effort for some, that's fine, but I can assure you that there are diligent brands that will be happy to take those hundreds from you.

Again, I'm not saying now, or in my previous post, that the native tools aren't a problem. It absolutely is and I don't like it. All I'm saying is that crippled system tools aren't an argument for doing nothing.

Lol, i doubt 1000's

I mean you could post a Notice announcing a new product in say the Fashion Consolidated Group with its 11/12 k membership....what people don't realise is that the large percentage of that figure are dead/ obsolete accounts of people who no longer log into Second Life.

You'd be lucky if a 200 or 300 are actually online when that Notice gets sent. To a lesser extent that applies to Fashion R US and any of the other large in-world groups. Most group owners don't have the time to audit their own groups and delete obsolete memberships......especially when they run into 1000's.

I'm not knocking your suggestions regarding in-world and out-world marketing as i have tried many different strategies myself over the years......it just doesn't have the reach like RL marketing. Even using SL own forums to advertise (especially the original SL forums) new products or new lands/ sims for renting.....you can see how many views it gets (which isn't accurate as it doesn't count unique Views, so in essence i can visit the same thread 10 times and it will count it as 10 views instead of 1 unique user).

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Jura Shepherd wrote:

The point for me is that, despite whatever LL is doing, people are still coming into stores to buy things.

My experiences are not like Rene's at all. For some, the cumulative reach from a distributed approach to marketing isn't hundreds, it's easily thousands and even that isn't considered a great feat. Now, that would be cumulative in that it's on
and
off world efforts and I would agree that in-world reach is much less. Even so, the caveat there is that the conversion rate for in-world efforts are much much higher than off-world. If reaching hundreds is simply not worth the effort for some, that's fine, but I can assure you that there are diligent brands that will be happy to take those hundreds from you.

Again, I'm not saying now, or in my previous post, that the native tools aren't a problem. It absolutely is and I don't like it. All I'm saying is that crippled system tools aren't an argument for doing nothing.

This is pretty much the stance we take. The path of an entrepreneur being one of personal motivation and responsibility, the decision to work with SL as a platform is already a done deal. If I felt the platform was unable to sustain virtual business we wouldn't be here in the first place and so we place the burden of making our business work on our own shoulders rather than a platform we've already evaluated and committed to years ago despite any flaws (which I've got to say over the years have greatly improved, selling is easier today with a flawed search than it was back when you couldn't teleport for hours or a day or two and we tend not to measure improvement in hamster-time).

But back to the topic at hand, which is not perceived flaws of SL, but the personal burden of success within a platform each of us makes the choice to do business in as adult entrepreneurs, yes absolutely agree on taking what works for you in the platform and then doing your own marketing above and beyond if you're an aggressive or full time entrepreneur.

One practice we use is to not only advertise to a focused/target market, but also well outside of it. Here's a for instance: I've heard people say that ad boards in world don't work that well. In our experience they tend to work best when chosen carefully and outside of the market for that product.

I tend to think that to compete in a market where everyone has the same tools it takes more than the tools provided by LL, no matter how good or bad they are (although I do think they're quite good when used effectively) in order to rise above. Compared to RL as a "platform" and issues like zoning, taxes, insurance, payroll ... SL as an entrepreneur platform is a joy, but like any other venture, it takes determination and using practices above and beyond the "standard" tools provided.

Great to see someone else recognize that personal responsibility and accountability is more key than the flaws of a place you've made the personal choice to use as a business platform. In that sense it mimics RL success/failure.

If nothing else, I would say constant experimentation is the key. What worked yesterday may not work today, what didn't work yesterday might work today. Stay fresh and open with marketing ideas, never become stale.

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Dartagan. What you wrote is more-or-less correct but don't you find it disheartening or annoying that the "platform" provider works hard at undermining your inworld business because they created a financial interest in people buying elsewhere?

When I started my inworld business on this platform, and probably when you started yours, the platform owner wasn't in competition with me. But, since then, they've come out in direct competition with me and have been using their grossly unfair advantage to direct sales to their own website mall at my expense. Have a look at the website front page - logout first - and watch the movie. You wouldn't think there was anywhere else to shop except in their marketplace mall. I can evaluate the potential of opening a store in a mall (equivalent to this platform) and find no reason not to, so I open up. A little later I find that the mall owner has placed signs everywhere, suggesting that shoppers go to other places instead of mine, and yet the mall owner still collects rent from me. That's what happened here, so it's not exactly as you described.

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

 

One practice we use is to not only advertise to a focused/target market, but also well outside of it. Here's a for instance:
I've heard people say that ad boards in world don't work that well. In our experience they tend to work best when chosen carefully and outside of the market for that product.

......

Great to see someone else recognize that personal responsibility and accountability is more key than the flaws of a place you've made the personal choice to use as a business platform. In that sense it mimics RL success/failure.

If nothing else, I would say constant experimentation is the key. What worked yesterday may not work today, what didn't work yesterday might work today. Stay fresh and open with marketing ideas, never become stale.

I've been using 2 different AdBoard networks for the last 2 years.....I pay per click.....i'm not moaning about them, but again it amounts to trickles of visitors that TP over (Those Adboard networks provide access to their statistics). Same goes for registering my businesses on SL related websites....it amounts to the odd visitor here and there.

 

One can use numerous marketing & advertising methods simultaneously but cummulatively i'm not going to get hordes of visitors.  Now if i renamed my lands "Freebies" or "Zyngo" and got it to the top of search.....I'd get tons of visitors 24/7.

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I agree Mickey.....a variety of differing factors has underminded in-world shopping traffic,.... that being said, marketing outside SL will only bring you so much......and it won't necessarily be sustained volumes of traffic either.

I haven't used Facebook, I'd be curious to know the numbers of SL'ers you can attract (or inform)....by making a product announcement .

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Well, first of all I think it would be better if we discussed Marketing and Advertising Practices overall, rather than sub-optimize for the marketplace or in-world as if they were separate entities. 

Actually, this should be stamped in the forehead of any Linden working with marketing "How can we increase overall revenue in SecondLife as a whole, and for all content creators"? ...and in all your marketing tactics you must create a desire for customers to be in-world and not spend time on a 2D site.

Admittedly I have swapped in-world time with laying on the couch with the iPad browsing the marketplace and reading forums. But, hey, I can do that pretty much anywhere and I often end up buying some other digital content in the App Store rather than spend any dollars in the marketplace. 

The combination of a crippled classified, search not working smoothly (if at all) and removal of camping has not been very good at all.

I never used camping, but camping worked as the water cooler – at least for new residents, and it gave them an incentive to stay and earn, but also yearn for more when they realized the camping Lindens would not get them very far. 

I am not sure what is the idea with shrinking classifieds down to almost useless (as others have pointed out), but for viewer 2.51 it does not even load my classified logo image in the web based profiles however much I change it. 

My own experience with the changes in search is that pre November I had 1-4 in-world sales daily. Now it is down to 1 per week if I am lucky. Perhaps my product is dated, price too high, competition has gotten better etc etc, but people don't even head over to browse like they used to before they have seen the price and product. The marketplace has perhaps picked up 15% of what I lost in-world. The result? I tiered down half a sim. So the loss is on Linden Lab at the end of the day.

What I would like to see is an integration of the search in-world and market place. We used to be able to see line-items for sale on parcels in in-world search including price and location that could be teleported to. 

I would like to have a federated search that had all items for sale displayed, and where you could display item details and purchase the product directly from search, alternatively teleport to the point of sale to browse and purchase in-world. 

This would promote customers (residents) staying in-world, while at the same time give merchants a more effective marketing tool eliminating all the duplicated and dispersed effort SL marketing has evolved to be. 

 

 

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Phil Deakins wrote:

Dartagan. What you wrote is more-or-less correct but don't you find it disheartening or annoying that the "platform" provider works hard at undermining your inworld business because they created a financial interest in people buying elsewhere?

If LL have a need for more sinks, then yes the marketplace is the way to go and as Supply Linden sales were well down, it does seem that they need more sinks, but the marketplace is a means to indirect income for Linden Lab, it's not direct income as in land tier, they can't bank those commission fees, so it would seem to be a risky business to try and put too many of their eggs in the marketplace basket.

 

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Until search is repaired and then left alone there is no point to any advertising or marketing.  We take care of our group and customers and then try to just survive while watching our friends sell off sims, close their businesses and more often lately just leave SL

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

I tend to think that to compete in a market where everyone has the same tools it takes more than the tools provided by LL, no matter how good or bad they are (although I do think they're quite good when used effectively) in order to rise above.

Yes. I'm biting my tongue a little to stay on the topic of in-world marketing. Even if the system tools worked great, I'd never do a promo event in-world without using off-world resources to promote it. It's actually the
best practice
to not separate the two.

 

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Blot Brickworks wrote:


Josephina Bonetto wrote:

I have something bizarre happening on my land right now, that only happened during a brief hiatus of 24-48 hrs when search was briefly "fixed" last year.

I have had an upward spike in traffic.  Try vertical.

I have decided to test some other advertising methods this week but the pattern of behaviour of residents visiting screams search.

I purchased a my.secondlife.com advert that doesn't go live till 7th but is paid for.  Does this improve my search ranking?  I stopped reading about seach months ago because it was making me O_O

 

If your traffic has gone up dramatically check to see if you have been put in the destination guide.

My traffic shot up and it took me a while to figure it.I was put in the destinations,and that boosted traffic. You do not get any message to tell you ,worth a check.

Thanks, I'll go check now, I just assumed no one would be interested enough to ever put me in something like that LOL

 

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If your traffic has gone up dramatically check to see if you have been put in the destination guide.

My traffic shot up and it took me a while to figure it.I was put in the destinations,and that boosted traffic. You do not get any message to tell you ,worth a check.

OMG you are right, I'm in the Destination Guide.  I never even considered it for a second so thank you for telling me to look LOL.  I have just got disproportionately excited - I need a first life O_O

 

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Josephina Bonetto wrote:

 

OMG you are right, I'm in the Destination Guide.  I never even considered it for a second so thank you for telling me to look LOL.  I have just got disproportionately excited - I need a first life O_O

 

 

Yay! Congrats Josephina!

I've seen your place and it's cool that you have info and other stuff right there at the landing point so that people will know what's going on. That's great. Sometimes, an event oriented place will be put in the Destination Guide and a lot of people will TP in when nothing is happening and there's nothing there to tell them what it's all about.

 

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