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Dartagan Shepherd

Marketing Tools and Methods Inworld?

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Debated about asking this in the sticky about best marketing practices but I think it's a bit more specific. Would like help on compiling a decent list of marketing tools and methods inworld? I think I'm a bit out of touch with what's available.

Assuming that it would be useful to have this handy to pick and choose what to use for an inworld campaign. If anyone has suggestions perhaps I'll add them to this list. Details about specifics (such as one type of hunt over the other) would be appreciated as well.

 

  • Classifieds
  • Hunts
  • Ad boards
  • Lucky Chairs
  • Freebies
  • Optimizing for search
  • Listing your parcel in search
  • Events
  • Midnight Mania type boards
  • Cross promotion
  • Demos
  • Demonstrations
  • Your own group for marketing
  • Participating in related advertising groups
  • Expo's, Fairs, Sponsored Events
  • Networking, making friends, mingling
  • Add store info, SLurl, and basic info to your profile.
  • Add link to your Marketplace store to your profile.
  • Advertise on 3rd party websites (blogs, SL magazines, etc.).
  • Start and maintain a blog.
  • Make use of social networking.
  • Add your store(s) and information to Picks.

Thanks to those who made the majority of the items listed, please do read their posts for more details.

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I was going to post that you haven't listed any tools, as they are all methods, but then you said it youself so I won't bother.

Search is another - the All and Places tabs (the Places tab still exists for V1 viewer users, who are probably still in the majority). Search can be the most successful by far.

 

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Thanks much, I'm weak on search issues and tend to stay out of those discussions. Added two search related things to the list, let me know if there's anything else search-specific that should belong there?

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This would be more a method than anything else:

Use popular events to your advantage. If you have land and a place to host popular events then do so, and don't be afraid to put in some time to prepare for the event. For example volunteer to host a RFL event where your product is clearly visible. 

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there's also

  • the midnight mania type boards
  • cross promotion
  • events/expo
  • demonstrations
  • groups - your own and advertising groups

 

 

 

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when i put expo I meant things like fairs, for example the skin or hair fairs or the (now defunct I think) linden lottery

 

so that's another for your list :)

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Very comprehensive list with good additions too. I have just one to add ... Make friends.

Make enemies too. I have found that publicity from enemies is much more effective in getting to be known much faster. You just have to know how to handle the situation to your advantage, not all posses this skill. 

 

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@Couldbe: Thanks for clarifying, added.

@Darrius Thanks, added that under networking and friends, mustn't underestimate that.

@George & @Darrius. Notoriety works, but let's leave that to Sheen and the CEO of Go Daddy for now, eh?

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Advertise your store in your profile with links to your marketplace store in the Web tab and an LM to inworld store in picks.

Making friends and networking is very useful, not only for publicity but for getting those valuable building tips and advice.

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Hmm Marketing tools.. oh, one - probably most successful one, comes to mind - How bout that huge pink elephant in the.. Marketplace?

(It's always 'pink' in my imagination since I grew up with Disneys Dumbo)

Reading discussions and official advise on marketing here.. god, I just want to - I don't know - shake them .. and sometimes just be a good person and just tell our newer merchants to give them the same chance.

Maybe the reason WHY everyone pretends that pink elephant is not there and has chosen to ask and discuss tangential or small and irrelevant issues - such as freebies, hunts and ad boards - rather than deal with that HUGE loophole they have opened with closing xstreet ... is that they are maybe scared to draw attention to themselves.. or just not sell that much in the future...

On the other hand, maybe if we put some pressure on Linden getting that thick skinner back to the zoo, the marketplace would be a better place, you know .. a pretty one where flowers grow and not a place where ONLY 'cheaters' being able to pay their medical bills with sl money.

And on the third hand (is there a real 'saying' that means the same?) .. maybe the officials just feed it sugarcubes, even in cute shapes like hearts and clovers (you have those over there as well?) - god, I would KILL to know the percentage of the elephant commission fees!

Other than that .. I'd say .. good presentations of your items on the marketplace (assuming they are good items) and smart put classifieds in world are the only two marketing tools you'll ever need to be successful.

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George Orellana wrote:

Make enemies too. I have found that publicity from enemies is much more effective in getting to be known much faster. You just have to know how to handle the situation to your advantage, not all posses this skill. 

 

Would someone please start hating me? My rent is due.

 

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I would add Profile Picks and URL to the list.

 

While picks don't bump search anymore they do help with promotion.  Many SL users are profile pervs and not providing clear links to your store and marketplace in your own profile just loses customers.

 

I can't tell you how many times i've inspected somebody to see who made what they were wearing and the creators profile didn't tell me where I could buy it.  When I'm roaming all over SL and get IMs, people often say "oh you have a store, what do you sell? "

 

A small addition but every little bit helps.

 

 

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@Rya Much thanks, added. Tuff stuff ;)

@Anna Not quite sure what you mean, although I have some good guesses I think. That aside, thanks for the "magic 2" elements that work for you.

@Paladin: I hate you! Not really, but if it helps and anyone asks ... well. ;)

@Anna again: That little trail of blood running down the corner of your mouth after biting your tongue may be marketable you know!

@Darrius: Mud wrestling products have been around for quite a while, and I have to admit they are great fun. On a creative marketing note, discounts to the winners of mud wrestling matches might even work as a marketing schtick.

@Madeline: Absolutely, 3rd party marketing hadn't even occurred to me and I've never tried it personally, thanks! And of course backing your marketing up with a blog, going to toss social networking in there too just because.

@Sassy Agree, picks are still very useful, added!

Thank you very much guys, I know at least for me this list is pretty powerful for a nice, terse checklist to put together a good marketing campaign. Hope it helps others.

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Hi Dartagan,

You name in your list one thing now (advertise on 3rd party websites (blogs, SL magazine, etc.)), while I actually think those are split up in 3 different marktening possibilities. 

1. Advertise on 3rd party websites.

2. Advertise in magazines spread in world.

Most magazines have an in world and website version. In world magazines are spread in kiosks. These in world magazines are often the first contact with the reader. Because of picking up the magazine from a kiosk people find out about the website version of it.

Magazines do not only offer advertisement space on their website, but also in the magazine itsself.The price you pay depends on what page you want your advertisement to show up. It also depends per magazine, the bigger the readergroup the magazine serves the higher the price of advertising in it.

3. Get the SL press interested to write about you.

This one is not about advertising, but about free publicity. Bloggers and reporters of magazines need something to write about. Creating press moments and building up contact with bloggers and editors can be very helpfull for your business, specially when you are participating the fashion industry. But also other sectors can profit from the urge people have to write about SL. But as long as they don't know about your business they won't write about it. Let them know about your existance, your new collection, your sim rebuild and so on. But do your homework well before you start inviting press people, and concentrate on those that really relate to what your business is about.

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

 Details about specifics (such as one type of hunt over the other) would be appreciated as well.

 

 

My RL best friend lives in another country and is an avid hunter. So hanging out with him involves a lot of that. These comments are drawn from my observations of both my behaviours and his.

Hunts can definitely bring in new customers, not just freebie-junkies. My friend is an impulse buyer; I shop sales. Turning each of us into a customer depends on the same basic premise though - make hunting in your store a pleasant experience.

Grid-wide hunts tend to be monstrous affairs. At some point, even the best ones will feel like they go on forever - especially if there's been a string of frustrating locations. Decoys and other tricks might keep us in the store longer, but they create a lasting bad impression. If we leave saying "Let's get out of here, we've given them enough of our traffic already", we won't be coming back to shop.

And if I've had to switch to wireframe to find the hunt prim, I'm not seeing your products.

On the other hand, there's a 'postcard' in my profile picks from a fountain store we had a great deal of fun larking about in. The hunt item wasn't too difficult to find and its location amused us, I still remember where. So if either of us ever needs a fountain - or if anyone ever asks for a rec - that's the place which will come to mind. There's a huge difference between people staying because they're enjoying your sim and people being forced to by a tedious, frustrating search.

Relevance to the theme of the hunt matters a lot as well. I'm not going to spend money in a conventional clothing store just because they made something vaguely steampunk and put the Steam gear next to it. But land me in a vintage store with a sale on and that's a different matter altogether. (Quality can trump relevance though - my go-to non-vintage party dress came from the Gothmas by Gaslight hunt. Wasn't relevant to the theme, but the quality made it a keeper.)

The prize/gift is a sample of your goods. Give me something I value and I'll be back to see what else you have. (Oh, and put your store in your picks - it might be months before I get around to using your gift. With search being odd, going through the creator's profile is an excellent way of updating LMs.) The prize from the fountain store above wasn't very good. If it had been, it would likely be rezzed in the public part of the sim. That's a relevant conversation starting opportunity lost - Where did you get that great fountain? Oh, it was a hunt prize - brilliant store, let me give you the LM....

If you feel the need to hobble your gift, take care how you do that. If we end up feeling cheated because the item is very nice but unusable, we're not likely to return. Think about it from the POV of the hunter as well as your own wishes/needs.

Have a group joiner/subscriber visible. On a hunt, I won't accept a group join when I land, but if I like your stuff I'll subscribe before I leave. If I really like your stuff, I might free up a group slot for yours. Then you don't have to rely on me remembering that I liked your place. :-)

So pick hunts which are actually relevant to what you sell, respect that hunters don't know your store as well as you do (and won't get that clever pun in the clue which will only make sense once we've found the item), remember that we've got miles to go and a deadline, and put out a prize that represents the quality of your work.

(Most of the underlying principles are also relevant to using MM boards, lucky chairs and freebies. Whatever you do, consider it from the POV of the hunter/gatherer/customer. Some challenge is fine, but don't set the bar so high it becomes frustrating or impossible. And make sure that the reward is worth the effort. You only turn people into customers if you make a positive impression.)

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Madeliefste Oh wrote:

But do your homework well before you start inviting press people, and concentrate on those that really relate to what your business is about.


I would add to this to also be self-aware and self-critical. Writers aren't there to promote your business. They are there to create compelling content for their readers. Being sensitive to that, and investing some time in knowing a particular writer's interest will go a long way in making them take an interest in you. I've been a writer in SL media and I can tell you that sending a random IM saying "Hey, can you write an article about my ____? I'll pay you." is a sure fire way to insult a writer.

 

Ever consider doing some writing yourself? Most of SL related media is understaffed and in a constant struggle for content. On top of that, the nature of SL makes it very difficult for writers (or anyone) to know anything beyond their own social sphere. Most of you merchants have amazing skills that you probably take for granted. There are plenty of opportunities for you to share your expertise, and can indirectly promote yourself without blatantly hawking your products. Is it a bit of a dance? Of course it is, but just look at your nightly news and you'll all sorts of "expert opinions". It's done everyday.

Also, it was mentioned earlier, but if you're going to use off-world media, either in a PR sense or for advertising, I recommend having a blog. Click-throughs from off-world sites to SLURLs just aren't productive. Much of SL related media is consumed when people are unable to be in-world (like, when we're supposed to be working in rl :smileywink:). Build an audience off-world so that they'll remember you when they log in. It takes patience, but it works.

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