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My analysis on how LL's marketing of SL can be even better while simultaneously increasing its cultural relevance

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3 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

Never mention anything in the advertising about making things as, like Rathgrith mentioned, it gives the false impression that you can create beautiful things in world. That ship has sailed due to the prim system not being updated. Either fix it or just don't advertise it unless you can somehow advertise creation with 3rd party software in a good way (good luck with that).

There's another direction there. Fortnite has "skin creators", but what they call "creation", we call "getting dressed". We can mix and match clothing in world; they can't. To become a "creator" in Fortnite, you have to have 1,000+ followers on at least one major social platform. And Fortnite keeps 95% of the revenue from their item store. (Fortnite V-buck worth approximately US$0.01.)

SL offers a much better deal for creators, although a smaller customer base.

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1 hour ago, animats said:

Screw that.

1 hour ago, animats said:

No effing way.

1 hour ago, animats said:

SL offers a much better deal for creators, although a smaller customer base.

A customer base that apparently has more "disposable" income than "gamers" do. It's either that or the big name businesses in SL have been lying to us all these years.

Or both.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Screw that.

No effing way.

I'm pretty sure Animats agrees with you... Those were examples of "worse things."

23 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

A customer base that apparently has more "disposable" income than "gamers" do.

The same customer base that allegedly abandons a store for a 5% raise in prices?

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

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On 2/29/2020 at 9:57 AM, lucagrabacr said:

So I was replying to another thread in the forum earlier regarding whether or not SL can be as popular as it used to be, and if the slow downward trend can be reversed. In it I mentioned how LL's doing a great job at marketing SL by the book using available data and statistical analysis, and I said it can be better if LL's willing to take risks and do a right-on-the-spot marketing which resonates with key very-high-retention audience. So in this thread I wish to elaborate further and we can discuss it, and hopefully if my assessment is or perceived as correct, LL is willing to listen and try.

Before I start I'd like to mention that I've seen a lot of SL's promotional materials throughout the years, both in banner ads and video ads formats. Looking at them and knowing the majority of SL's user demographic plus who is the most likely that they wish to target, it's clear to me that while LL certainly know what constitutes as a good traffic, LL still put an emphasis on volume over quality of traffic. Now, I'm not saying they don't target specific kinds of people and certain niches which they know have produced quality traffic, but even then those ads have this feel of being very superficial in nature.

I'm not talking about the technical skills or artistic sense of the people who are making the ads, they are superb and top-notch in those regards - but none or at least very few of them have this effect of, "Wow, that's spot on", the kind of ads that will make people who never even thought about a virtual world stop what they're doing and try SL, or make it more culturally relevant and in my opinion this has a lot to do with direction and LL's tendency to play it safe, which has its merits and proven records but in my opinion things won't change for the better that way. 

One of the major elements that caused this is the level of cultural sophistication and penetration of the marketing materials, they just don't tend to resonate too much in that regard and don't feel like they are in the same page with people's idea of a futuristic, best virtual world - which SL is in term of features and sophistication by a large margin compared to any other Metaverse or social VR out there. That sort of marketing could make SL stick in people's mind even if they don't use it or haven't

For example, I remember seeing a video ad showcasing Bryn Oh's very surreal and melancholic exhibit, yet it was presented through the eyes of a casual viewer or visitor instead of the artistic essence of said exhibit. There was this very huge gap between what Bryn Oh or their art seemed to want to convey with how it was presented in the video ad, and the resulting product was not as impactful as it could have been and seemingly hollow. Again, I'm not criticizing the people who worked on the material itself, but the seeming indirection by LL. And that was just one example.

SL is a trove of cultural wonders and arts which often transcend the two dimensional barrier of the monitors in which they are displayed, and carry the very essence and consciousness of the people who experience them through their sheer thoroughness and impact for being in spaces that people actually live in, they are dimensions to be explored and presented as their creators intended to while working on them with all their hearts.

So what do you guys think?  

Edit: Here's a simple visualization I made regarding what I conceived to be the effect of SL's marketing materials in regard to how much they leave an impression within their intended target audience / niche and the wider cultural fallout footprint

SLgraph2.thumb.png.a85654b2a9bbb59feae0ee8384916fa0.png

Edit 2: as examples of what knowing one's target audience, their culture and aesthetic preference can do in propelling something, Undertale and Hotel Hazbin are great recent examples - one is just a simple top-down RPG and the other is just your casual mid-budget cartoon on a technical level, but because of their creators' understanding regarding their audience culture and aesthetic preference, both became very popular within their particular niches despite being just mediocre products if the cultural and aesthetic relevance elements are removed from the equation. These are things that visually, auditorially and narratively touch, influence and appeal to people's innermost workings and perception, they transcended what's potentially possible by objective measures by tapping into people's subjective perception of things 

You really have a lot of time on your hands don't ya?

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59 minutes ago, Tarina Sewell said:

You really have a lot of time on your hands don't ya?

We're incredibly lucky that Luca chooses to invest that time here. Our marketing team has acknowledged a few valuable contributions, including from the post you quoted.

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1 hour ago, Tarina Sewell said:

You really have a lot of time on your hands don't ya?

If I knew anything useful about marketing, this would be the sort of thread I'd want to start, too, so yay for @lucagrabacr.

I can't even guess what draws people to SL now. I got here as part of the 2006 hype wave -- specifically, a podcast (if you can imagine, podcasts were a pretty new thing in 2006) that examined the protection of intellectual property for user-generated content. Then I got sucked-in because SL exercised two interests completely unrelated to IP law: programming and architecture.

There's no way a platform can make a business of appealing to esoteric technical interests, so don't mind me.

I'd just add that appearing to be the Next Big Thing was a huge draw. No idea how to get that back again for SL.

And yet, there's still really no better place to explore future lives in a virtual world alternative to whatever virus-infected, anti-global, post-habitable RL world remains. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, animats said:

There's another direction there. Fortnite has "skin creators", but what they call "creation", we call "getting dressed". We can mix and match clothing in world; they can't. To become a "creator" in Fortnite, you have to have 1,000+ followers on at least one major social platform. And Fortnite keeps 95% of the revenue from their item store. (Fortnite V-buck worth approximately US$0.01.)

SL offers a much better deal for creators, although a smaller customer base.

This ties into a post I made in another thread where LL need to look at approaching (as much as I hate the word) 'influencers' that are outside of the SL userbase. It's fine to run adverts, however 70% of the population are missed with that form of advertising due to ad blockers or due to the randomness of ad generation. Also taking the avatar customisation ad as an example, usually on youtube you can skip the ad after 5 seconds. That means that in those 5 seconds you have to make the ad so engaging that the person wont skip. With the exampled ad, was it engaging in the first 5 seconds? No, all I saw was what the average person would think is a website sign in process. Certainly not an ad I would have kept running to see what SL is or even actually know what the ad was showing about SL.

Directly approaching people with like minded video or social media outlets and offering them a small sponsorship (or just approach them and say give it a try) means that these people directly do a fact based and personal opinion based ad within their social stream that can not be blocked and directly shows the platform to likeminded people who would be interested in such things.

Taking that surfing advert as an example, how many surf interested people will that ad reach? How many disabled people who want to surf irl and cant but want to feel some form of the sport will the advert reach? The ad is targeted to a specific group of the population, however the ad itself is just a general ad to the population. If I type into search, "sports to do with a disability" am I going to get that advert for SL showcasing the proven positives the platform can provide for such people? No. If I search "want to surf but not near beach" or the like, will I get the ad for SL showing that you can experience it in a somewhat basic form (this is why VR should have continued to be worked on for SL)? No.

Targeted ads work far better than general ones and approaching influencers with 1000+ followers also provides direct advertisement to the right market. Like I mentioned I've never seen a SL ad so have no idea what criteria you need to have them show, however, I'll bet my hat that they generally show as game related, which has proven to not be the right audience.

Edited by Drayke Newall
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58 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

This ties into a post I made in another thread where LL need to look at approaching (as much as I hate the word) 'influencers' that are outside of the SL userbase. It's fine to run adverts, however 70% of the population are missed with that form of advertising due to ad blockers or due to the randomness of ad generation. Also taking the avatar customisation ad as an example, usually on youtube you can skip the ad after 5 seconds. That means that in those 5 seconds you have to make the ad so engaging that the person wont skip. With the exampled ad, was it engaging in the first 5 seconds? No, all I saw was what the average person would think is a website sign in process. Certainly not an ad I would have kept running to see what SL is or even actually know what the ad was showing about SL.

Directly approaching people with like minded video or social media outlets and offering them a small sponsorship (or just approach them and say give it a try) means that these people directly do a fact based and personal opinion based ad within their social stream that can not be blocked and directly shows the platform to likeminded people who would be interested in such things.

Taking that surfing advert as an example, how many surf interested people will that ad reach? How many disabled people who want to surf irl and cant but want to feel some form of the sport will the advert reach? The ad is targeted to a specific group of the population, however the ad itself is just a general ad to the population. If I type into search, "sports to do with a disability" am I going to get that advert for SL showcasing the proven positives the platform can provide for such people? No. If I search "want to surf but not near beach" or the like, will I get the ad for SL showing that you can experience it in a somewhat basic form (this is why VR should have continued to be worked on for SL)? No.

Targeted ads work far better than general ones and approaching influencers with 1000+ followers also provides direct advertisement to the right market. Like I mentioned I've never seen a SL ad so have no idea what criteria you need to have them show, however, I'll bet my hat that they generally show as game related, which has proven to not be the right audience.

 

advert.jpg

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16 hours ago, AlexandriaBrangwin said:

 

advert.jpg

Need to add a disclaimer that you need a super computer to see it like this ; 0 

 

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So I've been talking with Draxtor about the topic because he does care a lot about the inworld communities he represented in his videos as he said, which he emphasized to me are his top priorities when making his videos, and I just want to make it clear that my criticism and others' who I've been talking to are not necessarily aimed at all of his videos but just at certain aspects of some videos of his c= my main point for the thread is my suggestion to LL

On 3/9/2020 at 3:20 AM, Tarina Sewell said:

You really have a lot of time on your hands don't ya?

For SL, yup! :) in fact I just wrote a general observation and feasibility assessment paper about how LL might be able to turn the tide and reverse SL's very slow decline (and risking myself sounding really stupid in it because LL prolly already considered most of what I'm suggesting :P) and decided to make another video in addition to it and in the spirit of changing the false popular narrative that SL is old and not cool

  

23 hours ago, Soft Linden said:

We're incredibly lucky that Luca chooses to invest that time here. Our marketing team has acknowledged a few valuable contributions, including from the post you quoted.

Thanks Soft! ♥ and we're all lucky our security is in the hands of someone with such astute ears >:3

  

23 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

I'd just add that appearing to be the Next Big Thing was a huge draw. No idea how to get that back again for SL.

In the aforementioned general observation and feasibility assessment paper I mentioned to LL something along the line of what you're saying, that we should take control of the narrative and show to people how great of a platform SL really is, my general promotional video above is also aimed to convey that! 

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1 hour ago, lucagrabacr said:

So I've been talking with Draxtor about the topic because he does care a lot about the inworld communities he represented in his videos as he said, which he emphasized to me are his top priorities when making his videos, and I just want to make it clear that my criticism and others' who I've been talking to are not necessarily aimed at all of his videos but just at certain aspects of some videos of his c= my main point for the thread is my suggestion to LL

For SL, yup! :) in fact I just wrote a general observation and feasibility assessment paper about how LL might be able to turn the tide and reverse SL's very slow decline (and risking myself sounding really stupid in it because LL prolly already considered most of what I'm suggesting :P) and decided to make another video in addition to it and in the spirit of changing the false popular narrative that SL is old and not cool

  

Thanks Soft! ♥ and we're all lucky our security is in the hands of someone with such astute ears >:3

  

In the aforementioned general observation and feasibility assessment paper I mentioned to LL something along the line of what you're saying, that we should take control of the narrative and show to people how great of a platform SL really is, my general promotional video above is also aimed to convey that! 

I LOVE THAT VIDEO! You are amazingly talented, Luca, and the messaging in the video is absolutely fabulous! 

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Just now, Beth Macbain said:

I LOVE THAT VIDEO! You are amazingly talented, Luca, and the messaging in the video is absolutely fabulous! 

Thanks Beth! ♥ I really want to show to people what SL truly is and its potential

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3 minutes ago, lucagrabacr said:

Thanks Beth! ♥ I really want to show to people what SL truly is and its potential

You should be coming up with the ideas for the vids while LL makes them. 

IMO, yours just needs a bit of spit and polish. Other than that, you nailed it.

The spit and polish part is mostly where the voice over should be done in different languages by native speakers. Say, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian, Magyar, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and English, of course. 

Yeah, that's like right up there with professional quality for me. :D

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15 minutes ago, lucagrabacr said:

Thanks Beth! ♥ I really want to show to people what SL truly is and its potential

That’s great, Luca! You captured the real SL!

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On 3/8/2020 at 9:26 AM, Drayke Newall said:

As someone who has never seen an SL ad on the internet (I know shocking), it was good to see in that blog post what they do look like, however looking at them, I myself thought they were poor in the same sense as what Rathgrith posted but also in other ways.

Why do I say they are poor?

Firstly, the image advertisements offered no discernible context to any specific audience and just gives the appearance that you picked a picture off the net and added 'Join for Free' button. Whilst I understand that its a small image space for advertising there can certainly be a lot that can be placed in such a small space to get your point across. None of the picture adverts provided any form of showing what a person can expect to do in SL (apart from the DJ one) or most of all why they should join. A picture just showing an avatar with black wings or a picture of two avatars close to each other offer no incentive for anyone to see what it is all about and don't get me started on the cheesiness of the summer one.

With these image adverts LL need to make sure that they encompass exactly what SL is like and all its positives with in a precisely imaged and worded advert. Things like be anyone or anything or bring your imagination to life or meet someone from another country without going there. Those are the core fundamentals of second life (now at least considering inworld creation is so poor) and encompass everything that SL is, Be anyone, create anything and meet everyone. That should be the focus of adverts and they should be done in a creative (non cheesy) manner to reflect the personality second life has. Showcase its strong points not just 'here's a random picture of two people close to each other with a join now button'... That is done to death by the likes of the sims, or imvu or any other dress up or meetup virtual world/game. Think of something different and more engaging.

For example (and keeping in the theme that SL offers) of how impacting image marketing in a small space can be images like these need to be produced: 

creative-ad-06.jpeg

This image (one of a series) is simple yet brings across the point in a directed manner. Reading a book you can become anyone. There is no ambiguity in the picture and is a perfect example of how to advertise the reason WHY you need to try something. In this case reading. SL has the same characteristics of a book in that you can be anyone or live any life or be anywhere in any time. Focus on that and show it. Don't just show a picture that shows nothing or reveals nothing about what you can do in SL. Be creative. For example get a picture of a famous crowded landmark and blend it seamlessly into the SL built equivalent and simply caption it "To crowded to see? Join SL now and skip the queue". Whilst yes, they will see it isn't as good as the real thing, it showcases to the new user what can be seen and done in SL all the while engaging them in something they are passionate about, travelling and seeing the sites.

As to the video marketing ad's, they are better but are still flawed. As some have mentioned, don't showcase things that are badly implemented in SL like the sword fighting scene in that advert for role play. Just watching it with the bad animations, poor look avatars and not to mention horrendous blood splatter looks like a game made in 2005. It wont appeal to many if any. By all means focus on the RP aspect of SL as it is a major drawcard and bonus of it, however if you want to engage people don't show them things that put SL in a bad light or will disappoint them down the track. For RP focus on old school RP, or acting. Those kind of things that don't showcase combat which just doesn't work at all in SL due to the limit in scripting and etc. Focus on things like Harry Potter themed RP where you can attend classes, be a wizard, act it out as if you were part of it with custom hud, custom spells etc. Get permission to use a snippet of the classic Harry Potter music (though that might be a tough ask!).

Never mention anything in the advertising about making things as, like Rathgrith mentioned, it gives the false impression that you can create beautiful things in world. That ship has sailed due to the prim system not being updated. Either fix it or just don't advertise it unless you can somehow advertise creation with 3rd party software in a good way (good luck with that).

With the 'avatar customisation/fashion' advert, within the space of 15 seconds you could have skipped all of the sign in to SL irrelevant stuff and started off with a moving (dancing) avatar changing into various outfits slowly (with no jerky camera movement) and then over the course of the advert it speeds up showcasing many more outfits and avatar looks (and not just human) all while the avatar moves. Instead, all you did is made a really jerky off putting advert that, with the camera moving around like it does, just makes it really hard to focus on the main subject (the avatar) as your eyes are constantly trying to focus on the right place. To make it even more engaging and to showcase multiple aspects of SL you could have the background changing with the outfits fitting the outfit theme. So a dance club with a dance outfit, and medieval outfit with a medieval background. Within 15 seconds you could have by the end showcased 100's of outfits and backgrounds, all the while also giving the impression that there are hundreds of possibilities not just 4!

Lastly, whilst the surfing advert was interesting, try not to mention things like "the best thing about this beach is that no one is here" it gives the wrong impression. No, it doesn't give the impression that it is an exclusive beach in some hideaway place only locals know of therefore it is quite with no one around. All it does is highlight to people that SL is vastly unpopulated. You want to give people the impression that it is full of life, not just one person surfing and Drax being the extra 'cause there was no one else.

I agree with all of this except "Within 15 seconds you could have by the end showcased 100's of outfits and backgrounds ..."; No "blipverts" please.  -- 20 Minutes Into the Future

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Something Marketing probably knows: what are the three biggest new user turnoffs that made them quit? Follow up some users who signed up, got far enough to be in world, and lasted less than a week. Pay them $10 to talk on the phone for 10 minutes and vent.

The two we usually hear from angry new users are 1) "It's so slow", and 2) "What do I do now?" But those are the ones who made it to the forums.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, lucagrabacr said:

 

  

It's very powerful and passionate.

I think the ending montage is the most powerful as the music drives it but it has certain parts that seem a little "dark" and mysterious and sometimes a little scary near the end.  It looks like one avatar has scary teeth and is going to bite me.  

I wasn't all that thrilled with the ending of "People know why they are here"...it left me kind of blank.  

I'd do it more like "people know why they are here...to build a world that even their deepest imaginings never dreamt before" or something like that.

However, aside from anything I said above, if I watched your video not knowing anything about Second Life before, I'd visit...even though it had a bit of scary intrigue to it near the end....I'd still want to visit and see what it was all about.  

So, you would have won me over.  

Edited by FairreLilette
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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, animats said:

Something Marketing probably knows: what are the three biggest new user turnoffs that made them quit? Follow up some users who signed up, got far enough to be in world, and lasted less than a week. Pay them $10 to talk on the phone for 10 minutes and vent.

The two we usually hear from angry new users are 1) "It's so slow", and 2) "What do I do now?" But those are the ones who made it to the forums.

You know Animats, I got to thinking about those that do not create here...those are the ones that really do need something to do more than just perhaps explore or looking to bang an avatar gong (the adult market).   People thrive on being productive and successful...some of the creators have the fulfillment in creating something.  What's in it for Second Life users who do not create nor build?

And by build, I mean even an avatar or your own personal SL home, that is creative and part of building.  I think women get the creativeness of SL in general more than men as many males don't even find avatar creation an art form let alone too appealing.  (This, of course, does not mean all males.)

I don't have any answers how to make Second Life more appealing to those who do not create.  I'm not even sure what they are looking for...the ones who don't build.

Does anyone have a quick answer for me on that as to what those who do not build/create are looking for?

Edited by FairreLilette

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4 hours ago, lucagrabacr said:

 

i would go and watch this movie

i would go and play this game

i would go and find about how I can earn money/loot

i would sign up for this world

 

this is great!  A great feel to it.  Is dramatic and powerful. Has the styling elements needed in a trailer

 

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20 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

Does anyone have a quick answer for me on that as to what those who do not build/create are looking for?

No, but I think it's unfair to imply that "the ones that really do need something to do more than just perhaps explore or looking to bang an avatar gong (the adult market)" aren't doing something fulfilling.  I have friends who have been in SL as long as I have and who have never managed to create anything more complicated than a plywood cube.  We dance, we chat, we explore new places on the grid.  Some of them enjoy the social activity of shopping, which generally leaves me scratching my head.  Same with RP games, for the most part.  Although I am personally most energized by creating things, I know that my friends are just as happy that they don't need to.  We need all kinds. If we didn't have people who like shopping and playing games, who would buy the clothes we make and the games we script?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Rolig Loon said:

No, but I think it's unfair to imply that "the ones that really do need something to do more than just perhaps explore or looking to bang an avatar gong (the adult market)" aren't doing something fulfilling.  I have friends who have been in SL as long as I have and who have never managed to create anything more complicated than a plywood cube.  We dance, we chat, we explore new places on the grid.  Some of them enjoy the social activity of shopping, which generally leaves me scratching my head.  Same with RP games, for the most part.  Although I am personally most energized by creating things, I know that my friends are just as happy that they don't need to.  We need all kinds. If we didn't have people who like shopping and playing games, who would buy the clothes we make and the games we script?

I think you didn't read nor understand my whole post, Rolig as I said people who even build an avatar or a home (decorate it, I should have said) ARE building/creating something that is fulfilling though it can be frustrating too.   Avatar creation is part of building.  So is decorating a home.  

Take a friend of mine...I went to her sim today and even though she didn't actually build the items there in a 3D sense nor texture it, it's building to just arrange this beautiful magical fairy land she created down to each firefly with the way she designed and arranged it.  So, I'm talking about a different kind of building.  And, then there is 3D building and Photoshop which are another type of building.  But, she picked out each and every one of the elements that went into that fairy land build and it is classified as "building".  It was gorgeous!

I think women get what I'm saying above.  It's more difficult for most men I think.  It's not as fulfilling for most men to build an avatar or decorate a home as it is for a women.  What many of us do here is a kind of altered art, including making an avatar or designing our home.  I've always loved altered art.

I also said above men don't seem as fulfilled making an avatar as most women do and these are often the ones who cry out to me "what am I supposed to do here?"  I just wrote my post above because I wish I had something to say when someone says that to me because all I do is say nothing.  I don't know what to say. 

Sorry writing this when I'm tired and the time change feels like jet lag.  

Edited by FairreLilette

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Tarina Sewell said:

Need to add a disclaimer that you need a super computer to see it like this ; 0 

 

Funnily enough mine's a mid 2016 model, not even a gaming rig!

In fact the image on the bottom is the first I ever took on it, back when St Pete's City was around.

Edited by AlexandriaBrangwin

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8 hours ago, FairreLilette said:

I think you didn't read nor understand my whole post, Rolig as I said people who even build an avatar or a home (decorate it, I should have said) ARE building/creating something that is fulfilling though it can be frustrating too.   Avatar creation is part of building.  So is decorating a home.  

Thank you, but I read it completely and was responding to exactly what you said. Decorating a home or your own avatar are certainly creative activities, I agree. As I pointed out, though, there are plenty of people -- some of my own long-time SL friends, in fact -- who really don't enjoy even that sort of creative activity.  They are into dancing or chatting with friends.  A couple are into role play, which baffles me. We all enjoy exploring, and I have one friend who does almost nothing but explore.  I know of people who spend all their time playing games.  There are plenty of people in SL -- male and female -- who do not care about creating anything, even by your expanded definition of creativity. Many of them still find SL fulfilling. 

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From looking at Lucagrabacr’s ad, my question is why hasn’t LL tapped the user base to do something like this already? We know SL has tonnes of creative people, not just with 3d modeling, but video and music. Why not run some kind of contest for an ad like this with really good prizes?

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31 minutes ago, janetosilio said:

From looking at Lucagrabacr’s ad, my question is why hasn’t LL tapped the user base to do something like this already? We know SL has tonnes of creative people, not just with 3d modeling, but video and music. Why not run some kind of contest for an ad like this with really good prizes?

The same reason they don't get creative people to make better avatars, or animations, or sims, or etc. It has been LL position since year dot not to get involved with the userbase in such things, which I think many would agree to be a mistake, but that's just how it is.

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