Old marketing hacks, part 3 - Inworld classifieds and ad boards


Classifieds require a location.

Inworld classifieds

To be honest, I'm not even sure how well inworld classifieds work for service providers.

A long time ago, somewhere, I read about a trick about how to test where your traffic is coming from. You use a different SLURL within your parcel for each type of advertising. Then you set up your traps ... errr, collision sensors, ... and you measure how many people teleport on top of each sensor.

But what if you're advertising a service that doesn't require a place of business? Why add an unnecessary expense when your virtual income is already minimal? If you're using your home as the location, what about your privacy? Why waste the time of potential clients who think that they might find more information in your parcel?

Why does a classified ad even require a location?

On the other hand, classified ads also show you how many people click your profile after viewing your ad. But, if you added a website URL in your ad, they might be going directly there, and the count of outworld clicks is not available to us, if it is measured at all.

Ad boards

There was a time in SL's past when 16sqm parcels by roadsides were priced at incredible markups because people assumed that virtual-world roads got as much traffic as real-world roads. Even now, when mainland parcels are about 1L/sqm, 16sqm parcels by roadsides are still priced like crazy. Maybe they're hoping some newbie could still be convinced that these are valuable for making money by setting up an ad board.

The most ad boards I've seen in a single place are in adult places, and the boards advertise dancers and escorts. Now, those likely work. The traffic is high and relevant, and "impulse buys" are emotionally (or, to be more accurate, "hormonally") induced.

Most ad boards charge a flat fee by the week.
Magik Ads charges by the click.
For the same reason, high-traffic venues would also be great for ad boards - bars and dance clubs, roleplay sims, gaming areas. Building traffic is difficult; ask any venue owner. However, even if they've built a large enough tribe, the same people would be seeing your ad over and over.

I had a similar problem when I was renting space at roleplay sims. RP sims tend to be frequented by the same core set of people. The traffic goes up because roleplayers spend most of their time there, but the products are not necessarily getting more exposure.

Also, the ad board becomes part of the scenery after a while, so people stop paying attention to it. Or they've already decided they don't need what you're offering, so, no matter how many times they see your ad, those folks will not likely be customers.

The best places to advertise are those that bring fresh traffic regularly. Grid-wide hunts are great at that, so a store that participates regularly in hunts would be a great place if they have ad boards.

Of course, that's assuming that your ad rezzes fast enough in the lag before the hunters move away. But there's always (slim) hope that they'd see your ad in their peripheral vision as they go looking around for the actual hunt prize. You never know. ;)