Have you ever taken the bait and clicked on a really good ad? I mean, you knew it was an ad and clicked it anyway? I have, but I can tell you that it does not happen often.
“Why do I click on it?” you ask. Because I am intrigued or excited and want to find out more information about what seems to be natural, organic content. And that is the key: if people feel like your content is organic and not a sales piece, then they will be comfortable with clicking.
Spotting Synthetic And Sharable Content
I have trained myself to spot ads that masquerade as genuine user developed content. I have also trained myself to spot large-scale, well concealed social media strategies unfolding on Facebook. I question every single thing in my feed, wondering where it came from, who created it, what was the overall strategy, and is there any value in it for me even though it is part of a complex marketing strategy. And, as you can imagine, at one time or another I have wondered if all of my friends work for marketing agencies and if there are some hidden motives to sharing their wedding photos!
I say all of that to say this: I still click on fun and interesting content, even if I’m sure it was created and shared with an agenda. Why? Because if it is fun or interesting to me; then I do not mind being part of someone else’s impression count. So if I am clicking on fun content then you can be sure that people with an untrained eye will also click on it without having a second thought. But no one is likely to click on obvious ads even if they are well-targeted. A 0.1% click-through rate is not unusual for Facebook ads, which means one in a thousand people click through even well-targeted ads.
More Effective Internet Marketing
A lot of effective internet marketing, even what is done via social media, falls under the obvious category of “ad.” But how much more effective could content be if it felt organic instead of synthetic? I’m not advocating we do away with PPC, but there is another slice of the pie here via organic content. Highly sharable content is a critical element that should be added to the design of any effective internet marketing campaign.
Combining Both Approaches
When content is natural, fun, interesting, and engaging most people are willing to interact with it without considering the source or agenda. How many humorous videos have you watched on Facebook that you shared with your friends? Even if eventually you realized there was an agenda behind the content, you appreciated the content enough to share anyway. And that is the key to creating sharable content. Do not package it like an ad but make it valuable enough that people want to share it, even if they realize it is a marketing piece.
Developing sharable content is one of the first steps to becoming socially savvy. For more information download our Free Guide To Social Media 101 today!
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