In the past several months, many more people than usual have asked me about advertising on the popular online ad networks like Google AdWords, Facebook Advertising, and LinkedIn Ads. While a few people report that they are still having success by investing in these networks, most people say that this form of advertising isn’t working so well anymore. I ask each of these people the same question, “Can you afford to rent your marketing?”
In the old days, advertising on Google AdWords was really successful for me and many other people. In the year or two after they launched the ad platform, keyword buys were reasonably priced and with a decent landing page, companies could generate sales. In the past several years, the same has been true of newer ad networks from social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. But as word spreads in the entrepreneurial and marketing communities about the success of using these advertising networks, millions of people jump in and prices have gone up significantly.
As always, I'm not suggesting that if you are generating success by paying for advertising that you should stop. That’s great! Keep going!
It’s time to shift from advertising to content creation
But for most of us, the answer is to shift our thinking from advertising (renting your marketing in the form of a monthly ad spend) to owning our marketing by creating original content that gets found by Google and is shared on the networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.
When you rent a house, you have to keep paying your monthly rent. Over time, your rent is likely to increase while the incentive for your landlord to improve your property is less once you’re in place.
The same is true of an ongoing advertising initiative. You can spend $10,000 per month in advertising but as soon as you stop paying, you have zero sales leads coming in because your ads stop completely.
Instead you can buy a house and control the place you live. Yes, you still have to pay taxes and utilities. But as long as you do that, you’ve got a place to live. And if your home climbs in value, your net worth increases. You’ve got benefits long after you paid for your house.
The same is true of the marketing assets you own. A blog post, ebook, video, or infographic is yours to keep. Forever. The content you created ten years ago is still indexed by Google today.
Next time you stare at your monthly ad budget and shake your head in disgust, remember that you’re just renting your marketing. I’d encourage you to consider putting some of that advertising resource into a content creation initiative that you can own.