Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Using Sex to Sell - Marketing Fail

Yet another Marketing Fail from Facebook. Here we go...


What does this image have to do with a link building strategy?
Personally, in the B2B space I think it is very risky to use any kind of imagery like the one in the above Facebook ad. First thing that happens in this case, is that your prospects are associating your brand with the image they see.

So RYP Marketing - is this an ad for an escort service? Is it some kind of dating line? Or maybe its for bikinis? I am confused... let me read the copy in your ad.

NOPE, actually its for link building (and... Infographics?!) to increase your website's SEO ranking. Interesting. That is probably the last thing I would have guessed after seeing this picture.

Okay, so some of you will argue that the image will get people to look at the ad. As I'm writing this my wife walks by, sees the ad, and says, 'what the...?' and I explain that I am writing a new entry for Epic Marketing Fails. She later comments 'not very professional'. Well, she just proved my point before I even had to write it down. 

Although ads like this may originally get people's attention, they do so at the expense of everything that comes after that first glance.


When it comes to using images for your B2B brand, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep it professional. Anything you use in your ads wil be associated to your brand, so use the front page of the New York Times scenario. If you wouldn't want to see the image with your company name beside it on the front page, don't use it.
  2. Don't use boring corporate stock images. These have been done a million times and if you are going to use the guy sitting at his glass desk looking at his blacked out iMac monitor, please just don't use an image at all.
  3. Be different. Sticking out is a good thing, but as long as its done in a professional manner. To be honest, I am guessing that is where RYP Marketing is coming from. They are on Facebook and they are trying to break through the noise. The reality is that there is a lot of noise out there these days and Marketers need to be more creative and intriguing than ever to get people's attention. 
  4. Don't spend too much time on graphics. Content is king, and having a great creative around it will simply augment it. When short on cycles, spend more time on your content and less on creative. 
  5. Test. Test. Test. Try out different banners, images and layouts. Marketing Automation tools like Marketo make this easier than ever to do effectively. I would also recommend checking out It's a site that shows the results of marketers A/B tests on their campaigns. It is truly amazing how seemingly minor changes can lead to massive gains.
That's it for this time guys. Now let's hit the beach!

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