Insect Advertising (and 5 other weird traffic methods you’d never think of)

by Josh Burns

How powerful would it be to come face to face with one of these ads:

Here’s a quick post to detail how you can use this same principle to drive incredibly valuable “IRL” traffic starting today without paying a penny (you will need a little creativity and some savvy weirdness)…

Read more below the jump…

What we’re really talking about here is  IRL (In Real Life) advertising. Or taking your current online or offline marketing strategy, and adding in streams of traffic from the real world.

But IRL is a little more intense and shocking than your traditional billboard or print ad. (For a good overview of “hacks” in real life, check out warning, it’s sometimes NSFW).

What you’ll see there are examples of attention grabbing “hacks” people have pulled of in real life.

A lot of times it’s outright vandalism, but we don’t have to resort to such nefarious activities to make a splash in the world of IRL advertising.

For my money, the most effective details about about the fly ad idea are:

A) It’s weird. You can’t help but notice the weird floating tags zipping around the room. Attention getting is a must.

B) It’s memorable. Those folks will probably tell their grandkids about the “fly ads” they saw once. It’s a story, people love a good story.

C) It’s in your face. Not only are the ads attention getting and memorable, they’re a little… icky. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not honestly, but I do think that the tension caused by the curiosity about what the flies could possibly be advertising, coupled with the intense urge to not have to touch a fly is a potential powder-keg of impact.

So, here are some strange ideas I came up with:

1) Attach a coupon or free offer to dozens of helium balloons weighted with paper-clips and scotch tape so they float casually around the room instead of just going straight up. Then, release them at an industry event or seminar.

2) Print out a short-copy squeeze page, but in place of the optin form, add a bunch of tear off slips with your squeeze page address typed out. Make sure you make it easy to type, and give people a good reason to actually do it – a free ebook, a free toolkit, a free MP3, or even a  a funny video are all ideas of “hooks” you could use to get people to tear the slips off and visit your site. Post the “squeeze posters” in oddball locations that get decent foot traffic. Think Halls, Walls, and Toilet Stalls.

3) Go where the laptops are. Find a local spot with WiFi where your target audience might stop to enjoy a pick me up while checking their email or shopping for shoes. Leave coasters, posters, or pamphlets. When advertising like this in other people’s businesses, the courteous thing to do is ask permission. That will make the shop owner more likely to keep your ad around, rather than summarily trashing it. On the other hand, sometimes it’s easier to apologize than to get permission. It’s your call.

4) Appeal to curiosity and smart phones. Use a poster, flyer, sign or sticker to pose a question that begs an answer – and do it somewhere like a park, a boardwalk, or anywhere an idle passerby might take the time to indulge their curiosity by opening up their browser app and visiting your site. Use questions like: “Which famous rock star once fell asleep on this bench? Go to this website to see the picture”  For a real mind bender, check out GeoCashing.

5) Target your market one on one, and be a human squeeze page. Say you’re in the dog market and you have a new line of leashes – well, hand out free leashes, or free dog toys, or free biscuits to dog owners in a popular dog park or neighborhood in exchange for their email address and first name.  Plus, if you only play “human squeeze page” during your un-monetized time (say, walking your dog) then all of a sudden you’ve turned a leisure activity into lead and cash flow.

What can you stick an ad to that’s going to get attention? How can you get your sales message in front of the right people in the real world for little or no money? The possibilities are literally endless.

Keep in mind: The Internet is quickly abandoning the seclusion of deep dark offices in favor of the great outdoors.  With every new laptop and smart phone made, your ability to LITERALLY get in front of potential customers grows exponentially.

Use it wisely.

Make sure your first IRL ad stands out in the crowd – like a fly with a tag stuck to it.

–Josh Burns
Marketing Consultant and Copywriter
Overcome Everything Inc.

P.S. This has nothing to do with insects, but it’s a video you should probably see today.

P.P.S. Got any IRL ad ideas? Comment below and let me know what you’ve come up with!

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