Marketing Online Without Advertising

Anne Zelenka over at Web Worker Daily raises some interesting points about how the web would change if everyone installed ad blocking software in their browsers. Here analysis looks at how this would effect content publishers and consumers of published content:

Ad Blocking: A Market or a Moral Issue?

On the other hand, if so many people find ads annoying rather than helpful, maybe we won’t be worse off with less advertising and different online business models. More direct payment mechanisms like subscription fees or per-article micropayments might become common. And those who make their work freely available anyway on the theory that attention is a form of currency will continue to make it freely available.

She raises some great points. If publishers couldn’t rely on advertising to pay the bills, surely things like subscriptions would grow. And an increase in pay per post advertising would probably happen too.

But let’s take a look at a different angle here. What about companies who aren’t in the online media business? What if your company uses the web to advertise a service or product where the transactions really happen offline? If ad blocking gained a ton of traction, would you be able to get your message in front of prospective customers?

I imagine this comes down to how dependent your business in on online advertising. But the point here is to take a step back and figure out how you can become less dependent on online ads to drive traffic to your website where you can share your message with prospects.

How would you do it? Here are a few ideas to get things started:

1. Create remarkable products or services. People will share your company’s story on your behalf for free if you’ve delivered for them.

2. PR: Create stories around your product that make for interesting news. Bloggers and online news sites are always looking for something interesting to write about. Feed them interesting stuff to write about, but don’t waste their time with stories only a CEO could love.

3. SEO: Rank high for search terms prospective customers are typing into search engines.

What else would you include on this list?

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