Can You Set A Billboard on Fire For Marketing Points?

19 Jun 2024

Before Ryan Holiday was a viral blogger, he was a stellar marketer with always a finger on the pulse of what ‘worked audiences.’ He erected billboards, defaced them, got them set on fire, and then called up journos to cover it - all to show controversy - and people love them controversies and scandals.

Now, you can’t set fire to billboards. Can you?

(P.S.A. Do. Not. Burn. Billboards)

If you’re a Marketer reading this article, your audience hardly ever goes out, so read on!

Closer to the digital billboards - Social Media Hashtags, KPop Stans completely decimated #WhiteoutWednesday, which was a reactionary response to B.L.M.s #BlackoutTuesday.

While Ryan Holiday manufactured controversy to earn coverage in the news, KPop idols leveraged their ‘Stan Army’ of millions to drown out everything else on one social media hashtag - earning coverage in the news!

In Digital Marketing, you can earn coverage via Blogging and advertising.

While both come with distinct pros and cons, a better understanding of what you (or your boss) want from a digital marketing campaign will help you choose the one that yields the best results.

Bold Blogging

If you’ve used gen-AI to write your blogs or hired content creators that charged the least, this option is not for you.

For those who understand Blogging is like storytelling and are/hired amazing storytellers, you’re already halfway to Bold Blogging nirvana. The three kinds of stories that always worked with the 3M+ HackerNoon Readership are:

  1. How Stuff Works: Not tutorials but also about how certain technologies work. If you’re using PayPal, write about how Internet Payments work, how fraud is detected, and how errors are minimized.
  2. Why It Happened: Even though economists will tell us tomorrow why the Markets crashed yesterday, we still love reading their ‘hindsight.’ Insights are great—hindsight is excellent content, too!
  3. What’s It Really About: Who doesn’t immediately click on stories that connect the dots across scalars, vectors, and whatnot? Go cross-domain, cross-industry, and even cross-discipline, and watch the readers flock in. Freakonomics sold 4M+ copies in as many years doing exactly that.

Deviating away from company updates and tutorials as content marketing requires getting bold, and if that’s your cup of tea, go for it!

Bold Advertising

This term usually gets a bad rep, but here’s where you trade money for direct leads. The trick is to drink from the fewest fountains before reaching the Elixir of Life. If Blogging is a Branding campaign, advertising is a Performance Campaign.

If you’re looking for impressions, you pick Programmatic and Social ADs.

But, your safest bet for conversions is advertising on niche platforms.

Strictly from a C.T.R. standpoint, you’ll get the best results by advertising on the niche platform where most of your audience is.

For example, a $5 C.P.M. campaign with a $10,000 budget on Google AD will get you about 2000 clicks, out of which, if you’re lucky, 200 clicks will come from your target audience. For that $10k budget, you’ll get 600 clicks on a niche platform, but about 300 will be from your target audience.

But ironically, in your internal marketing meetings, niche platform advertising will be considered a bold decision.
If you now have a better idea of how you’d like to earn that coverage,book a call with HackerNoon and try it out!