I seem to spend most of my time on social media these days removing advertising from my feeds. We live in an age of constant bombardment from companies selling a lifestyle through a sofa, or a pizza or a toothpaste. They want you to buy more, eat more, gamble more, replace more. They need you to believe that material acquisition is the route to happiness. It’s the same with the television. I probably hit the mute button more often than I change channel. I gave up on commercial radio a long time ago.
I utilise AdBlock on a number of websites which makes them more pleasant to use and if any site won’t let me use it because of Adblock I simply go elsewhere. Nothing is ever exclusive to one site these days.
There is nothing more likely to turn me off a company than incessant advertising and I will remove even small businesses I follow if they mindlessly use spammy advertising tactics. It gives me the wrong impression. I have tried to advertise in this way and it doesn’t work. There is a lot to be said for organically curating brands and products to follow and finding customers who genuinely want what you are offering.
Having said that, I am probably not their kind of customer. I am an unenthusiastic high street shopper these days. I don’t impulse buy and I am careful with the small amount of disposable income I have. When I do spend frivilously, which is rare, I look for genuine handmade businesses and I probably won’t find them on the high street. As one of those small businesses I understand how important those sales are and how difficult it is to stand up and be noticed against so much cheap imported product.
Advertising on Etsy which I consider a great place to find handmade businesses across a range of creative industries, is as difficult to sell on as anywhere else. I’ve discovered that probably the best way to get noticed second to decent titles and tags, is to participate in the forums and have an opinion. Let people understand you from a different point of view. I have also found some wonderful traders there too. By joining in conversations you learn about the person behind the business, their ethics, their struggles, what they do in their spare time. And to me, that is as important as their products.