Empire Avenue has a built in advertising system. To this point I’ve had some success with it — and I know there are improvements to the system coming in the future and I’m excited to check them out. One nice thing about it is that ingame cash (eaves) is spent on this advertising so unlike other online advertising the only investment for ad space is time.
But there is a second form of advertising on Empire Avenue (that is also free) and I think is often more effective.
(Insert long dramatic pause).
It is the ‘buy and hi!’.
Basically whenever anyone buys shares in me I check their portfolio out. If I think they are interesting I read their website or even add them to my favorite content. If the business has digital goods, I might even buy something (I’ve purchased a few games this way through Empire Ave). If the business is local I might consider checking them out (yes, I’m looking at you Jurassic Forest). There have been several local businesses I haven’t really heard of that have gotten on my radar in this way.
Unlike spam or other kinds of direct-to-viewer types of advertising the ‘buy and hi’ doesn’t irk me at all. In fact it pleases me. Why? Because I’ve just gained a benefit from them contacting me — they bought shares, boosting my influence score. So at this greeting phase I have already been put into a more pleasant mood and am a bit more agreeable than if I just happened to see their advertisement flicker past.
So my advice to businesses is to consider making connections (by buying shares in) of people in your sphere of influence.
- Selling digital videogames? Buy shares in people in the Videogame community.
- Selling physical goods or services? Buy shares in people in the City community where you are located.
- Selling a creative product, like a novel? Engage in the Writing/Arts/Reading communities. Then look at personal communities that might be similar to the theme/events in/setting of your work. Start becoming active on them.
How effective will this be? Hard to say but it definitely gets my attention every time I get a buy. Obviously engaging further with the potential customer is even smarter — offering coupons and deals only for Empire Avenue participants is a great idea as is talking in a non-advertisey way with people in the communities.