I just finished watching last week’s episode of HubspotTV, during which Karen Rubin and Mike Volpe were discussing Joel Comm.
Joel ran an experiment for his new book KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays.
First Joel created a professional commercial and paid to have it run 230 times during a 10-day period in October, during shows such as The Daily Show and Mad Men. At the end of the ad was a url where people could go to download the first two chapters of his book for free.
The TV ad resulted in 8.3 million impressions but only 112 websites visits and, even more disappointingly, only half of the visits converted to download the book chapters.
Next, Joel posted the ad to YouTube for free.
The YouTube video resulted in 5,000 views, 1,375 visits and a conversion rate of almost 33%.
Obviously the YouTube video was a much bigger success and although the commercial cost money to make, the YouTube posting was free, versus buying expensive TV air time.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
This experiment proves of course that one size does not fit all; not all mediums are suitable for all products / services, in this case TV ads did not translate into online hits.
Which brought me back to something I had been thinking about recently regarding books.
I have been wondering if printing physical books is appropriate for all industries.
Personally I love books, and would still rather read a ‘real’ book than read an ebook on my iPad, however I am also a big fan of audiobooks, ever since an eye operation a few years ago that meant I couldn’t read or watch TV for a couple of months. I listen to audiobooks all the time and find them great to have on when I’m tidying the house or going for a walk or commuting – that way I feel I’m making use of ‘dead’ time.
Last week I finished listening to Gary Vaynerchuck’s Crush It! A great audiobook full of advice on social media and inbound marketing, based on Gary’s own experiences. Gary actually reads the audiobook himself (which is fantastic as he is such a passionate person that I can’t imagine a voice actor ever living up to the real thing). During the audiobook Gary breaks off several times to elaborate on something he wrote in the book, or to discuss something that has appeared or changed since the book was published, for example Gary doesn’t talk about LinkedIn in the published version but mentions it in the audiobook as an important way to build your personal brand.
This got me thinking . . . are physical books simply not appropriate for certain industries?
Clearly the audiobook version of Crush It! is more current and given how quickly the world of social media is changing (every day) perhaps more authors should focus on audiobooks . . . or even better ebooks, that the author could then make updates available for, which could be downloaded by the customer onto their ebook reader . . . now that might convince me to read more on my iPad.
What do you think? Do we need to think more about tailoring? Move away from TV ads for certain products and move away from physical books for certain subjects?