No More Auction Company Promotion

Why I Don’t Create Auction Company Promotion

This year, I’ve received a bevy of requests for the same thing. I’ve read the shared inquiry in emails, transcribed voicemails, Facebook messages, and even a comment on a blog post. The question?

“Do you help auctioneers promote their business—or just their auctions?”

The short answer is, “Just their auctions.” Since auctioneers are asking this a lot, it might be good for me to explain why. So here are my top 6 reasons why I no longer build this kind of Facebook advertising.

(1) You don’t need to promote your company to buyers.

The best way to promote that your website as a prime place to shop is to constantly show buyers what you’re selling. And the best way to do that is to show them the assets in your auctions. If you’re dead-set on spending company money to promote your marketplace, I’d add that money to your auction advertising budgets. In almost every auction campaign I build, I use an audience that targets people who’ve interacted with the past year of posts & ads from that client’s company. In most of my campaigns, that ad earns the most efficient traffic of any ad we create—often as low as 4¢ or 6¢ per click. Without company promotion ads on Facebook, I’ve helped multiple clients grow that audience to 200,000 people. Even without Facebook ads touting their buyer marketplace, I’ve seen clients double their annual revenue and quadruple their bidder registrations.

(2) Seller promotion on Facebook requires a lot of content.

If you’ve targeted your company promotion campaign to those most likely to need your services, you can’t just serve the same ad or two to your prospects. It might take years before a prospect is in need of your services—not the few days or weeks it takes for a buyer-based auction campaign to pay for itself. The needed diversity and quantity of content proves quite daunting, which explains why “social media manager” (the person in charge of brand awareness online) at most companies is a part-time or full-time job. Thankfully, regular auctions in their social feeds show prospective sellers that others trust you often. They see that “if you want something done, give it to someone already busy.” If your auction-based ads and posts look more professional than what’s out there, even better.

(3) Auctioneers haven’t been able to help me help them.

I have started the process of company promotion ads on Facebook with a few auctioneers. I think I’ve only ever had one make it all the way to Facebook. All the rest of the campaigns quietly fizzled out when the answers to the following questions never arrived in my inbox:

  • What problem(s) do you solve for potential sellers?
  • How do you solve those problems uniquely better than those prospects’ other options?
  • What evidence (stats, quotes, case studies) do you have that you reliably deliver those solutions?

“Sold!” isn’t enough for sellers. Sellers are looking for more money, faster money, and/or easier money than their other options. Which of those fits you’re brand? How can you prove that?

(4) Auctioneers don’t have sales funnels in place.

Even if I could reliably get traffic to the auctioneer’s website, I’ve found that the bid callers asking me for company promotion would lose the fish before they reeled them into the boat. What I mean is that if they even have a page for sellers on their site, it’s rarely set up to net the fish on the line. It’s usually just one of the long, boilerplate lists that the auction industry copies and pastes from each other. “The most transparent way to sell” … “online bidding brings in more buyers” … blah, blah blah. It doesn’t address the questions asked above or their answers. It doesn’t offer hope and solutions—just a method of sale. The seller program on their site is not built as a succession of multiple, brief-content pages which can be tracked to see where people jumped out of the sales process. Few have forms for requesting a free consultation, downloading a seller guide, or submitting a consignment. 

(5) My personality isn’t compatible with the timelines.

I don’t have the attention span to watch a folder languish on my desk for six months or a year. I like getting from order to fulfillment to payment in as few days as possible. In 2021, auction folders have lived on my desk for an average of 17.3 days, and I get paid an average of 21.1 days after I send the invoice. Thanks to Facebook, that first number is steadily dropping. I’m still trying to figure out how to get that second number lower. Haha.

(6) I don’t need the extra work.

I’m on pace to advertise 743 auctions this year. My wife, my daughter, and I can all affirm that’s more than enough work to keep me busy—to keep me coming into the office as early as 5:00 A.M. and shutting down as late as 11:00 P.M. Seller marketing requires more creativity and mental acuity for me, and it’s far harder to estimate time and thus invoices in advance. 

I promote my company on Facebook, and those ads have brought me scores of inquiries and dozens of clients in the past two years, but I have tons of content at my disposal and a solid awareness of the problems I solve uniquely better than auctioneers’ other options do. I’m not saying company promotion couldn’t or doesn’t work for auction companies. I’m just not the right vendor to build those campaigns, and I don’t want to waste auctioneers’ valuable time and resources proving that I’m a poor fit.

Stock images purchased from iStockPhoto.com

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