“The Meteor Prank” Video – Great Marketing Lessons

If you grew up on DVR and On Demand content you probably have no intention of watching a blatant advertisement. That’s why it is so critical to make a piece of content that tells a story more than it sells your product. Take a look at how the video below was one of the most successful ads of the past few years.

When making marketing content, one of the best things you can do is NOT make marketing content.

This video contains some core elements.

  1. There is no initial branding
  2. They draw on various human emotions
  3. They have quality audio
  4. They tell a story

To really capture the imagination of the viewer, you need to tell a better story. Take the time to plan out and write down exactly what you want to convey with the video. It should tap into human emotions so that you can grab the attention of the viewers and hold on to them long enough to deliver your message to them.

LG: The Meteor Prank That Drew Us All In

Take this video from LG, for example, it draws viewers in and gives them something to laugh at and be amazed by at the same time. They don’t deliver the marketing message until the final curtain call, but they have given viewers a reason to stay until then by telling a compelling story, so it works.

Courtesy of ReelSEO

Want to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Social Media Buck?

bang-for-buckWe’ve all heard the stories about people who are “raking it in” with social media (at least that’s what they are telling us), but the reality for many is it just doesn’t ring true. You are probably struggling to use social media in a way that drives business. The reality is, using social media to promote your business can be lucrative if you know what to do to make the most of it. You have to remember that social media is not a short-term game. It takes time and commitment as well as a specific goal in mind.

How to Use Social Media to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck!

Complete Your Profiles – Fill out your profiles completely, using keywords that your audience as well as search engines would use to find you. Show your personality, link to your online real estate, and make sure people can connect with you easily.

Post Quality Content – When you post anything on social media, take the time to consider whether the content is relevant, has quality components and will give your audience a reason to want to keep following you.

Play the Long Game – Social media marketing results don’t happen overnight. It can take months of consistent and focused activity to get the outcomes that you want. Don’t expect it to happen straight away.

Engage Influencers – Use the search function on all social media networks to find movers and shakers within your industry so that you can engage with them. Getting their attention in a good way will help increase your influence too.

Avoid Time Wasters – When you get on social media it’s very tempting to start looking at memes, talk to your friends and family, play Farmville, and pretend you’re working.

Do Unto Others – If you want people to comment and share your information, be sure that you do the same for other people. The best course of action is if someone markets to your same audience but is not direct competition. Work together to promote each other.

Pay for Promotion – When you are trying to get a more likes, followers or newsletter sign-ups, it’s a good idea to pay for promotion. On Facebook you can pay to promote particular posts, or run a pay-per-click ad relatively inexpensively.

Add Value – Don’t just like and tweet things without adding something to the conversation that is important. The more value you can add to social media discussions, the more people will want to get to know you and follow, friend and like you.

Using social media to promote your business is a great way to get more visitors to your website and make more sales. But, you have to be willing to be committed to taking the time to do what it takes to reach your goals. Avoid pretending to “work” on social media while you’re really just socializing. Set specific goals, develop tactics to reach the goals, and you will be successful.

Land ‘Em – How to Setup Your Lead Generation Funnel – Part 3 – Strategix Video Tip

This video is the  third in a series of videos designed to help you create your own lead generation funnel system. This video focuses on getting the email drip series setup and the landing page installed.

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What To Do If You Feel Like Your Content Isn’t Working?

don't-panicYou are blogging and creating content but you feel like nothing is working like you want it to. Your sales aren’t increasing, your newsletter isn’t getting new subscribers, and it just feels like you’re wasting your time. If that is the case with your content marketing, take heart that you can access where you are and start over anytime.

9 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Content Marketing

1. Determine Your Why – When you are creating any one piece of content, do you know what the purpose of it is? Each content choice must have a reason for being in order to be successful. Is the content there to inform your audience about a problem? Is the point of the content to get more subscribers? Perhaps the point is to sell a new product or service? If you don’t know what the point is, it’ll be hard to get anyone to take action.

2. Understand Your Audience – When you produce any content it’s imperative that you know who you’re creating it for. Try developing buyer personas and write the content to the “customer of one” instead of creating it for a nameless person that you don’t know. This can help you develop very personalized content that gets results.

3. Know Your Niche – You may think that you know your area of expertise but the fact is, a niche might change a bit over time as technology improves. Keep up to date in your industry so that you’re ready for changes and trends that may develop.

4. Follow Your Competition – The best way to differentiate your content marketing from your competition is to watch what they’re doing. Join your competition’s lists, and look at the content they’re sending out. Can you determine if it’s working well for them or not? Can you decide how to do it a little bit better?

5. Know the Buying Process – There is a set buying process that your audience will take part in, even if they don’t realize it, and it’s important to realize where people are in the buying process. Typically it works something like this: Awareness, information search, evaluation, decision and purchase. Plus, after purchase your customer will evaluate again on whether or not to buy from you again.

6. Refine Your Strategy – If you have no strategy, or you feel as if what you’re doing isn’t working, take the time to work on refining your strategy to work better. Base this on the information you’ve gathered about your customers, the niche, your produce and/or services as well as the buying process.

7. Make Content Marketing a Priority – To ensure that content marketing will work, it’s important to do it on a consistent basis as a priority in your marketing efforts. Hire the right people to help you, and place it at the right level of importance in your overall marketing strategy.

8. Promote the Content You Create – Content cannot just be created and that’s the end. Use promotion strategies such as on and off page SEO, social media sharing, and other means to promote the content so that it is seen.

9. Create Compelling Content – No one wants to consume boring cookie cutter content. Ensure that the content matches the needs of your audience, speaks to them on their terms and provides value in and of itself to your audience.

Finally, content marketing is about the long haul. Results aren’t going to happen overnight. Continue to produce high quality, relevant, consistent content that has a purpose and provides value and you will see the results you desire.

How Online Marketing Can Trigger Your Offline Sales

Offline and Online chartGuest Post by Steve Myring of molchester.uk. Steve Myring is owner and CEO of Molchester Digital Marketing Agency.

Generally owners of brick-and-mortar stores do not expect highly from online marketing. Several of them misconstrue it as a strategy strictly meant for online businesses while others look at it with a great deal of skepticism.

So, does online marketing influence in-store sale? Yes, it does. According to studies by Forrester Research, Yahoo, and comScore, almost 92% of purchases take place offline following online consumer activity. An Accenture study showed a similar trend.

The right digital marketing strategy can put your products right in front of your customers and prospects when they are trying to learn online about the products they want to buy. This can help you capture the attention of your customers, eventually boosting your offline sales.

Here are some tips to boost in-store sales using a digital marketing strategy:

1. Use Data to Understand Your Customer

Collecting and analysing data can help you determine the behaviours, preferences, and demographics of your key audience segments. You can assimilate data from a wide range of sources including search, social, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and third parties. Analysing relevant data will not only help you understand the customers perception of your brand but it will also bring forth the level of engagement that you currently have with your customers. This will help you develop targeted campaigns around user behaviours, type of content they find interesting, and where they choose to interact.

2. Focus on Brand Building Online

Your brick-and-mortar store might be a well-loved destination for buyers but does your offline popularity reflect in your online presence? If not, you need to re-work your brand building efforts online. Use social media networks to channel your authenticity and all those qualities that make you popular offline. Its very important to maintain a consistent image across online and offline landscape in order to gain the trust of your customers.

3. Create a Brand Community

A brand community is essentially a community built on the basis of shared loyalty to a particular brand. You can build a community for your brand by utilising a social space to engage users. You can discuss about the latest products, you can announce product launches, talk about your future plans, or even ask users about their experiences with your products. The key to create a brand community is to have an honest voice and a true willingness to interact with your audience and seek their opinions, whether good or bad.

4. Enhance Your In-Store Tech Experiences

Technology has pervaded our lives to an extent where almost everything is tech-assisted. Mobiles and smartphones have changed the way people purchase and your offline store should support these changes to give your customers a more fulfilling experience. In-store technology can effectively bridge the gap between your customers online and offline experiences with your brand.

5. Manage Online Customer Relations

Not just phone calls or emails, you can treat Facebook or Google+ as avenues to address customer feedback. Today most consumers like to voice their opinions about products or services they have used on social sites. You should join the conversation by monitoring your social pages closely and responding to users. Review sites are a great way to reward your most loyal customers, while it can help you solve the problems of those who are not fond of your brand.

If you’re not sure how much return your online efforts will pay in terms of offline sales, you must remember that online users are your real customers and can influence your offline sales in a big way. All you need is a comprehensive and well-planned digital marketing strategy, and you will start seeing the positive impacts of it sooner than later.

How To Grow Your Business Using Content Marketing Infographic

Let’s imagine that your business is a tree.

It needs solid roots to keep it stable. So, you must invest in reliable hosting and infrastructure that can support the traffic your website is going to get.

The trunk is your website. You want to make it strong and filled with high quality content so your visitors have a reason to come back to it and share it across social media.

Branches are the crown of the tree. They represent various social media platforms where you can share your content.

Every great conversation begins with listening and this couldn’t be more true about social media. It’s not about you or your product. It’s about how you benefit your customers, how you enrich them and make your customers’ lives easier. Organize a webinar, offer an email course, host a Facebook party! Be creative and enjoy this content marketing infographic!

Dendrite Park Content Marketing
Courtesy of: Dendrite Park

9 Ideas For Marketing Your Business on a Shoestring Budget

budget-marketingI just talked to a friend today who shared a frustration he was having with his responsibilities as a marketing Director. He is being asked to deliver new leads and opportunities for his company, but his hands are somewhat tied because he has a very limited budget to accomplish that, in fact he was told there is no more money for marketing available. Sound familiar?

If you’re just starting out, or you are finding that you’re short on funds, you may need to find ways to market your business on a shoestring budget. Just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s not effective, though. The reality is, that some of the most effective forms of marketing can be the least expensive.

9 Budget Friendly Marketing Ideas

1. Use the Good Old Business Card

You can get inexpensive business cards online from any number of websites, don’t use the free versions of business cards though, but if you find a coupon or get a discount code you can get cards inexpensively. Now, use them.

When you go to any event, be sure to leave your business card. When you have any reason to hand out your phone number to anyone, for any reason, even if it’s not totally related to business, give them your business card. You never know when someone will need the services you offer, or when your friends and family will meet up with someone who needs your services. Hand your cards out freely.

2. Build a Website with a Blog

It’s very important to watch your budget, but don’t be cheap. Using self-hosted WordPress makes having a website with a blog that looks professional really easy. You can get free themes off WordPress.org, buy a domain for about 15 dollars, and host your website for as low as 5 dollars a month. Every penny of that cost is worth it.

If you’re technological deficient and can’t afford to hire someone, consider using a website builder that offers a blog function. You want the blog to be on your website and not separate from your website like a Blogger or WordPress.com blog. However you choose to do this, the next step is to write regular informative, keyword-rich blog posts that you promote via social media.

3. Use Social Media to Promote Everything

Set up branded social media accounts for your business. But, you don’t have to be on all social media networks. Instead use the knowledge that you have about your audience to choose which social media networks that you should be present on. Make good profiles that represent your brand in a cohesive way.

When you write a blog post, send it to social media. When you take a picture of something, or have a question about something you’re creating, mention it on social media. Use social media to engage your audience in creative ways. You can use social media to get email list signups, promote events, and more – all free.

4. Find a Joint Venture (JV) Partner for a Project

A JV partnership is not a real business partnership. It’s a joining of forces or collaboration between complementary business owners who share an audience but are not in direct competition. Finding a project to work on like this can essentially help you both double your audience.

Make the JV partnership a time-limited project that has a definite beginning and ending to start. Determine all the rules and how money will be handled up front and put it all in a contract. Define each aspect of the work that each of you will be responsible for completing. Be clear and stick to the plan and you’ll both come out successful.

5. Write a Book

If you’re an expert on anything, you can write a book about the topic. You can publish it easily on Kindle, or promote it as a PDF document right from your website. You can sell it, or give it away for free. It’s up to you. But, a book can push you forward in the eyes of your audience as a true expert and become a calling card.

6. Get on the Speaking Circuit

Using your book as a foundation, put the word out that you’re ready to give talks locally and for the cost of a ticket, room and board, go to other speaking events. Sometimes, you can even get paid for speaking once you’re established and in demand. So, not only can speaking become a good marketing opportunity, but it can also become a new revenue stream.

7. Create Buzz

When you really have no money, a great way to get the word out is to create a lot of buzz. You can do this in a number of ways. Create a viral video, write a controversial blog post, or have a contest with videos that get voted on by the video creator’s friends, family and audience. It’s a great way to get people talking and to get free advertising. Offer a relevant and amazing prize package and it’ll also create buzz.

8. Build Relationships through Networking

Choose networking events wisely. You want to network with people who can become clients, or who can send you clients. Since your budget is limited, try to find online or local networking events that you can attend. There are many mastermind groups online that have a fee for joining, but are awesome ways to find clients once you spend the time building relationships and developing trust.

9. Incentivize Referrals

A really great way to increase your customer base is to convince your customers to refer you to others. Most of the time satisfied customers will tell others about you, but in some cases they may not because they want to keep you to themselves. This is especially true with service-based businesses. So, a great way to overcome this issue is to give your customers a reason to tell others about you such as a discount coupon, or additional freebies for each paying customer they send your way.

If you sell products, consider starting an affiliate program as a way to get more people to tell others about your products and make more sales without it costing you anything more than a percentage of sales.

Using these marketing ideas when you have little to no money will take mostly time, especially if you need to learn how to use the technology. However, putting to work even a couple of these ideas will push your business forward.

Tell Your Story – How to Setup Your Lead Generation Funnel – Part 2 – Strategix Video Tip

In the second of our 5 part series on building a lead generation funnel on your website we focus on developing a drip email campaign to send your prospects after they have signed up for your signature eBook. We will walk you through exactly what you should say in every email, so watch as we help yo tell your story!

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Content Marketing – Measure Twice, Cut Once for ROI

tailors-chalk-517030_640Content marketing can offer a great deal of value to your business, from increased engagement to increased sales. However, it is a lot harder to determine return on investment (ROI) with content marketing than other more direct sales advertising and marketing-like sales pages. Content marketing isn’t going to provide immediate success. It’s going to provide long-term success over time.

Content ROI doesn’t always equate in monetary terms right off. For example, content created to inform your audience about a specific problem might return new signups for your newsletter instead of direct sales. Therefore, your ROI for those particular pieces of content is more in the result of signups than the result of a monetary incentive.

The metrics you want to measure are:

Brand awareness – How is your content driving brand awareness and exposing your products and services to new people?

Engagement – How is your content creating situations where engagement can occur?

Subscribers – Have subscribers increased to your email list and if so can you trace it to a particular piece of content?

Revenue – As your customers move through your product funnel, have revenues increased and can you determine what started the increase?

Are these metrics in line with expectations or falling short? When you put out content, can you determine the impressions, traffic, subscriber rate, engagement and how far the information went? Plus, do you know how much time your audience is taking to consume your content? How often are they sharing it? At what point do they convert to buyers?

These are all important metrics to answer to help determine your content ROI. If you have developed a documented content strategy, you likely have also developed specific goals for each piece of content that you create. Use the tools you have available through your newsletter software or Google Webmaster Tools to help you analyze whether or not you’re meeting your goals.

As you can see the important things about content marketing are reach, engagement and conversion. Any numbers you can study relating to these three metrics are important to track. Tracking these metrics is the only way to know for sure whether you’re reaching your content marketing strategy goals. In addition, you can use projections to plan your content marketing budget.

By forecasting what ROI you expect, then studying those metrics to determine what really is happening, you’ll get better each time determining the right path to take with your content marketing planning and budgeting. However, remember that if you’re tracking these metrics and you find that what you’re doing isn’t working, it doesn’t mean content marketing doesn’t work. It means something with your strategy isn’t working or the content is not the right content to help you reach your goals, and it signals a need to adjust your strategy.

We believe so strongly in this that we create dashboards (see example below), for our clients so they can see the progress in the key areas they are measuring. Contact us to ask about getting a dashboard for your company.

dashboard

How to Get Prospects and Customers to Want More From You!

message-580300_640When you have prospects and customers, it’s important to stay in touch as often as possible. Get them on your email lists, segmented according to where they are in the buying cycle so that you can target your messages accordingly.

8 ways to keep ’em coming back for more:

1. Tell Them What to Expect – When someone buys from you or signs up for one of your email lists, send a thank you note with an explanation of what to expect from you in the future. How often will they hear from you? Make some promises and assurances to them.

2. Do What You Say You’ll Do – It’s very important that you do whatever you said you’d do. For example, if you say you will send them a newsletter every Friday, send them a newsletter every single Friday. If you skip days or switch the days, they may be confused. A lot of people actually forget they signed up for a list and when you don’t stay active they will report you for spamming them.

3. Remind Them of What You Said – Periodically, within other messages, be sure to remind your prospects and customers about your previous promises and assurances. This will help them remember who you are, and what you said. It will build more trust.

4. Let Them Know When You Follow Through – When you do something you said you would do, tell them. “I told you I would send you an update on my xyz product, as promised, here it is.” This again, reinforces the point that you stick to your word and can be trusted.

5. Ask Them for Input and Opinions – Once in a while invite your prospects and customers to submit their ideas and input. If you have a new product idea, tell them about it. Ask them what they think. Ask them what they’d pay for such a product or service. Ask them if they would like to see something from you that you’ve not delivered.

6. Tease Them about New Products – Never pass up an opportunity to give them some hints and small bits of information about a new product, service or event. As you hint about it, make them really want it by explaining what’s in it for them.

7. Thank Them for Buying – When someone buys something from you (or answers any call to action), be sure to thank them. The thank you is always a nice thing to do, plus it gives you just that little bit more real estate to give them more information about you and your products and/or services.

8. Follow Up Regularly – Even after someone has purchased, and you’ve thanked them, it’s not over. It costs a lot less to create a repeat buyer than to turn a lead into a buyer. Cultivate your relationship with buyers even more consistently than you do leads and prospects.

Using the pattern of telling them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them will do wonders for all your marketing. Most people need to hear things multiple times before it sinks in. The more you stick to your word and the more value you can provide your audience, the more they’ll look forward to whatever you offer them.