It’s a new year and time to try some new innovative marketing ideas to help you stand above the other businesses in your space. Bonza Bottler Day is a great way to have a fun monthly promotion that the competition will never think about.
This is also my first post of the year in my new format where I will be focusing on new and different ideas for you to try that don’t have to be complicated or expensive.
Build Online Visibility – Contributed by Vijay Pullur, President, SocialTwist
If a good business idea, sound technology and a well thought business plan are the life and blood of a start-up, PR and Marketing are its survival kit. There is no point in creating a great state of art product if you cannot market it effectively. Reach out to your end consumers and make them believe, how great and state of art your product or service is.
Today the explosion of information over the Internet has resulted in more informed and social media savvy customers; customers who have slowly become marketers in their own right.
The concept of word of mouth marketing or WOMM is the art of reaching out to these customers and converting them into your brand’s advocates. Ensuring they lend the force of their own personality and experience when promoting your brand to a third person.
WOMM has emerged as the simplest and fastest way of promoting your brand among your target audience with the necessary recommendations. In this post, I share five tips with you on how you can build WOMM into your overall Marketing Strategy.
WOMMA defines Word of Mouth Marketing as giving people a reason to talk about your products and services, and making it easier for that conversation to take place. It is the art and science of building active, mutually beneficial consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to-marketer communications.
1. Give your brand a distinct character and personality
It is important that your company and its personality give people the reason to talk. It is important that you create a distinct personality for your brand or product. It could be very similar to other existing solutions in the market yet it should have its own distinct character something that would make it different from the rest. It could be the technology, the approach or the target segment. Be very clear on how you will ensure that your end customer is able to differentiate between your brand and a 100 others. Your distinct personality will become the reason for people to talk.
2. Make your website user friendly
Your website is the display window of your brand. Make it as attractive and simple as possible. When building your website, visualize your end consumer, what information would s/he look for? How best can I convince her? What would appeal to her and make her come back for more? What would be the easiest way for her to navigate my site? How will she share any information she likes on my site with others in her circle of trust? Your website should clearly take care of these queries.
3. Grab the attention of people who can spread the word
In his book named WOMM, Andy Sernivitz states, “Everyone who walks into your site is a prospect for spreading your content. It is not necessary that this person be a subject expert, an evangelist, or even a blogger. It is simply enough, if the visitor thinks that your content is of relevance, need or entertaining for someone known to him/her.” In other words, good content, interesting visuals, and relevant information are critical to the success of your business, your website and to your WOMM strategy.
4. Make it easy for them
Now that you have a nice looking customer friendly website which has lots of relevant information which people can talk about, it is important to empower your site or blog visitor with the right tools which help him spread the word. When a user has to remember his friend (contact) or go somewhere else to find that, it reduces the chances of word of mouth happening. Helping him find contacts of friends on various channels on your website itself will make it easy. Today there are many widgets available which enable this, like AddThis, ShareThis etc. The social media sharing widget from SocialTwist, Tell-a-Friend also enables sharing of content across channels, however it also gives you measurable information on your WOMM activities like referral traffic data, how many people shared the information, the channels used for sharing etc. which can help you strategize your next move better.
5. Be everywhere your customers expect you to be
In a white paper recently released by Charlene Li (Altimeter Group) and Ben Elowitz (Wetpaint) the authors linked financial success with social media engagement. Their findings reveal, “… the most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social engagement. The relationship is apparent and significant: socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful.”
To a great extent, this statement is true; today social media enables companies to know the pulse of their customers. They have a direct medium to communicate with their customers, act upon their grievances, understand and meet their needs.
In his blog, All Things WOM John Moore states, “The more a company knows about the likes, dislikes, etc. of customers, the better they can develop products and services to meet their needs to drive business success. It’s basic but true. If your customers are heavy users of Twitter, your company should be heavy users of Twitter. If your customers are heavy users of Facebook, your company should be heavy users of Facebook. If your customers are active users of Yelp, your company should actively use Yelp.
Word of mouth can only happen if a conversation happens. And the more places where conversations happen, the more opportunities for word of mouth to happen. And thus, it pays to be social.”
Whether you are a big time marketer or small business owner or simply a blogger, Word of Mouth Marketing must be on your mind. There is no better way of marketing your product or service than empowering those who believe in them. Who will market it in their own words, among those who they know would appreciate the same qualities they liked about your brand.
With summer in full force it has been a while since I have taken the time to show some of the gems that I have found in the world of guerrilla marketing and innovative ideas for business. Enjoy!
For Tibits, a Swiss vegetarian restaurant chain, oversized forks were installed on to trees in major parks and in outdoor shopping areas all over Switzerland, The freshness of Tibits food could be demonstrated to people walking by. and hey for a guy who actually likes broccoli, it made me hungry.
Agency: Wirz/BBDO, Switzerland.
The Haunting Girl
During the fist phase of this campaign from New Zealand, die cut images of a haunting little girl were plastered around the city. The real size cut outs were spread out so that the little girl would seem almost omnipresent, like a spirit haunting the area. This teaser phase caught people’s attention during 2 weeks as no message, logo or signature appeared on the visual. Then during week three of the campaign a sticker was placed over the girl revealing the line, “The kids you kill never leave you “Slow down near schools.” Agency: Colenso BBDO, New Zealand.
Have a great weekend.
Do you believe in magic? If you do, that’s great—it means you’ve got a youthful spirit, and that will invariably help you to live a longer and happier life. However, you should probably dispel any notions of magic when it comes to your website. If you don’t do any marketing for it, you’re certainly not going to magically attain site traffic.
Getting Internet users to visit a website is consistently one of the most difficult tasks a small-business owner can undertake because of the time and money involved. However, if you plan on surviving on the Web, you will need to make efforts to optimize your website.
Search engine optimization (SEO) starts with a properly designed website. Now, it may be extremely tempting to make your own website through the site builders that you are usually provided with through your site hosting service, and this may be your only option starting off as a bootstrapped business, but your site will fall significantly short of effective optimization. You see, there’s a wonderfully intricate world of coding and design techniques behind the curtains of your website. These features help search engines find the relevant content within your site and naturally rank them higher in the search engine results pages (SERP’s).
So, as much as you might be able to save a few bucks designing your own site, you’d be better off saving yourself a significant amount of time by creating a single home page as an online business card; a credibility measure for people checking out your business. Then, when you get some positive cash flow going, you should put serious consideration into hiring a professional Web designer to help you out. Unfortunately, you may feel a little nauseous when you see how much it can potentially cost you to get a quality website up and running. However, if a site is properly designed and optimized, the front-end costs will be justified by the business it brings you on the back end.
And if you finally get the cash flow to make such a purpose possible, you’ll want to make sure you don’t just jump in with the first option you come across, getting sucked in by the appeal of virtual bells and whistles. Absolutely always look for live samples of a site designer’s work. In addition, you should make sure you ask them about what measures they take to optimize your site’s design. If they can’t provide you with specific information regarding optimization, then chances are they’re just providing you with a cookie-cutter template, and that’s most certainly not worth the heavy price tag.
And as was mentioned in a previous article, if you can’t afford a necessary item for your business, barter before you go broke. Before you opt for outside professional help with your website, look through your list of friends and business contacts to see if there’s someone who can trade services with you. Site design is one of my specialties, so I welcome any and all questions you might have on this topic—I’d love to help steer you in the right direction!
So what if people look at you funny, there’s nothing wrong with being a guerrilla. Look at it this way, you get to scratch yourself wherever and whenever you want, how great is that? Alright, alright, so maybe you don’t want to be an actual guerrilla, but if you’re a bootstrapped business owner, employing guerrilla marketing is sure to help you stretch your budget and tap into some awesome potential.
Where do you start? First, don’t concern yourself with thinking outside the box, forget the box altogether. Because by trying to come up with ways to think outside the box, you naturally start to align yourself with thought patters similar to other businesses trying to think differently. So, the key then is to think differently without thinking differently. Ha! How do you like that notion?
The point is, you’re all creative beings and hold an infinite amount of potential—you simply need to take a few minutes to relax and tap into your inner thoughts. You’ll be surprised at what you allow your brain to come up with when you give it a chance to plug into the subconscious and recall your past experiences and pair it with your expansive knowledge base. After you’ve given yourself some time to meditate and think deeply on how to make your business stand out, grab a pen and paper (or keyboard) and just start writing down all the different ideas that pop out of that beautiful brain of yours.
The key here is to allow for a stream of consciousness. As soon as you begin to question the legitimacy or plausibility of the ideas you come up with, you’re going to start suffocating the creative process—similar to waving your finger at your brain and punishing it for expressing itself. This is one of the leading reasons businesses have so much trouble being different, they don’t allow themselves creative license. Open yourself up and you’re going to love what you come up with. And you’ll be able to multiply your mental results by getting your team together and brainstorming together. If you’re truly a small business and don’t have any employees or teammates, then buy your friends a couple of beers and ask if they’ll come over and help you brainstorm. (Don’t have too many or they’ll have you convinced that standing on the corner naked screaming your site’s URL is a good idea.)
Here are a couple of quick ideas:
Fundraisers: There’s no shame in setting up a charitable event or fundraiser to garner lucrative exposure for your business. You will create the chance to help out a good cause and to get your name out in the public.
Chamber of Commerce: Many businesses seem to have forgotten about the good ol’ Chamber of Commerce. Joining this organization provides you with the opportunity to help your community while creating great business contacts.
Contests: Think of some contests that you can offer up to your business prospects and local community. Whenever you get people actively involved in something, you significantly increase the likelihood of lucrative conversions. Besides, they’re fun!