Recently I held a call about the biggest myths of marketing on Facebook. One myth I mentioned I see discouraging small business owners is that "Facebook alone will get you clients and customers." This would be great if it was true of course.
Do people get clients and customers as a result of being on Facebook? Absolutely. But slapping up a profile and expecting the money to roll in is not going to happen. You might be surprised how many people end up discouraged because they've been on Facebook for a while and aren't getting results. This is usually because they don't understand how Facebook fits into their overall marketing picture.
It's about consumers consuming what it is you are putting out there-which essentially, is content. You are gradually and steadily building momentum through relationships, word of mouth and the "know, like and trust" factor-which leads to traffic, to subscribers and eventually to sales.
Facebook is excellent for establishing expertise and credibility, for exposing your brand, boosting your visibility in front of your target market and even for market research-finding out what people need and want so that you can then go create and package those solutions for them.
Honestly, there is no faster way to create brand recognition and credibility and quickly connect to hundreds of thousands of people who are looking for what it is you offer.
When you have a business, the last thing you would want to do is to get drowned in all the marketing blitz and media fluff that is overloading the consumers every minute and every second. With so many marketing messages out there, you can’t help but wonder how your marketing campaign such as your poster printing or print posters can remain visible. It becomes too easy for your target clients to miss your message among so many messages bombarding them regularly. Nevertheless, despite all efforts, you remain exactly what you’re afraid of – become invisible to your target market.
One of the means to make your ad visible is to make sure that you don’t blend in. Although there are standard specifications for every collateral, you have to create something different so you’ll stand out. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack; it’s impossible to find it. But if that needle is in a different color, say, black or red, then you’re more than likely to see it despite the amount of hay involved.
First thing you need to do is to not waste your top space of your ad with the name or logo of your business. Yes, you do have to make yourself known to your target clients. But the real deal is that they just don’t care about you at this point. What they do care about are the benefits – what’s in it for them? Instead of trying to capture their interest with your classy name and logo, bring your benefits up front and use headlines to shout them out. A strong and powerful headline can always make a difference in getting their attention.
With the way the market has been over the past few months, these are exciting times in the world of alternative media. The focus that is being placed on improving online media planning and buying -- allowing media buyers to better navigate the ever-churning waters of out-of-home and alternative media -- is leading us to some very exciting discoveries. Many large, independent media measurement companies are coming up with exciting findings to report.
Just like any newcomer to an industry that?s been making its mark for the last hundred years, out of home & alternative media always raises the same question among skeptics: just how effective are these new forms of media? A large study conducted by one of the largest media measurement companies worldwide can bring some insight to that question.
The insights and implications from this study are compelling and important, and should continue to enforce what many alternative advertisers have been saying for some time: alternative and out of home media are the best means by which to reach your core target consumers at point-of-impact, when they?re ready to receive a branded message. In short, alternative and out of home media can deliver the right assets, to the right consumers, at the right time, to ensure an effective message, an efficient spend, and a positive ROI for your business.
The study provided quite a few important insights and statistics on some particular areas of alternative media. However, rather than simply stressing the effectiveness of alternative media, the study includes insight into the consumer response to it, which is one of acceptance. The two most compelling takeaways from the study are as follows.
"My mechanic told me, 'He couldn’t repair my brakes, so he made my horn louder.'” - Comedian, Steven Wright
We all want our websites to be more effective, and if you're like most business people you are constantly searching the Web for anything that will help. What you find is a cabal of experts armed with statistics, analysis, charts and graphs all pointing to how they can get you high-up on the search engines and drive more traffic to your site. The problem is that like Steven Wright's mechanic these guys are adjusting your horn when it's your brakes that need fixing.
There is little point in attracting more visitors to your site if your site has little of interest to say. Even if your site is jammed packed with useful products, services and solutions if it doesn't connect with your audience, they will never invest the time necessary for you to make your case.
When websites fail it's most often because they do not function effectively as your primary communication tool. The Web is overcrowded with options and unless you're prepared to deliver a compelling differentiating presentation you will be quickly dismissed as irrelevant. Let's face it; business is tough, probably tougher than it's ever been before.
Something is Missing
You've done all the technical tweaks and responded to all the research and analytics. You're blogging, micro-blogging, social networking, and search optimizing, but still something is not quite right, something is missing. What's the missing ingredient? You know it's out there, but you can't for the life of you figure out what it is.
You know the Web offers the potential to access new markets, find new customers, and reach new heights, but with all that opportunity, the results always seem just out of reach. If research and analytics were the answer you'd already be rich. Of course it was an over-reliance on research that brought us the Edsel, New Coke, and that wonderful Wall Street goody called Derivatives, one of the greatest investment boondoggles of our time.
There is something artificially comforting about putting your faith in seemingly logical yet unfathomable solutions based on indecipherable scientific modeling and over-hyped research analysis, all brought to you by computer scientists and mathematicians who never ran a marketing department or launched a new product or business.
Business leaders have adopted the attitude that, "It must be right, because I sure as heck don't understand it." And when it all goes wrong, or results are anemic, well, "What are you going to do? It's not my fault, it all looked good on paper." Ad agencies and Wall Street have been getting away with this kind of bunkum for decades, and look at the mess they've made of things.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you had the power to convince people that your product or service was exactly what they needed, and as a consequence your in-box was filled with inquiries and your e-commerce site was stuffed with orders. Wouldn't that be great? And isn't that exactly what you want to achieve with your website?
The problem is you are part of a giant online bazaar called The Web; and just like your local weekend flea market The Web is filled with crap, conmen, and contraband. Without understanding some of the underlying psychological principles involved in shaping audience preference you are in danger of being regarded as just another mangy flea market hustler, even if what you offer is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
The subject of shaping public perception, or in our case Web audience preference, is complex and convoluted but there are basic principles that if followed will help you achieve your business objectives, no matter how you define them.
The Four E-Essentials of Website Presentation
All the Google ads, search engine optimization, linking strategies, social networking, and Twitter twirping will be for naught if you don't implement four essential marketing communication techniques: engage, enlighten, embed, and re-enforce.
These four website presentation elements are easy to grasp but not always easy to implement. If you've read any of our other articles you will know that we think Web-video is the most effective way to implement these elements on your website and in your Web marketing. But just because you use video on your website, doesn't mean it's going to be effective unless you understand the psychology behind the e-essentials.
Perhaps the best way to illustrate how these elements work is to rent or find on YouTube a clip from the 1947 movie "The Hucksters" starring Clark Gable and Sydney Greenstreet. Now I haven't seen this movie in twenty years and I remember almost nothing about it except for one scene, a scene that illustrates better than anything, the four e-essentials of marketing and branding communication.
As I was about to pay the wood carvings I bought in a souvenir shop in Bangkok, I came across this sign prominently posted on print booklets on top of the table:
“The customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption on our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider on our business. He is a part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” – Mahatma Gandhi
What struck me is how this establishment put value on the customers. The good thing is they walk the talk. How they handled me and the spouse was the exact embodiment of the words of Gandhi. Needless to say, they took care of everything from the selection process to the packaging to the shipping of the items back to my home country. The experience is indeed more than pleasant.
I’m sharing this experience to emphasize the point that customers are indeed number one. In any business, big or small, customers, both old and new, are important to ensure the sustainability of the business. No matter how well your business may be doing, you are most likely on the hunt for new customers. The only way to make your business grow is to continually attract new customers. Otherwise, if you were to lose your customer base, then your business may be in real trouble.
Marketing is difficult because it is unlike any other business discipline. Most of our business day is filled with left-brain tasks that may be complex but are for the most part logical and procedural in nature whereas marketing and branding are right-brain activities governed by that hated enemy of rational business thinking, psychology.
Most businesses advertise; a rather common practice designed to get the word out about your company, product, or service. A lot of companies despair at the thought of advertising as they see little immediate or obvious return on their investment. In some cases this dissatisfaction is based on misplaced expectations and a misunderstanding of what is actually being achieved, while in other cases frustration results from plain old fashion failure. This could be the reason why so many businesses have fallen in love with click-through schemes where you only pay for presumed actual results, however the definition here of results is rather liberal.
It is comforting to many to reduce the mysterious dark-art of marketing to promotional advertising where physical results can be tabulated, measured, analyzed, and scrutinized, so that adjustments can be made or more likely blame can be laid. Unfortunately falling in love with the number of ad impressions and click-through rates misses the point: how long are people staying on your website, how much of your message are they really absorbing, is your message designed to actually be retained in your audience's memory, and is that message compelling enough to have that audience return when they are ready to act?