Day 21 - Coordinating Your Marketing

Discussion in 'Digital Strategy Crash Course' started by CCarter, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. CCarter

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    CCarter If they cease to believe in u, do u even exist? Staff Member

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    Coordinating your Marketing

    Coordinating your marketing is both strategic and tactical.

    Your website is the face of your brand, but like a pretty face, if you don't talk then people can't hear you. So your blog service as the voice of your brand. I go into details about the true purpose of a company blog below. The primary communication channel of your website is going to be your email database. Having an overall customer database is crucial for a business, but we are online, so emailing your database allows for quick and cheap communications to your whole base. I go into details about this in the permission based marketing section below.

    The reason your social media is secondary to email is because you don't control the platform itself. If you get banned or removed from Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or any other platform you are essentially removed from your audience. But you can't get removed from owning the email address of your audience members, that's why your social media should at some level try to funnel your audience to signing up for a newsletter, or giving you basic contact information like a phone number (phone sales), address (offline marketing and geo-targeting), and any other details which can help you segment and sell to your audience.

    Now if you are not smart you might do something stupid like setup Mailchimp and have your complete list being controlled by a 3rd party, and never get a backup just in case Mailchimp goes out of business or decides they don't like you. YOU need to control your communication channels. I'm not saying don't be on social media, but funnel social media to your blog - your company' voice, and your newsletter. I prefer using Mailchimp's Mandrill for sending out emails and I control my whole database myself, that way if someone cuts me off, I ALWAYS have a database of my customers on-hand.

    Highlights:

    - Your website is the face of your brand.
    - Your blog is the voice of your brand.
    - Your email newsletter is the PRIMARY communication channel to your audience.
    - Your social media presence is the SECONDARY communication channel to your audience.
    - App Installs where you can send communication is a new wave, but still a secondary level, since you still have to go through Apple or Google. (This tactic was discussed in the Traffic Leaking portion of this Crash Course)

    Through out this guide we deal with the website part as well as the social media part (Social Supremacy Day), so here we are going to deal with the blog and the email aspects, and round out coordinating your efforts.
     
  2. CCarter

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    CCarter If they cease to believe in u, do u even exist? Staff Member

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    The True Purpose of Your Blog
    Your Voice

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    Generally when looking at what companies do with their blogs I believe they miss the mark completely. Most waste it self-promoting their product without telling any real end benefit, others use it to talk generally about the niche as a weak attempt to get "SEO traffic", and yet most do some fluff posts and eventually decide to let it die. All these companies are missing the mark completely.

    The purpose of a company/brand/corporate blog is to provide a voice for your company. When you put out "content" you should not only be talking about your product, but also talking about the latest changes within your industry/niche and how you are rising to meet those changes. Since some industries don't have an authoritative figure in their niche, simply talking about the latest you can become that figurehead simply by doing what everyone else is not.

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    #1: Becoming THE Authority - For example you can bring in weekly/daily experts from all around your field/niche/industry and give them your blog as a platform to talk about their specific topic how it's impacting the industry in general, problems they are seeing and how they can be solved - hopefully your product/service can aid in that solution (but doesn't ALWAYS have to). This angle is going to elevate your brand as an instant industry authority since you've got experts coming to you and giving/lending their creditability to your brand. The audience will instantly think "Well if XYZ is on this blog they must think the brand is more then credible." - That's authority leveraging - using other people's personal brand and authority to polish your brand. Now obviously if your brand doesn't look like a Mega or Big Brand and doesn't look like you should be taken seriously then it'll be harder to approach the industry leaders for sound-bites.

    The benefit to these guest coming to you is they'll be exposed to a larger audience they didn't have exposure to, and you can bet they'll tell their own audiences about their most recent guest at your brand's company <- you see what I did there? You just got exposure to their whole audience and let them come up with the content. Wat Wat!!

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    #2: Showcasing Your Power - The next purpose of a blog is to showcase your product/service out in the field. Whether you are a SAAS (Software As A Service) company or you manufacture your own physical device - it's important to showcase how your products work and different benefits of it and examples of it working for each different customer type. (Your product most likely can address several solutions not just your primary target audience).

    Newbie customers - Try creating newbie tutorials for people new to your industry and your product/service - make sure they are easy to understand and don't have a lot of industry terms. The reason it's important to focus on newbies primarily is because they'll become instant loyalist since you are the first brightlight in their mystery in discovering and exploring your niche.

    This is the reason so many newbies flock to Moz when they first join the SEO industry. It's one of the leading and recommended blogs for newbies. Now as users gain a better grasp of SEO they'll slowly move up the food chain and absorb more and more advanced content. In this scenario if you can be the hub for newbie, intermediate, and advanced content - advice, techniques, tips, tricks, and more, for your industry people will continue reading your content and deferring to you as the expert in your field.

    Intermediate customers - These are industry experts, people that give advice at conferences and users that use your product/service on a regular basis. Create guides and tutorials on the small nuances of your service/product and tidbits on shortcuts they can utilize to making their lives easier. If you can learn how other customers are using your product and some are using it in a special way that you never thought about share it with your whole user base. A new way of using your service and product will open up your audience to a new group of users you never thought about - and the best approach is to ask current customers how they are utilizing your product/service.

    Advanced customers - These are power users, usually loyalists and apostles. They get the product really well and make constant suggestions. Getting their feedback on what could be better is great and using them for guest posts and helping other users is a way to get more and more of the community involved. Create content which a power user would find as being "magical", a new feature or technique used by other power users to gain a competitive advantage - you'll have them wanting more and more.

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    #3: Reporting On The Latest Innovations - The next purpose of your blog is to inform users of the latest innovations from within your company in a semi-informal way. You can use it to announce new plans, features, ask for feedback, and talk about sunsetting features and products. The key here is to not make it mono-tone, like it's corporate drivel written by lawyers. The brand's voice has to have life and character, and it has to create an emotional connection with the userbase.

    Where most companies make the mistake with this angle is that this is all they do. They just talk about themselves on their blog and nothing else. Talking about yourself is okay, but no one is going to go to your blog to keep reading about you, they want the full experience, you, your industry, to learn something new from experts, to hear about the future, to know how others are utilizing your service, and complimentary services - our next topic.

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    #4: Giving A Voice and Platform To Allies - Another purpose of a blog is to comment on complimentary services or get experts from a sister niche to come in and create content that talks about the benefits and highlights on the sister niche and industry. This doesn't mean having a competitor come and blog on your blog about how great they are. But it means if you are selling laptops, you can have a laptop accessories company come and talk about their latest product, all benefits which compliment your laptops. The goal is for you to become the industry hub for different aspects of the industry and not just self-promote yourself on your own blog.

    The goal of a blog is to generate awareness about you AND your industry. An active blog is a voice and people want to hear a voice that they are connected to before buying a service, and an active blog showcases that this company is not only serious about their products, but also their industry and helping their customers if there is any problems (think product tutorials).

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    #5: Voicing Your Thoughts And Opinions - This is a tricky one, but a company should have thoughts and opinions about different aspects of their industry and their world. Don't be afraid to express them - without going erratic or extreme. If you see your industry going in the wrong direction, create a blog post about it and your feelings towards it. You'll notice people taking notice and thanking you for expressing a better idea. The industry may be going one way, but your brand is going in another direction which you think is better. People just don't buy a product or service from a total stranger. A blog that showcases your points, opinions, and thoughts will show there is a friendly individual as the face of the corporation.

    People will gravitate towards you IF you can clearly convey your message and the WHY of your thoughts and opinions. Don't waste time getting into non-kosher subjects like politics, religion, or other subjects that do not directly impact your industry. You might alienate current customers and turn off potential customers cause of a stance that's not needed for your company.

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    Each author of your blog can have their own personality, if you are silly be silly, if you are not, don't try to force anything. For example, when creating content for your blog and it's about criminal or legal questions - you might want to dial down the silly talk and get more serious overall. You have to know your target audience and the mood they'll be in when reading your content. For most companies, brands, and corporate entities they go way too bland when they don't have too. But then when they try to get too silly it comes off looking un-authentic and it doesn't fit "them". But the only way you'll know is by trying different things and keep on trying. Ask for constant feedback and continue adjusting your voice when conveying your message.

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    Example of great blogs and pro-active social presence:

    1. SEMRush - They not only talk about the industry and have expert posts, but also create content that moves the industry forward and therefore makes them the defacto authority for their category. The content is not just about using SEMRush and the benefits, but also about using different tools and tactics to achieve a strategic goal from a different angle. Their content isn't fluff and they mix intermediate with advanced and newbie. They've created an excellent example of what an industry company within their niche should strive to achieve.

    SEMRush takes things to another level with their SEMRush chat on twitter. They take content and points from their chat from participants and relay it back within their blog. They utilize social media perfectly to get feedback, gain new ideas for content and engagement, and generate tons of positive karma for their brand. I give kudos to Olga Andrienko for being the front face of that marketing effort (worth reading: Buffer versus SEMRush).

    2. URL Profiler has a pretty good blog too. My only complaint is they don't blog enough. Patrick and I have had private conversations on what we see for our individual companies and not blogging enough is one thing we both think can be improved upon for our respective companies. But the key is to not simply "add more content" but add a unique spin or angle about what's currently going on within the industry.

    3. Majestic has a good setup too, but I am a bit more critical of them. The quality level is there BUT there is still something missing. They need to find their voice still. Maybe it's because there doesn't seem to be a front face of the brand like SEMRush has with Ms. Andrienko. They do have great guests and the people really know what they are talking about and go really in-depth on their subject matter. The content and explanations are really well put together and are great examples of showcasing experts using their product with their own unique angles.

    4. Movoto Real Estate - A great example outside the online marketing industry. Movoto creates a unique voice and utilizes visuals within their blog post (Example: http://www.movoto.com/blog/novelty-real-estate/yoda/ - a lesson learned from outside their industry and incorporated into their own - remember the remixing lesson I taught you. Remix - take a good working idea from another industry and see how you can apply it within your own and become the rockstar of your niche.

    Another example of a blog post from Movoto: These Surprising Maps Show How Crime In America Has Changed Over The Last Decade. If you are looking to buy a house you'd like to know about the crime stats of the area you are moving into so it's perfect. They do a great visual on how the patterns have changed over the last 10 years within the USA.

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    It's a bit ironic, since if one of these major companies like Nike, Apple, or Dell were able to figure out how to blog correctly they would become unstoppable and pretty deadly to their competitors. But that's the Achilles heel of big corporations, they move slow and don't adapt to change as fast as they should. Use their slowness to your advantage and embrace new technologies with your marketing and more importantly make sure your company has it's own voice.

    The grandest level your company can obtain is a cult following, think Apple. When you've got loyalists, apostles and fans commenting, helping out other users, and wanting to get involved - you've achieved a godlike level for your brand in your industry. But this can only happen when people hear your voice and relate to your desires - a blog is the first level of your voice. It's a platform that you fully control, unlike Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin. It should become a destination point for all users that are looking for new and exciting news about what's going on within your industry.
     
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  3. CCarter

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    CCarter If they cease to believe in u, do u even exist? Staff Member

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    Permission Based Marketing
    Primary Communication Channel

    If the one thing you people, take away from anything I state it should be this - You remember, the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, right? "Always Be Closing", well the problem with that theory is, if you don't have leads, you can't close. So "Always Be Building Your List". I'd rather get a new list member then get a sale. Why? With my list, I can make money for years from that one member versus one sale. (I know eCommerce systems store all the data, but how many of you guys are actually sending out bi-weekly or monthly newsletters through it?)

    Now, I know this is not the first time you people have heard this. Notice what ALL the people that know what they are talking about are stating. When you have a list, you can control your destiny. Imagine being able to click a button and KNOW without a doubt you are going to make $500, $1000 or even $10,000, that day.

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    Build a List. Build a membership base. Build a Community. Build a Brand. It's in that order. Back in 2007, I put together a website in the financial space, that in 3 weeks held a prime spot for a serious term. Every day since, I've gotten anywhere from 10 to 200 people filling out forms on that website. All organic traffic. I'm approaching 100,000 individuals in that database. Pretty nice huh? What if I told you, I could send an email to that whole database, and generate over 500 sign ups to my financial offers? That's not even a 1% conversion. But I can do that, at the click of a button. Can you do that?

    The website's niched out, and has a nice conversion rate of 15 to 25% daily since it launched. Not a lot of competition, so I'm one of the few websites that's killing it. Well, if we were to go with a 10% conversion rate, It's estimated that 1 million people have seen my site in the course of 5 years. It comes out to only 16,667 uniques a month, or 556 people a day. Good numbers, nothing exceptional. Even if you have 20 visitors a day, if you can get 10% of them to join your list, in a year's time that's 730 people that are interested in your product/service at your finger tips.

    Imagine, if you could stay in contact with 10% of ALL visitors that have ever gone to your website? How big would your list be by now? Don't think about adding a newsletter sign up, DO IT NOW!

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    Now, let's get into the real marketing. Fuck that SEO oh noes my mito-tags are over-optimizing, and now Gogglez throwing penguins and zebras at me. Where the fuck do you work at, at the fucking Zoo?

    I live and breathe the internet. I was one of the first internet marketers, I plan on being the last. Google is not internet marketing, email spam is not internet marketing. Marketing with an online medium is real internet marketing. The internet has drastically reduced the barrier to entry to millionaire status. For cheaper than it used to be, someone can come up with an idea, implement it, and start generating revenue. The key is to continue getting the word out to the masses or your targeted audience and let them know about that great idea. Internet Marketing is Marketing, online.

    Become marketers, real marketers. If your audience is primary old folks, send direct mail to old folks homes, Century Village, where ever they are at. Internet marketing doesn't have to originate online. It can be offline to online channels as well. Understand your audience, how they interact, and how they would benefit from your idea, but I am starting to get off topic. If after all of my posts, the hypnotic state that SEO is marketing has not been broken, then I hope this final piece of the puzzle will start cracking the glass.

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    Now, let say, you finally got your shit together and have started to collect data to your new newsletter. If you just got here you probably don't know how to properly handle it without spamming the shit out of your list and eroding it and your brand into oblivion.

    You need to understand why someone would sign up for a newsletter. People want goodies. If you give them goodies 90% of the time, and then hit them with a direct offer 10%, they won't be mad. If you're really good, you might be hitting them indirectly in that 90% time with your goodies as well.

    Let me give you guys an example, If I sign up for a marketing newsletter, what do you think I am expecting in my inbox? I am expecting marketing advice, tips, tactics, and news. If the first thing you hit me with is a product, I'm going to be highly suspicious, and wait for the next email. Then I wait for the next email, and you hit me with another product the SPAM button is going to get clicked. Fuck you.

    Now let's say you are smart about it, and you send me 5 great tips on Social Media marketing, LOL, I'm going to read it, and come to my own conclusions. Then you send me 5 techniques the big boys or small pop and mom shops are doing, I'm definitely going to read it. Then you keep sending me valuable information that gets my creative juices flowing, I'm going to consider you an authority in the industry. So then you tell me about this great new product that helps with SEOing my mito-tags, I'm going to trust you a lot more and might buy your product even if it's to try out. That's my tactic. 90% value, 10% sales.

    I gave you permission to talk to me, that's the first stage. But all you have is my email and probably a guess that I'm interested in marketing. You need more information about me, you need to understand my reasoning, you need to understand me as an individual, you need to become my friend, that way, you can sell me anything you want. Once you know what makes me tick, I'm yours.

    Enter the next level of marketing, Permission Marketing. Permission Marketing, is a term popularized by Seth Godin. Read his book, Permission Marketing. Seth Godin sold his company, Yoyodyne, to Yahoo in 1998. Before there was a Google. Later in 2006, Godin launched a COMMUNITY website called Squidoo. He might know a thing or two about online marketing.

    The theory of permission marketing is that marketers must ask permission before advancing to the next step in the purchasing process - Paraphrasing from wikipedia. For example, a marketer would ask permission to send a newsletter to prospective customers. It's used by any real marketing, whether it's online or direct. It's building a list essentially. The exact opposite, is "Interruption Marketing". You know exactly what that shit is - pop ups when you go to a website, blocked content until you see or do something, a pop up box that appears when a visitor presses the back button, videos or sound that automatically plays once you get to a page. You know all the annoying shit you people do.

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    A lot of you think that's marketing - that's called spam and it erodes your brand, if you even have one. I'm not saying those techniques don't work, but why concentrate on a tactics that only lessens your value in your potential customer? With interruption marketing, you're concentrating on the 90% of visitors that aren't interested in your service/product instead of the 10% that hope they may have gotten exactly what they are looking for. Concentrate on the 10% of people that want your service and want to hear from you.

    Most online visitors know what newsletters are by now, but their biggest concern is being bombarded by useless stuff, which they eventually opt out of. With permission based marketing in mind, you need to tell them BEFORE hand, what they should expect if they give you their information. Here's some copy I have on my case study's landing page:

    header: "Join Our Newsletter"
    paragraph: "Get new marketing techniques, tips, and other goodies in your inbox. (You can choose to stop whenever you like)"

    (Name, Phone, Email Fields)

    paragraph: "In order to get to know our subscribers, we ask non-identifying information, so we can find better discounts, promotional offers, treats, & customized your choices." <- Pretty blatant, right?

    (Gender, Age Fields)

    paragraph: "We periodically send out coupons, catalogs, and other goodies. By adding your physical address, you'll receive some private tactics, tips, and discounts on promotional items we offer to our private members. (You can choose to stop whenever you like)"

    (Address, City, State, Zip Code, and Country Fields)

    Doesn't get more blatant then that. You're going to receive promotional items in your inbox and at your home address. Period. "You can stop whenever you like" - I re-iterate that TWICE. That makes people feel comfortable. You obviously don't want them to stop, but when you give people control, they may only reduce the amount of stuff they get from you, instead of stopping.

    That's why I'm converting my Big Ass Form landing page at 7.6%, and all it says, is they are going to get promoted to.

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    So the natural next step, is to build a membership base, I've already skipped to that step in my scenario, but in yours, if you are just collecting emails first, you'll then need to ask permission in your newsletter to get more information out of them. Ask them to sign-up for your free membership, where they have to provide their full name, phone, and this is where you can come in and ask for their address - since sometimes you send out "free gifts" (work out a deal with, I don't know, a gift card company - fuck figure it out bro).

    You can send a survey out to your membership base asking them demographic information (obviously, to members who you don't yet have demo info on). "Always be gathering" more and more information about your audience, while selling to them. If you find that you have a largely male audience, and they are mostly single, segment that portion of the community. Segment your membership / community, and when you send out emails, or promotional items, you can customized the items accordingly. So when you send out your email, your single guys will have a customized portion, that talks about a new great dating site. When you send that same email to married women, it can talk about a new set of facial products. Do you understand what I am doing here?

    Now, lets say you have an audience which lives in Texas, you can send them a promotional item for Texans, or tickets to a band in that region that will be playing soon. Seriously you can do whatever you want at this point. The key is to continue getting creative, and collecting information.

    By this point, you've build a community, that is buzzing around your brand, while partnering with 3rd party companies, to market to your audience. Imagine if you send a survey of likes and dislikes? Then you can further send different offers, accordingly. At this point, you should have some sophisticated data on your community. Data of 10,000 people that is worth more than 1 million emails, cause you know exactly what they will react positively and negatively to. Get creative, think Facebook style ways of understanding your community.

    As I leave you, I hope you've learned why all the people that know what they are talking about, state to build a list. Erect has a great quote by Tesla in this signature:

    "We build but to tear down. Most of our work and resource is squandered. Our onward march is marked by devastation. Everywhere there is an appalling loss of time, effort and life. A cheerless view, but true." - Nikola Tesla​

    Don't squander your efforts on the 90% of visitors that aren't really interested in your services. Focus on the 10%. That 10% is going to make you more money, then chasing the other 90% of visitors.

    It's very important for you to control your own community. This means, don't use Facebook login options for your membership area, Build your community on YOUR own websites/servers. You can use Mailchimp, or whatever other services to send out emails, but never give a 3rd party full control of your future. Lets say you build an epic blog with hundreds of visitors on Blogspot and the Google decides to shut down the service one day. You wasted your time building on someone else's land. Don't use a 3rd party community building scenario like Ning.com, where the data is housed on servers that can get shutdown without your control. Control your brand, stop being cheap, stop promoting other people's shit without capturing emails, stop fucking around, build your goddamn list.

    Carry on...
     
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  4. CCarter

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    CCarter If they cease to believe in u, do u even exist? Staff Member

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    Coordinating Your Marketing Conclusion

    As humans whenever something big or even small happens, we express it to others around us - mostly with our voice. It's the same thing with your brand. When you launch a new feature, or put out a new newbie guide for your industry you'll want to make sure your audience knows about it. This includes telling people with your voice, your brand's blog, and communicating it with your primary and secondary communication channels, your email database, social media presence, and if possible App installs.

    Keep in mind - if you also have offline marketing, make sure you communicate your message (gearing your messaging towards your customers' end benefits to your announcement) with the potential channels you have available to you. Think 3x5 post cards in the mail or even a phone call if you have a call center available. Remember a brand just doesn't have 1 avenue of sending a message in today's world, so utilize the ones that make sense, and if it's a big message - go all out.

    Usually a marketing director will coordinate the marketing efforts so the messaging is in sync, uniformed, and never contradicts other messages. They key with this is timing everything with a proper calendar schedule. If you know postcard drops take 5 days to get to your customer, send them out 5 days before the launch so when they arrive your online propaganda, social presence and main site fall in sync on that 5th day - as well as your email marketing is on point so launch a email on the launch date.

    Sync things so they make sense, the worse thing you can have is a customer getting a 48 hour coupon code for your website that expired 3 days ago and then having to deal with that within customer support.

    I've seen instances where a company did a promotion through one of those bundled software companies, and the day the promotional company launched the campaign, it was a 24 hour campaign, the company's coupon code system was screwed up and the coupon codes didn't work. So the team had to fix these problems while taking a wave of customer support questions, and basically people bashing them on the internet for fumbling the whole 24 hour promotion. You never want something like that for your own brand. Organizing, coordinating, and making sure your whole infrastructure is ready for a huge promotion is critical for survival in this fast pace online world.

    - CCarter ([​IMG] @MercenaryCarter)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
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  5. dresden

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    dresden

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    One of the things this hints at (and a lot of the guide so far) is marketing frequency. The idea that it takes 7 times being exposed to a brand or product before you're ready to buy the tide laundry detergent or whatever (I made that up, but the science is real).

    When I enter a niche or introduce a product it's my goal to be fucking omnipresent to a particular group of people. Identify the authority holders and leverage them like the father of PR, Edward Bernays did with bacon. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays)

    In my mind, this is one of the core benefits of retargeting that nobody talks about. Many internet users are not sophisticated and seeing your ad on all of the sites they visit lends you credibility (and frequency). My ad creatives are built around this idea of leeching trust from the placements.

    But this goes deep - keeping a singular tone and voice to your traffic leaks and brand messages gives people a stronger narrative to spin to themselves and talk themselves into buying your product. If you can make it appear that your product is at the center of every conversation you'll do just fine.
     
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  6. tomah

    tomah

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    Just to add to the above.

    I remember the rise of Leo Babauta and his Zen Habits site.

    His articles were general enough to appeal to a wide audience and were written at the time to make the front page of Digg. But the key was that he had clearly approached marketing his blog by creating an illusion of omnipresence by guest blogging on a select number of blogs with high readership in a concentrated timeframe.

    It made a certain audience feel like he was everywhere, and after several appearances in people's feeds, there a almost a celebrity effect.

    A simple approach, but the genius was in execution; making the right contacts and sending them your best articles for promotion. That's where the hard work is.
     
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  7. Jackv94

    Jackv94

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    @CCarter when building a list do you think that using a competition would be a good way to get your first subscribers? Or will this just attract freeloaders?

    For example:
    Using https://www.viralsweep.com/
    with a prize worth maybe a $500 very niche relevant
    extra entry if they like your facebook page / follow you on twitter and again if they retweet / share the competition
    1 month deadline

    I see it in 2 ways:
    1) You're building a list of highly targeted individuals who may convert into customers or readers
    2) You're building a list of highly targeted individuals who are freeloading and may never convert or even read your content