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8 Ways to Win at Marketing by Being Useful

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Source:  http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/07/11/8-ways-to-win-at-marketing-by-being-useful/

Author:  Jay Baer

Marketers are competing in a vast sea of messages from other companies, friends and family of their clients and prospective clients. Today’s marketers need to be smart and be HELPFUL with their social media marketing and not bombard a sales message over and over again.

8 Ways to Win at Marketing by Being Useful In my new book “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype” the premise is that if you create marketing that people genuinely want, you can dispense with the “shock,” “awe,” and “viral” and focus on solving problems, answering questions, and creating long-lasting customer relationships by doing so.

Your company is being forced to compete for your customers’ attention against those customers’ family members and best friends. If you’re useful enough, and if you commit to inform rather than promote, customers will reward you with trust and loyalty.
I’d like to share some of my top tips for smart marketing with Youtility:

1. Be a resource

Today’s consumers besieged with every company of every type, size, and description jostling for attention, making pleas to friend, follow, subscribe, read, watch, and click. Unimaginative marketers attempt to stand out with message frequency, or by exchanging bribes for attention (resulting in an explosion of Facebook contests and giveaways, among other tactics).
But sending messages too often can have unintended consequences. Instead, be helpful and provide information that people need such as directions

2. Be inquisitive

You have to understand what your prospective customers need to make better decisions, and how you can improve their lives by providing it. The best way to understand customer needs is to ask real customers. You have to understand not just what your customers need, but how and where they prefer to access information.

3. Be a listener

Nothing reveals real-time customer queries like social media. In my first book, The NOW Revolution, I wrote about the “anyone know” phenomenon in social media, particularly Twitter. Every second of every day consumers are seeking answers and solutions, often phrasing those queries as “Anyone know . . .” Go to Twitter and type “Anyone know” into the search box right now, and you’ll see a river of inquiry flowing by.
In practice, that type of research is better suited for companies looking to provide solutions at the point of need, which is one form of Youtility (@HiltonSuggests does this, for instance). However, for most companies looking to make their marketing more useful, examining social chatter more broadly will be a better way to surface consumer desires.

4. Be radically transparent

Provide online answers to nearly every question a customer could conceivably ask—before they think to ask it.

5. Be patient

That doesn’t mean it will, or should, take you multiple years to start seeing a return on your useful marketing, but recognize that you are planting seeds that will bloom in time, not necessarily overnight.

6. Be wise

To succeed, your prospective customers must consider you a friend. And if, like their friends, you provide them real value, if you practice Youtility rather than simply offer a series of coupons and come-ons, they will reward your company with loyalty and advocacy, the same ways we reward our friends.

7. Be trustworthy

“Trust has never been more important as a corporate asset, and it needs to be managed for people to believe the information you’re putting out,” says Amy Treanor, executive vice president of Edelman Square, the division of the firm responsible for the annual Trust Barometer.

“To really be a trusted enterprise,” Treanor says, “you need to focus on the more societal and engagement activities: transparency, employee engagement, listening to your customers, and putting them ahead of profits.”

8. Market your marketing

You know what happens when most companies launch a new, branded mobile application or other content-rich marketing program intended to effectively combine information and promotion? Nothing. You’ve heard the saying “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

The same logic works in these scenarios: “If you create Youtility and don’t tell anyone about it, does it even exist?”
When you launch the app, or commence blogging, or begin answering questions, you have not reached the finish line; you have reached the starting line. Too many businesses break out the champagne just because something new was created. Remember, Youtility is all about being useful, which literally means “full of use.”

Do these and you’ll create a customer for life

You know that expression “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”? Well, the same is true for marketing: If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.
I call this Youtility. Not “utility,” because a utility is a faceless commodity. Youtility is marketing upside down. Instead of marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long term trust and kinship between your company and your customers
The difference between helping and selling is just two letters. But those two letters now make all the difference.

Inspired by the New York Times best sellerYoutility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype by Jay Baer. See YoutilityBook.com for other resources.

 

 

 

5 Step Approach to Business Blogging

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Source:  http://socialmediatoday.com/jacey-gulden/1546446/your-5-step-approach-business-blogging

Author:  Alyssa Adkins

 

your 5 step approach to business bloggingYou’ve heard it before: in order to generate leads online, your business needs to blog. So, that’s got you convinced? Awesome. Next step: you need to start. Settle those nerves, folks; I’ve got five steps to help you jump start your business blogging strategy.

  1. Build buyer personas. It’s hard to write a blog, or anything for that matter, without knowing who you’re writing to. Sit down and write your audience profiles: age, occupation, income, wants, needs, aspirations, etc. Once you’ve defined your target audience more robustly, you can then write content that is relevant and meaningful to them.
  2. Clarify your service areas. In other words, determine the scope and reach of your blog. Are you focusing your content on a certain city? A state? Are you aiming at a national or even global audience? Be realistic and smart about the scope of your blog. In doing so, you can specifically target those areas and optimize for geographically relevant search and social keywords. #score
  3. List-out blog topics. Seriously, grab that pen and paper (or keyboard and mouse) and those buyer personas you built earlier. With the target audience perspective in mind, think about what you would want and need to know about your services and industry. Blog topics should be focused on relevant content to inform and benefit your buyer. Aim to fulfill a want, need or pain point of your consumer. Try your hand at thought leadership pieces that establish you as a trusted industry source. Avoid purely sales-focused blogs. Think about educational content, and then, if you can relate it back to your services, go ahead. But remember, your blog will not gain traction if a reader can hear the sales pitch in the first sentence.
  4. Build an editorial calendar. This, my friends, will keep you committed to your blog. For SMBs that are already pressed for time and resources, blogging (and marketing in general) is often the first to go. Do yourself a favor and prepare a monthly blogging calendar, including all the deadlines for drafts and postings. This will give you time to prepare and edit your pieces. You’ll always feel one step ahead – well, at least in your marketing efforts. :)
  5. Research before your write. It’s tempting to write blogs strictly from your head (hey, you know your business!), but try and use research to enhance your posts. This will help you make stronger arguments that establish you as a thought leader in your industry.

Yes, blogging can be intimidating; it’s hard to know where to start. But, in order to grow your business and market online, you need to blog. Try out these five steps and commit to them. Then, watch as your leads increase (and then keep writing).

Happy blogging!

Marketing Like the Big Brands: Think You Know Your Customer? Think Again.

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Source:  http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/startingup/marketing-strategies/marketing-like-the-big-brands-think-you-know-your-customer-think-again/?hootPostID=cb639c398b5ca914e0da623ce978d3ec

Author:  Jim Joseph

Marketing Like the Big Brands: Think You Know Your Customer? Think Again.

 

My first marketing job was at Johnson & Johnson. I was working on baby lotion and baby powder, yet I had never held a baby before in my life. I had to immerse myself in the life of being a mom, if I was ever going to understand my customer‘s needs. It was a lesson I have carried with me ever since.

Many marketers define their target customers by demographic profiles alone. But really understanding your customer should go beyond knowing facts like their gender, age and geographic location. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to create a specific brand experience catering to what your specific customers want and need.

To say your customers are moms, for example, is just too general. At Johnson’s Baby Products, I needed to know a lot more about the kind of mom we were targeting to create a meaningful experience for her. Is she a first-time mom? Has she prepared her nursery yet? What advice is she getting? What aspect of being a new mom is she most worried about?

Gathering such information requires some planning on your part, but it doesn’t necessarily require a big-brand budget. Here are three ways to get inside your customers’ minds to better market to them, regardless of your business size:

1. Step in their shoes. When I started that first job at J&J, I spent time with expectant and new moms. I talked to them about what their days were like and what they were worried about. I changed diapers and bottled-fed newborns. I learned about what would help a new mom get through her day. You can do the same with your customers by spending time participating in how they live their lives.

2. Use social media as a market-study tool. Social media has given us an incredible view into the world of our customers, particularly those who “like” us. You can observe commentary they make about their daily lives and create ways to make them better. Platforms like Facebook should be used for more than just broadcasting your brand. You can literally reach out and ask customers about their lives via social media, keeping track of the analytics on how they respond.

3. Create a survey strategy. Another alternative is to send customers a simple survey that they can complete through the survey provider SurveyMonkey. For a small annual fee, you can create customized multiple-choice questionnaires that also include open-ended psychographic questions. You will be able to learn how your customers think and feel by asking questions like: “What is most important to you?” and “What’s your greatest fear?”

These techniques will help you transcend demographic lines to understand your customers’ emotions and behaviors. Knowing how they feel will allow you to satisfy them emotionally, making you’re brand experience more meaningful in their lives.

Secrets of Engagement Marketing: 3 Elements of Building Audience Relationships

Author: Danny Iny

Source: Click here

At its core, marketing is very simple. You have a great product or service, and you communicate that to the people who really need it. Simple. But not necessarily easy.

To prosper in today’s competitive marketplace, you must know how to build relationships that will multiply your audience, sell your product, and turn engagement into profits.

In working with many small business owners and entrepreneurs, I have found that they sometimes confuse marketing tactics and strategy. You may think that the tactics you’ve adopted are a strategy – but they aren’t. Tactics, in isolation, are what I call “small” marketing.

Small marketing is an add-on to Read more