What do the Volkswagen Phaeton, Microsoft’s Zune media player, and Coors Rocky Mountain Sparkling Water have in common (aside from the fact that most people have never even heard of these products)? They were all good products that made one fatal error: poor marketing.
That’s right. In today’s overstimulated society, you can have a great product to sell, but if you don’t market yourself properly, you’ll end up as just another one of those forgotten fails. The good news is that there are lots of experts only too glad to share their marketing wisdom with today’s eager business owners.
Of course, you want to start out knowing that there is a demand for your product, that you’re targeting the right niche audience, and that your messaging is clear, honest, and inoffensive. But, then what? That’s where the experts come in. So, whether you’re selling the world’s fastest running shoes, a revolutionary technology, or a service that just can’t be beat, pull up your chair, and learn from the best.
Marketing Strategies for the Win #1: Use inbound marketing like a boss
Everyone talks about inbound marketing, but few actually take the time to learn enough about the subject to really make a difference. That’s why this video is my first recommendation. We all know how important inbound marketing is, but how many of you really know what it is, how to do it properly, and where to go next?
This video really takes you in-depth into the topic, walks you through the stages of attract, convert, close, delight, and more. One thing to note, this video is an hour long. You can listen to it on a faster speed to cut down on the length, but the value you get from it is really worth the time investment. And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Marketing Strategies for the Win #2: Piggyback on other people’s successes…and failures
Smaller businesses (or bigger businesses that haven’t grown into themselves yet) don’t always have the budget that billion dollar corporations do for marketing, but they really don’t need it. One of the easiest ways to propel your business forward when you’re just getting started is to market your brand off of the coattails of another, bigger company’s actions.
Now, there are plenty of examples that you can find to use a larger business’ success to make some noise (posting a useful guide on a successful blog, offering a free trial from an established Facebook page, etc.), but if you really want to be creative (and get noticed), why not take advantage of a company’s faux pas? 99designs did just this perfectly. A few years back, Gap tried rebranding by launching a new logo. Long story short, the logo was terrible, and fans were appalled. Gap took a lot of heat, got loads of bad press, and took a dive in their stocks as well.
But 99designs, a small logo design company, saw this as a golden opportunity and ran with it. They launched a competition urging designers to help Gap out by coming up with a better logo design they could use instead of the flop. Now, people were already talking about the Gap blunder, so when the competition launched, tens of thousands of people already tapped into this buzzfeed eagerly jumped into the competition, giving 99designs huge coverage. That’s smart marketing.
In this video, Randy Komisar, a wildly successful venture capital partner and entrepreneur, talks about how he used failure to propel himself and many other companies forward to even bigger successes than before. Take a look.
Marketing Strategies for the Win #3: Better their lives in some way
We can’t have a marketing roundup without including something from the master, Steve Jobs. In this video, Jobs gives over his million-dollar message to any company out there: marketing is about values. Everyone wants to solve their problems, and your job as a marketer is to prove to the consumers that your product does just that. And the way the big dogs make this happen (and the way even little dogs can become successful in their own niches) is by showing that they care and that they’re there to make your lives better in some way.
Jobs goes through the big brands and products and shows us their secrets, show us how they promote betterment not statistics, numbers, or specs. Nike doesn’t tell us their sneakers are made of premium grade rubber. They SHOW us how great athletes are, their prowess, their power. And those athletes wear Nike. Show people that your brand can make their lives better, and you’re golden.
Marketing Strategies for the Win #4: Link out to other credible resources
Another marketing giant of today, Neil Patel, gives beginner marketers a great and super simple tip to start building your audiences. It’s a really short video, only a few minutes long, and in it, Neil talks about this idea: linking out to credible resources. He even says that you should link out to competitors when it is relevant. What?! I know it seems really counterintuitive to drive traffic away from your site and to a competitors’, but here’s the logic.
Your brand is new, and nobody knows who you are or what you’re about. You post an article on your blog, and you offer good information. Hey, this guy knows what they’re talking about. You add in a link to a useful tool that your competitor has. Wow, they’ve even got a tool I can use. Suddenly consumers are getting to know you, and what they’re getting to know is that you’re someone who they can turn to for useful information, helpful tools, and genuine value.
So yeah, that’s worth all the linking out you do big time. What’s more, many people will appreciate the attention and link back to you in one of their articles, giving your site more attention and credibility. Bottom line, linking out to credible resources (even competitors) builds trust, reliability, and value.
Marketing Strategies for the Win #5: Utilize educational marketing to position your brand
Something interesting has occurred over the past few years. Consumers are no longer going to websites to see what the brand has to say about their product. Instead, customers are looking elsewhere for their information. They’re going to review sites, they’re scouring the internet, they’re doing research. While this might not seem like a big deal (after all, customers are still buying products at the end of the day), this is actually a major shift that marketers need to address.
These days, consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be informed. They want to be given information, so they can make their own choices based on education. So, the smart marketer will give consumers the information they’re looking for to make a good decision on their own. Enter education marketing.
By giving over the information consumers are looking for, this does several things:
- Establishes you as an authority
- Shows customers that you’re there to help
- Lets you give over your message sincerely
- Creates buyer trust
- Creates a deeper relationship with your customers. After all, you’re not the seller, you’re an educator
Here’s a short video clip that helps explain the concept perfectly. With educational marketing, you answer questions and give genuinely useful and good content. Use all the tools in your toolbox (blog posts, ebooks, videos, etc.) and give over as much valuable information as you can. And then they’ll come running with wallets open!
Marketing Strategies for the Win #6: Use emotions
Most people go through life sort of on autopilot. We get up, go to work, do our thing, come home, take a shower. Rinse, repeat. There isn’t much that shocks us out of our status quo, but one thing does. Emotions. Complex emotions are what separate us from other species (sorry cat lovers, read the studies), they’re what make our days good or bad, humdrum or meaningful. Emotions make things, experiences, and people stand out in our minds.
And that’s what brands need to take advantage of. The power of emotions is so compelling that major companies use them to propel their brands forward. Coke is the perfect example of this. The brand sells a fizzy drink that’s terrible for our health and rots our teeth, but that’s not what people think of when they hear Coke. Check out their commercials and this video that explains them. You’ll see a lot of these messages:
- Holiday festivities
- Spreading joy
Coke isn’t selling a drink, they’re selling positive values. And that’s something everyone wants to buy.
Marketing Strategies for the Win #7: Leverage influencers marketing
Influencers are major players in the world, and marketers would do well to take advantage of them. These players tell thousands, if not more, people what’s cool, what’s new, and what’s worth buying. In this quick clip, Neil Patel shows us how and why to leverage brand influencers for marketing success.
Marketing Strategies for the Win #8: Social media marketing, a new twist
Gary Vaynerchuk takes the idea of social media marketing and totally spins it on its head. I mean, he has a fabulous delivery whenever he speaks, but this video gives you one of the biggest key factors in marketing success. In fact, this is probably the best message any marketer (heck any person) can hear to influence their marketing campaign success.
In this video, Gary tells you all about his secret power: it’s called optimism. He doesn’t just take a head in the clouds type of mentality. Really, he talks about how to use all the marketing techniques, all the business opportunities, all the technologies, and everything that comes into your hands properly. Oh yeah, and then he talks about social media marketing and what a valuable tool it is when used properly. Check it out.
There you have it. Eight of the best marketing tools and tricks you can use (along with helpful videos in case you can’t stand reading this again and again) to make your business boom.