Outbound Marketing VS Inbound Marketing – Which is right for your business?
Are you exceeding your sales targets?
Or do you get to the end of the month and have to have a call blitz; 100 cold calls and no one wants to talk to you. There has to be a better way to get sales...
Most marketing up until the advent of the internet has been outbound or interruption marketing. This is everything from TV spots, newspaper adverts, cold calling, direct mail, and anything else that interrupts people with a message.
Now you can add to that list email marketing, banner adverts and pay per click (PPC) and similar online interruptions. Studies show that people viewing websites now automatically block out banner adverts. Anything that looks like an advert is less likely to be seen.
Most businesses still rely on outbound marketing but they are getting less and less return from it. Newspaper adverts no longer have the pull that they once did. There are more magazines than ever and it is becoming more difficult to reach your prospects.
So what so the answer?
Word of Mouth Marketing – demonstrably effective
There is a growing amount of data that indicates why word-of-mouth marketing is so appealing.
US trade body Womma (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) has conducted research showing that 72 per cent of consumer credit reviews from family or friends have either a great deal or a ‘fair amount’ of influence when deciding whether to use a product or service, while 81 per cent of consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts.
According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages report, published in September 2013, ‘recommendations from people I know’ are the most trusted form of brand advertising, with a score of 84 per cent.
And as digital communications have penetrated our world, this figure has grown, having been just 78 per cent in 2007.
It is also far more popular than the alternatives. The same report scores branded websites at 69 per cent, TV adverts at 62 per cent and emails – even those that consumers have consented to receive – at 56 per cent.
How Can Your Business Use This To It’s Advantage?
Word of mouth advertising has been around for a long time. We all love to be recommended to companies and products. When we are, as we have seen above, it makes a big difference to our purchases.
But how can we use this in our businesses to full effect? Personally I think that social media has given every business, no matter how big or small, a great opportunity to engage with their customers and prospects. Now we can use positive feedback and reviews as well as other social evidence to full effect online.
Not only that but as we have seen with the example of Plusnet we can use incentives to get our existing customers to bring in their friends. And customers that are recommended by a friend to Plusnet have a 50% lower churn rate.
Is It Time You Leveraged This Powerful Technique?
At CR4L Results Marketing we are implementing schemes like the Plusnet one for our clients. The numbers speak for themselves and we suggest you try a similar plan; especially if you sell to the public.
Does your business have a great domain name? If not, you're about to get another chance to name your online home, with the introduction of hundreds of new top level domains (TLDs for short).
But what is the point in changing and what would it actually do for your business?
It’s all about relevance and being easily found in searches. For example if your business is in Wales you should have .WALES as your TLD. If you are a law firm its .LAW.
This doesn’t mean that you will have to change your current website or presence, if it’s working stick with it. However adding another string to your bow may well be a good tactic.
We have increasingly seen businesses having multiple websites to attract customers. Now they can have even more relevance for a niche market and get ahead of the competition. You can see the next batch of TLDs and reserve for free at 1and1.com
Simply put: there is too much content in too many places.
While some may contend that the "cream always rises to the top," when it comes to great content, there is another worthy argument that goes like this: there is too much cream and there are too many tops. Everyone is publishing - in text, images, audio and video. All of the time... and to the world. Of course, this is nothing new, and you will find instances when brands (think American Express and their Open Forum platform or what LinkedIn has done in recent months to become a top content provider with LinkedIn Today) are breaking the mold and busting through the immense amount of clutter, but the lessons about what works (and what's just adding to the clutter) seem to be somewhat formulaic.
How do you make your content resonate? Here's what the experts will tell you:
Marketing should take the client right to the purchasing stage; there should be almost or no, need for a sales person – just an order taker.
This is the fundamental difference between someone who comes to your business to buy and someone who comes that you need to sell to. These days people research every purchase online before they even go in to a store or business.
Clients can be, and often are, more informed than sales people. As Seth Godin says in his book “All Marketers are Liars” ; buyer beware “caveat emptor” is now “seller beware” as often the client is more informed about a product than the sales person. There is so much information about our products and services available on the web that it may be impossible to keep fully up to date. None more so than with cars: Clients come to dealers with printouts of web pages that have far more information than a sales person can hope to remember about every model in the range.
This is actually a good thing because they should know just what they want so all the sales person has to do is match that and take the order. Then a good sales person may find a little cross or up-sell to add to the package if that suits the purchaser.
What Story Does Your Marketing Tell About You?
Self Marketers should be using video more than anyone else - it is HUGELY powerful and FREE
Video On Your Website - the statistics...
Whichever way you look at it – Video is a powerful marketing tool. If you are not using video on your website you are missing out. Don't think that it costs money either; just watch my YouTube video to see how to make professional looking videos for NO money...
1. Use a short video clips to move fans from your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites, to your landing page.
a. Make a short video clip with a clear call to action and incentivise their action
2. Plan a mini campaign with a theme – this can be ongoing.
3. Leverage your clips over several media
a. First things first: upload your video to YouTube and optimize it with a URL (in the description), a great title and a clear call to action. Also, consider adding a video overlay that links to your landing page for extra traction. These are basically clickable banner ads.
b. Share your video in a status update on Facebook with a clear call to action. Then you can push additional traffic to it using Promoted Posts (set these up right on your post) and Page Post Ads (which also appear in the right-hand column and can be targeted to non-fans too).
c. Twitter is a platform we don’t associate strongly with video yet. So tweet your YouTube link (along with a link to your opt-in page) and stand out from the crowd!
d. Adding YouTube videos to Pinterest is a great way to spark shares. Whenever someone comes across your pinned video, the PLAY button is featured over the image, so it stands apart from all of the static images around it.
4. Armed with a quarterly strategic plan and premium content (your video, your giveaway, plus all the indirect content that supports both), you can convert fans into quality leads and eventually, loyal customers.
a. And you can continue to do so all year by focusing on new campaigns, themes and content, giving structure (and measurability) to your editorial calendar.
I have just started a mini campaign with the theme of tips on making marketing videos work for your business. Each one will go with a blog post and I will add some short clips to Vine and Instagram for extra coverage.
If you are not sure how to make a short video clip check out my YouTube Channel and this particular video. It shows how I make all my videos. Shot on HD with great looking lighting and background you might think that they cost a lot to make....
...But take a look at this video where I reveal the secret of how I made all my videos with my iPhone and some free software I downloaded. YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/cgSkkSmh4aw
Now it’s your turn... What’s one video tip that should be part of every “mini-campaign”? Share your experience in the comment box below.
What are the 7 key things every start-up company should be doing to market their business?
1. Build a website
2. Get traffic to that website
3. Build a list of prospects
4. Build relationships with prospects
5. Get feedback
6. Sell product
7. Get feedback – the second cup
You’ll notice that all the way down in 6th is the selling, and get feedback is before and after the sale. Feedback and customer opinion is important in any business. In a startup business feedback is essential in developing the offer and product.
You may be aware that many startup businesses have a great product or service and then proceed to fail in taking it to market. One of the main problems is that as an entrepreneur or business developer you can get so involved in your amazing new product that you lose sight of what the real world will thinks of it.
I am sure that you will agree this is one of the reasons that market testing is essential before committing to a big launch. If you have ever seen Dragons Den on TV you are sure to have seen entrepreneurs that are very enthusiastic about their product. But the sum total of their testing is often just asking their friends what they think. Dragons want to see sales to the public and public feedback; not mates telling you your widget is great.
So you can see the advantage of a soft launch before committing a lot of money to a big launch: See if you can get a few early adopters. Then get feedback from them and develop your offer so that you can get to the next stage and on to the mass market.
Let’s assume that you have some product to sell or your beta system is ready to trial, then the steps are simple:
You will have seen how LinkedIn has become an important tool in business marketing. There are millions of business people using it every day. There are thousands of companies, with a plethora of employees all interconnected.
You can advertise on LinkedIn and I have tried this for certain offers. But unless you have a big budget I suggest the free tactics that I have given here; I know that they work. So how do you get your offer to the people that matter and the people you want to sell to? I'll tell you in a moment but first...
...Before I answer that question I think it best to mention that when you are looking to engage with others you must consider how they will view you. So before you set out looking for clients and contacts on LinkedIn make sure your profile is up to date and full.
Top 6 LinkedIn Profile Tips:
1. A professional photo
2. Be individual and distinct – stand out
3. Don’t be all things to everyone – use your mission statement to filter out people as much as attract new prospects
4. KISS – keep it simple and to the point – don’t ramble on
5. Show clear and measured achievements – “increased sales by 220% in 2013”
6. Get referrals – not just people endorsing you but real detailed referrals from clients and colleagues
Once you have a great profile you can start some marketing….
Here are 2 main strategies that I recommend:
1. The Mass Approach
2. The Select Approach
1. The Mass Approach is a great way to create interest in your offer and bring people to your website. The basics are simple and can be laid out in simple steps:
a. Join groups in your niche or market.
b. Post useful information on their forum and take part in the discussions that are there. Be sure to lead people to your website to find out more valuable information.
c. Post teaser articles leading to your blog posts and thus to your website
As with most strategies that involve social media, you need to give value first. Give as much helpful information as you can. Lead people to your website to find out more. Get them to join your newsletter to get even greater value.
If you maintain a presence in the key groups you will be seen as a person (or business) that gives value. In this way you are also in the forefront of people’s minds; you are visible. So when people have a need they will come to you as first choice.
I regularly post articles in the groups I am a member of. I try and give helpful information and in doing so I build my brand and stature in that community. Then my prospects will look to me for more advice and services when the need arises.
2. The Select Approach is a little more involved and more subtle.
First you need to identify 10 companies (or people) that you want to sell to. Follow them and see who they are connected to and what groups they are in. Join groups that you think fit your business.
Next you need to look for people who have recently departed the company; recent ex-employees. Search the company and then look for people that have worked there in the past. You can do this on the searches if you do a detailed search. Then connect with them…
[…At this point I should say that I only have a standard LinkedIn account, not premium (paid) account. You can get more features, approach people directly and see more information with a premium account but I tried it and am happy enough not paying now.
So how to connect with someone you don’t know? Well you can join a group that they are in or look to connect with a middle man. I wanted to connect with a CEO one time and I found that his PA was my second connection. So I connected with her and then I was second connection to half the company.
If you give value and are respected, people will want to connect with you. Connections on LinkedIn work like network marketing. If I know 100 people and they all know 100 people then I have a loose connection with 10,000 people, level 2. Personally I have around 600 connections and on average they have 100 connections each so I have direct access to 60,000 people on LinkedIn.
You can see that by knowing more people I am connected to 100 times that number. If I then add in the Level 3, which I can get to, even without premium membership, via my level 2 connections, I am connected to 6,000,000 people.
So one of them probably works at the company I am targeting, or used to; and if not someone will be connected enough for me to find a connection. the other great way to connect is through gropus. Some comapnies make it easy and have groups of their own. A lot of the employees ill be members. So you can join the group and get connected in that way. ]
So now you have access to ex-employees of a company its time to use that. Write to them and say that you are researching the company that they used to work at. Ask them some questions relevant to your offer. In my case I would look for someone who worked in the marketing department. I would ask them what challenges they faced and how they dealt with them. I would also ask what challenges the company was working on for the future.
Gather as much information as you can. The reason for talking to ex-employees is that they will be more willing to engage with you about a company they used to work at. They are also more likely to be frank and tell you about real problems faced by that company.
Now you know what problems the company faces make sure you place prominently on your profile examples of how you have solved these problems in the past for clients. Give exact examples with measured results for the best effect. Make sure these appear on your website too.
Then when you go to the next stage and engage with people who currently work at the company they will see that you can help. Engage these people in conversation and find out if they are still dealing with the same issues. If so let them know how you or your product or company can help.
In this way you are tailoring your offer to meet the exact needs of a business before you initially engage with them. Once you do engage with them your offer will speak right to their needs. You will be half way to the sale already.
This is a very powerful tactic and you can use it on 1 or 10 companies at a time. More would dilute your efforts so I suggest starting with a maximum of 10.
LinkedIn is a great way to engage with people, speak directly to their needs and show how you can be of service. Remember to give value first in all social media activities (if not everything you do!).
For more information on social media and to get free downloads about marketing see http://www.cr4l.com/self-marketing-download.html
I love LinkedIn and wrote an article on how to best use it to get hot leads for your business (see the article here). Now it’s the turn of Facebook...
Facebook is a strange beast, and I mean beast:
But speaking from experience advertising on Facebook does not increase the bottom line. It’s cheap and gets traffic but actually getting sales from Facebook adverts has been hard. Until I stopped paying...
Now I don’t pay for adverts on Facebook but I am starting to get traction. Here is my latest figures:
Does that mean sales? No. But keep reading to find out to get more likes, more readers, more exposure and, yes, more sales...
Facebook lets you engage with your target audience. It also lets you capture their details and that is the key to success. Once you have their details you can engage with them and they will buy from you.
The step are simple enough:
1. Build a business page (not a personal page)
2. Add great content
3. Get likes – build your audience
4. Convert likes to contacts with data catchment
5. People will buy from you
Some businesses set up a profile for their business as if it were a person. It’s not effective so don’t waste your time. Be professional from day 1.
As with all successful strategies online content is king. Add great content to your Facebook page. Take it from your website and blog posts. If your company has brochures add them too and offer them as downloads.
Every time I post on my blog it automatically posts to my business Facebook page. It has a back link to the blog so drives traffic there. This has the dual effect of adding great content and getting people to my website.
Once you have something worth seeing you can start attracting visitors. Remember that your page must offer great value to the reader. They must want to go there and return. The truth is that after liking a page most people will not go back to it. However they will receive your posts directly on their news feed.
But be warned: if they do not engage with your content by commenting, liking or sharing it Facebook will notice. After a while Facebook will stop sending your content to their newsfeed. So keep your content informative, of value and engaging. Be fun and quirky too and you can even be controversial so that people comment more.
So how do you get likes?
1. Invite your personal friends
2. Invite your email contacts
3. Invite your business database
Join relevant groups on Facebook. Post on their timeline and attract people to your page. People on Facebook like to stay on Facebook. Make it easy for them. At the same time you can enhance results with offers of benefits if they like your page. This could be anything you can give away for free and preferably via email; like and eBook. To help with this kind of giveaway you can use a service like Rafflecopter. They have a free version which will suffice as the premium is a bit expensive.
Groups are key. Just as on LinkedIn you need to find and engage with groups relevant to your business. Then you post your articles and blog posts with these groups too. I post all my blog posts on my blog, Facebook page and in all my LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Maximum coverage and impact.
Your goals are to increase engagement, build authority and trust. Comments from customers are great here so ask some happy customers to posts some good feedback on your page for you. Once your page gets bigger you can even segment it and have sub groups. You may have a testing group for new offers or ideas; another of existing clients and another for people interested in one area you deal in.
Next put links to your page on your website and blog. Add like buttons everywhere you can and use the send buttons too so that people can share your posts with their friends. This is where valuable information is key to success. Your articles must be worthy of sharing.
This article is a prime example. I know of one marketer who charged $40 for an information product which said pretty much all that I am. However he left out one vital point about data catchment. You see its all very well having a great Facebook page and lots of likes. But as I have already said people on Facebook like to stay on Facebook.
So now you have to entice them off and into your data catchment. But let’s not leave just yet. You can use events to get leads and you can use the Raffelcopter system I mentioned earlier. They are both hosted on your Facebook page so that is a big plus.
Of course all of your blog posts and articles will entice people away to your website where I am sure you have great data catchment (if not call me!). But one thing that is overlooked by almost all Facebook business pages is that you can use the "about" section at the top left of your Facebook page. This little box is edited in the admin and called “short description”. Use it as an advert and put your website link in it (use the full http:// version).
Entice people away for a great offer or free product. This section stays on top of the page ALL the time. People will see it and if it’s a good offer they will click the link. Have a look at mine on the Results Marketing System page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/resultsmarketingsystem?ref=hl)
So in a nutshell.:
1. Great content
2. Attract relevant visitors
3. Give value and engage
4. Capture data
Happy Days! More sales :)
Alternatively: if you don’t have the time to do all of this for your business but would like the results, you can get CR4L to do it for you. We have a package that is guaranteed to work – or you don’t pay!
This is another offer from Results Marketing. See more at http://cr4l.com
CR4L offer Results Marketing... Find out about paying for your marketing based on results. Click Here
Top Blog: Seth Goodin
"I don't get it" Who is teaching us to look deeper?
With nearly 4 million views this promotional video proves what a powerful medium this is...