Know How to Use Social Marketing As a Marketing Tool

This time of the internet existence is marked by developers, programmers, artists, and well, the internet community as “Web 2.0″, the internet golden age. Cyber space is the most liberal “place” on the planet; it’s open to a myriad of limitless possibilities.

Today is marked with information sharing, better communication and collaboration, user-friendly and user-centered interfaces and problem solving.

This online revolution sparks the evolution of internet marketing. Already, countless ways exist to market products and services on the web: viral reports, e-commerce, pay per click systems, simple banner advertisements, Google adwords, voice broadcast marketing and others. It was only a matter of time until marketing got its hands on social networking -social marketing.

A bit of web history: Back in Web 1.0, at least 5 to 6 years ago, net marketers were just starting to get the hang of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. It was easy for anyone to direct traffic to their sites because only a handful of websites were in on it, plus Google and all the big search engines were still starting up back then. It wasn’t until later that SEO garnered competition.

Today, it’s social networking sites that are just starting up -ripe for the taking, so much potential just waiting for the opportunistic and innovative modern marketer. Seize that potential with the Twitter System 2.0, the newest way to get free traffic on the web.

Social networking in marketing: Conceptualized initially in the interest of cost-cutting, it’s only been fairly recent that marketers discovered a way to direct traffic using social networking sites. In these sites, registration is free, so you need to know only the techniques used in order to successfully utilize them as effective marketing tools.

Using the Twitter System 2.0, you need to pay only for the initial one time start-up registration fee of a measly $47. After that, you can work whenever you need or want to, as the profits you roll in are directly proportional to how much work you put into it.

Registration to the program will provide you not just with the necessary info to start up, but also with updates on what’s new with the social marketing world.

This marketing method is the result of the ingenuity of the business, marketing and online global community. It’s evidence of the community-based evolution that the World Wide Web is speedily opening up to – welcome to Web 2.0, welcome to the future.

Don’t Even Think About Starting a Direct Mail Business Without a Solid Sales Letter

If you are looking into starting a business using direct mail, before you do anything else, make sure you have a well-written, compelling sales letter. Too many business owners spend all of their time creating the magic product and the sales letter becomes an afterthought. Read on to find out what makes a compelling sales letter.

When you are selling with direct marketing it really is the sizzle and not the steak that sells your product. Of course your product needs to deliver what’s promised, but if you don’t tell people about it in a compelling way, they will just be turned off and never make a purchase. You have to pull people in to your letter so that they fell like they have to have what you are selling.

A compelling sales letter will do one or more of the following:

1. It tells a story about an AVERAGE person that started from nothing and overcame a huge obstacle using only the product. This act of story telling is what will make people remember what you are selling. Traditional songs and funny advertising can’t hold a candle towards rags-to-riches storytelling.

2. It causes the reader to create some kind of action. You need to get online, click a button, fill out a form , send in money, call an 800 number, ask for a free brochure, put a label on a letter etc. Without the step of taking action in your letter means that your letter has failed. You need to ask the customer to do something for you or else they won’t move a muscle and they won’t buy your product.

3. It sells and speaks directly to one customer at a time. You will use the word “you” a lot. You will sell to the customer as if they are sitting across from you at dinner. If the customer can feel that the letter is sincere, they will be much more inclined to read it, even though they know it’s a sales letter.

4. Don’t use hype, but make the letter compelling to read. Even if your product can do something amazing, if you sound like a carnival barker, you won’t get the buy-in from your customers. You need to create a fascination for the customer and to make them want to keep reading, but as soon as you start to write things that don’t seem believable they will drop you like a bad habit.

If you can keep those 4 things in mind when you are writing your next sales letter, you will be much farther ahead than 95% of the rest of the direct marketers out there. Keep your customer in mind, get them off the couch and get them over to your order page.

Cause-Related Marketing

Altruism. Corporate responsibility. Philanthropy. These are often used to describe cause-related marketing, an activity in which businesses join with charities or causes to market an image, product, or service for mutual benefit.

Embracing a cause makes good business sense. Nothing builds brand loyalty among today’s increasingly hard-to-please consumers like a company,s proven commitment to a worthy cause. Other things being equal, many consumers would rather do business with a company that stands for something beyond profits.

Powerful marketing edge

Cause-related marketing can become a cornerstone of your marketing plan. Your cause-related marketing activities should highlight your company’s reputation within your target market. Cause-related marketing can positively differentiate your company from your competitors and provide an edge that delivers other tangible benefits, including:

  • Increased sales
  • Increased visibility
  • Increased customer loyalty
  • Enhanced company image
  • Positive media coverage

By choosing a cause you are passionate about, cause-related marketing is emotionally fulfilling. It’s a way to merge your profit center with your “passion center” and build a business that mirrors your personal values, beliefs and integrity. If your cause also resonates with your target market, your activities will generate tremendous goodwill and media attention can be its side effect.

Real-World Success Story

Cosmetic dentist Mark McMahon made himself a media mini-celebrity with a thriving practice due in part to his high-profile pro bono work in his community, a strategy that landed him radio and TV appearances in areas where he worked.

McMahon established partnerships with local charities, including a homeless shelter and a shelter for battered women, and offered free dental services to their members. Before each event, he contacted local media and let them know what he was up to. Several TV crews showed up, filmed him treating patients, and later aired the segments on the evening news.

“These events were surprisingly easy to arrange, and every year, they’d help us get press simply by doing these charitable promotions,” McMahon says. “Local television news stations loved the emotional element. And it was obviously rewarding to see patients after we’d treated them who’d been in pain for months talking about how glad they were to be relieved of their toothaches.”

Another project involved the Delancey Street Foundation, a residential education center for former substance abusers and ex-convicts. “I agreed to treat some of their members’ acute dental needs,” McMahon says. “I quickly appreciated the media appeal of transforming the appearance of these rough-looking guys with terrible smiles.”

McMahon captured the event with before and after photos. “These guys had missing teeth and terrible smiles,” he says. “So I had a professional photographer capture before pictures of these guys in street clothes with their snarling faces. After I fixed their teeth, we took more pictures, but this time dressed the guys in suits and ties, now looking like lawyers and accountants, with me sitting right in the middle. The media loved it, and it was great seeing these men looking like new.”

McMahon’s TV appearances created name recognition. “After I did the story on a local television show, I was recognized in my gym by a masseuse who had seen the show,” McMahon recalls. “She said, ‘I was thinking about you this morning while I was flossing my teeth.’ She became a great source of referrals.”

(Excerpted from the book Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort, by Steven Van Yoder)

Getting Started

Cause-related marketing yields mutual benefit. Look for partners with a similar agenda whose goals can be better achieved by partnering with your business. Take inventory of the assets that make you an appealing partner in a cause-related venture.

There are many types of mutually beneficial relationships you can form with your cause-related partner, including special events, sales promotions and collection plans. An easy way to embrace a cause is to team up with a charity.

Whenever Johnny “Love” Metheny, a slightly famous nightclub owner in San Francisco, opens a new club, he shares the limelight with a local charity. “I have a history of including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in my grand openings,” says Metheny, who was voted the society’s Man of the Year in 1991. “It’s not only something I feel good about, but it helps us market our businesses to the community and media at the same time.”

Volunteer with an organization. When Eunice Azzani, an executive recruiter, volunteered to serve on the board of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, she didn’t anticipate that it would connect her with executives from Mervyn’s, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo Bank, all of who eventually hired her to work for them.

“People don’t hire a piece of paper or a process. They hire people they trust,” Azzani says. “Volunteering for a position at a local organization makes you very trustworthy.” She advises business owners to target causes they believe in. “If you’re helping with a cause you believe in, people will see that you care. And they’ll realize you will probably care as much about your work.”

As your partnership takes shape, become ambassadors for each other. Talk about the charitable organization and have flyers available. Promote the organization (and your partnership) on your website and in your newsletters. Ask your partner to extend the same courtesies to you.

Never lose the marketing focus of your community partnership efforts. Even though the work is philanthropy, your cause should generate interest in your company and motivate people to buy from it. Select a cause that is important to your target market, and make sure your target market sees that connection.