Tired of chasing the next “big thing” in marketing? Maybe it's time to get back to basics.
It's that time of year again. All the prognosticators are telling us what's coming next. All the “10 Marketing Trends for 2015” posts. All the advice to make you nervous that you're falling behind.
But the truth is, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
So, in the spirit of uncovering timeless strategies, we asked 32 of our all-time favorite marketers to share with us their best tips that never go out of style.
OK, we included ourselves, but that's just because we wanted to rub shoulders with these luminaries.
Is your “evergreen” marketing tip in this list? If not, make sure you share it in the comments below.
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Listening well will never go out of style. People will always need to be heard and understood, and organizations will always need to understand what their customers want.ls like Google Alerts and Hootsuite to listen will not only never go out of style, it will always be an easy way to set yourself apart from the competition. Why? Because most brands don't listen well.
Make it easy.
Make buying easy. No matter what you sell, make the buying (and consuming) experience as friction free as possible.
How many steps does someone have to go through to buy from you?
What could you eliminate to streamline the process? Similarly, what could you can add before or after the sale to enhance the experience? Make buying easy (and dare I say fun?) and your conversions will go up on the front end and you'll experience more repeat sales on the backend.
Make a list of 100 people in your target market you would like to connect with.
Create 3 letters (intro yourself, ask about a big challenge, tell them about something they may be interested in and if you haven't heard from them ask if they are the right person to talk to) that you will send to them over a 6 week period.
Follow up with a phone call after the letters.
Be obsessed with listening to your prospects and customers. What are their worries, fears, questions, concerns, and frustrations? Now, instead of shying away from those worries, fears, questions, concerns, and frustrations– embrace them.
Talk about them. Own the conversation. That's the essence of great content today, tomorrow, and in 50 dang years from now.
Frequency Isn’t a Bad Thing
Social reach and frequency are tangential to good marketing, as long as your content is relevant to your market. How many times does a potential customer or partner need to see your message before they convert? You might as well ask how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop (remember that old TV commercial?).
Some will bite after a dozen licks; for others, it’s three—depends on where your audience is in a given moment when they see your message. And remember, you’re not just talking to one person here—you’re getting in front of your audience’s friends and their friends as well. The more the merrier. So do not forget about good ole “reach and frequency.”
Personally, I think every college student graduating with a marketing degree, every graduating MBA student, and those in the marketing department of brands, agencies and anyone responsible for marketing and especially social media, should have to re-learn Marketing 101. From here on out, social is going to play a significant role in doing business—but that doesn’t mean we throw out the baby with the bathwater.
(Get some content marketing advice from Content Marketing Institute's own Robert Rose!)
Respond to your audience's engagement with a simple question… ‘What are you struggling with?' The wealth of information you will gather is priceless. Creating our 7-figure community was really that simple. We asked the question, listened to the answers of our audience, and provided them with the solution to their struggle.
The result? Over 1600 members in Podcasters' Paradise creating, growing, and monetizing their podcast! IGNITE!
Solve their problem.
Solve a problem. Something that your customers struggle with daily. Solve it with style, make your customer's life easier as a result of using it, and market it based off of the pre-built relationship you have with your prospective and existing customer base.
Don't over-think ‘selling', if you do, you'll fail. Just build the relationship and solve the problem – if you do, the ‘close' will happen all by itself.
Keep your promises.
My services range from $200 to $20,000 and in all cases, keeping promises is the one uber-simple strategy that never fails.
Sending proposals, follow-up calls, even passing on a contact you mentioned all go on an invisible scale.
Use only one reminder tool and keep the side for ‘promises kept' full and you will enjoy raving fans and a loyal following.
Seek to understand.
A marketing “tactic” that never goes out of style is focusing your copywriting around expanding on the most important benefits to the client, or about tackling and eliminating their most daunting objection. To do this – you actually have to (go figure) – truly understand your prospect.
This can be done through surveys, calling customers and prospects directly, or other research methods (I recommend CALLING buyers and asking them questions straight up).
The ninja tool I like best (and leverage best for clients) for converting marketing copy is email, and so I'm sharing video on writing email copy that drive sales by focusing on the most important benefits and objections first – I hope it's helpful!
Get inbound links.
Continue to add listings to local and national web directories that are either very credible, (Think Best of the Web.com) or are right smack dab in the middle of your business niche.
Backlinks from relevant websites are still very important for the search engines. Obtain both free listings and paid listings.
Your business website will benefit from the links, and your business will benefit from the increased exposure online.
Go where your customers go.
Marketers need to embrace SMS text message marketing. 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes. 109.5 text messages on average are sent per day. Many customers today are more active on text than email or social.
Business that learn ways to add text messaging to their business will be in great position to communicate with the mobile customer. Learn how to get started here.
Get your audience involved.
When creating a live broadcast or webinar, do your best to get live interaction integrated into the show even if others are mainly watching a recorded version.
I use a tool called Comment Tracker to show live comments on the screen so they are captured in the recorded video. Live interactive shows help you build trust very efficiently & showing the viewer's comments on the recorded video empowers them because they were part of the show.
This also encourages your featured viewers to share the recording or event with others helping you grow your reach in the fastest and most authentic way possible.
Focus on customer acquisition.
If you want to adhere to an online marketing strategy for your business that will stand the test of time, the key is to keep one goal in mind: customer acquisition.
If you do everything with the assumption that your customers could see it all, then you won't be tempted to buy cheap links on link farms, publish $5 articles, or automate your Facebook page with tweets. With customer acquisition in mind, you will only want to invest in high-quality content, social media engagement, and search optimization.
Think lifetime value.
Most marketers that end up failing fail because they do everything to drive the first sale and put no energy into the relationship post-sale. They work “the top of the funnel”. Then it stops. After the first sale, you should double down on delivering value which will lead to additional revenue from that same customer.
In summary, a marketing tactic that will be relevant no matter if we're in an age of direct response, social marketing, or some new form of marketing none of us know about yet is to think in terms of lifetime value of a customer and not just the amount they initially pay you.
Get amazing testimonials.
Make a connection.
Personal connections will never go out of style and never have they been more important. The best use of social media and email marketing is to develop systems that scale one’s chances of being able to make a personal connection with a desired customer.
Once that opportunity presents itself, take full advantage and stay up until 4am if need be taking full advantage of the situation when it does arise.”
One thing that never goes out of fashion is providing value with your marketing.
How can you entertain, educate or inspire your customers with the valuable content your create for them?
Value breeds trust and trust breeds business.
~ David Kerpen – CEO of Likeable Local and NYT Bestselling Author of 3 books
“So many marketers propose marriage as soon as they gather an email, where they need to warmup the lead.
Let me explain. People buy from people that they relate to and trust, so why not send a series of emails that provide value while asking for a small action and then gradually asking for more and more engagement.
One of the best emails I send to my audience is what is your biggest challenge. It is amazing how many people respond and clients that I gain.
Create evergreen content.
Thank your customer.
Go back to the well for what works.
Put your customer first.
Become part of their team.
Provide massive value.
Give good frame.
Clearly explain the benefits.
Make it easy to swallow.
Advertise. Test. Advertise better.
Know the purpose behind your channels.
Small business owners tend to feel overwhelmed when they're just starting out online. My best advice for these entrepreneurs is to start small and do one thing (and own it) at a time.
Build your list.
- You can now set up goals in Google analytics and track your email conversions. You can even track where your subscriber originated from e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.
- After someone has already committed to joining your email list it's not difficult to get them to take another similar action.
Want actionable tips to help grow your business?