The Marketing Word | Differentiation Marketing

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Article MarketingUsing articles to drive traffic to your website was a win/win marketing concept at its best.  You submitted articles to content directories, publishers picked up free articles and in return, they ran your author’s bio with your article, adding to your credibility and driving targeted traffic back to your website or offline business.  But then article marketing fell into disfavor. The Great Google decided articles weren’t all that important in providing the information that people wanted.  It (GASP!) changed its algorithms and articles didn’t skew as high in the organic searches.

Well, everything old is new again, ain’t it? Once again, the great internet wheel of fortune has completed its turn and articles are ranking higher again.  But with a little different twist.  Google has gotten smarter, refined its algorithms and now is tying together content with the authors of that content.  In short, Google has managed to find a way to rank the value of the content you provide, make connections among all your published web content and evaluate this information. Your “grade” will affect your page rank.  Tie it all up in a big bow, and Google calls it “Author Rank.”

What does this mean to you? It means that if you provide high-quality, useful content, through articles, blog posts or any web content, your information is going to come up higher in Google search than someone who is merely “phoning it in” i.e., putting out a series of superficial, low-quality articles.  Original content will be rewarded. Those who were merely gaming the system will be thrown into the Google dungeon.

The best part of this is that Author Rank is still being rolled out. It’s in testing stages and that means you can get a jump on your competition by creating a library of high-quality articles NOW.

A FaceBook friend, Steve Eason, posted a great guide to setting yourself up to take advantage of author rank.  Click this link to get a jumpstart.

http://www.ingeniousinternetincome.com/your-guide-to-setting-up-google-authorship-markup/

If you want to learn more about how you can use article marketing in your business, tune in to my webinar on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 at 9:00 pm Eastern.  I’ll be talking about how article marketing works, how to come up with topics that people are searching for, easy ways to write articles and fill you in on Author Rank.  You can register by clicking this link:

http://www2.onlinemeetingnow.com/register/?id=0e735bcba4

Here are just a few of the topics the webinar will cover:

  • What is Article Marketing?
  • Article Marketing Strategies -- Using the Google Keyword Tool and Spoking Your Articles
  • Easy Ways to Write Articles

I'll also post a link during the webinar with a list of sites to show you where to submit articles.

If you haven't been using article marketing as part of your business marketing mix, now is the perfect time to put this ball into play.

 

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Rinse, Repeat

Right up until Viagra** came out, the two words in the title, "Rinse, Repeat" sold more product than any other sales copy.  It's on the back of every shampoo bottle.  We wash our hair, rinse and repeat.  Who in their right mind would buy a product that has to be used twice in order for it to work?  Everyone, apparently.
Those two simple words probably didn't double the sales of shampoo.  Not everyone is going to buy into the idea of washing their hair twice in a row or they are not always going to have the time to do so.  But I bet those two words increased shampoo sales by at least 50%.
Do you have a product or service that you could encourage people to double up on?  My friend Bobbie imports dirndls - those traditional German dresses reminiscent of the Sound of Music if you are a woman and St. Pauli Girl beer if you are a guy.  (www.mydirndl.com)  How about mother/daughter matching dirndls?  Or father/son lederhosen?  (She can do that for you, by the way.)
Magazines use a variation of this to increase their subscription base (advertising rates are based on subscription rates).    Have you ever bought a "gift" subscription for someone and got a free or half-price subscription for yourself?  Tire stores often run "Buy 3 tires, get the 4th tire free" ads.  Why?  Most people know that you shouldn't replace just one tire (they wear unevenly and give a bad ride).  So, people will usually buy at least two tires at a time.  However, if the tire tread is getting low, and they are going to buy two tires anyway, well.... Gee, they're going to have to replace the other two pretty soon anyway, so yeah, they'll go ahead and buy three tires.  Not always, not everyone.  But enough people go for that free tire to make it worth running the ad.
Think about what you offer and see if there's a way to add a gentle, loving nudge to your prospects and clients to get them to open their wallets a little bit more or a little bit more often.
Remember:  It doesn't have to be perfect.  It just has to be DONE.
Barbara
** What's the line that has had Viagra and other medications like it flying off the doctors' scrip pads?  "If erection lasts for more than 4 hours, please consult a physician."  What guy can resist that?  It is marketing disguised as a warning.   Brilliant.

Right up until Viagra** came out, the two words in the title, "Rinse, Repeat" sold more product than any other sales copy.  It's on the back of every shampoo bottle.  We wash our hair, rinse and repeat.  Who in their right mind would buy a product that has to be used twice in order for it to work?  Everyone, apparently.     

Those two simple words probably didn't double the sales of shampoo.  Not everyone is going to buy into the idea of washing their hair twice in a row or they are not always going to have the time to do so.  But I bet those two words increased shampoo sales by at least 50%.

Do you have a product or service that you could encourage people to double up on?  My friend Bobbie imports dirndls - those traditional German dresses reminiscent of the Sound of Music if you are a woman and St. Pauli Girl beer if you are a guy.  (www.mydirndl.com)  How about mother/daughter matching dirndls?  Or father/son lederhosen?  (She can do that for you, by the way.)

Magazines use a variation of this to increase their subscription base (advertising rates are based on subscription rates).    Have you ever bought a "gift" subscription for someone and got a free or half-price subscription for yourself?  Tire stores often run "Buy 3 tires, get the 4th tire free" ads.  Why?  Most people know that you shouldn't replace just one tire (they wear unevenly and give a bad ride).  So, people will usually buy at least two tires at a time.  However, if the tire tread is getting low, and they are going to buy two tires anyway, well.... Gee, they're going to have to replace the other two pretty soon anyway, so yeah, they'll go ahead and buy three tires.  Not always, not everyone.  But enough people go for that free tire to make it worth running the ad.

Think about what you offer and see if there's a way to add a gentle, loving nudge to your prospects and clients to get them to open their wallets a little bit more or a little bit more often.

** What's the line that has had Viagra and other medications like it flying off the doctors' scrip pads?  "If erection lasts for more than 4 hours, please consult a physician."  What guy can resist that?  It is marketing disguised as a warning.   Brilliant.

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Death of the Long Sales Letter?

Frank Kern sent me the latest video from Ryan Deiss, internet marketer extraordinaire.  Ryan is  proclaiming the death of the long form sales letter.  He talked about it in a video format.  (Full disclosure:  I didn't finish watching the video because it kept getting hung up every 8 - 12 seconds and because I couldn't tell  how long the video would be.) 

Oops.  Well, I think we just hit the first problem with video sales letters.  Videos get hung up.  They sometimes download slowly.  If they are the kind that you can't fast forward through (we are living in a TIVO world) then people aren't going to hang around to hear what you have to say.  As technology improves, this will be less of a problem.  But we are dealing with the here and now. 

Besides being cute as a button, Ryan is right that people nowadays don't like to read.  Except of course, for the people who like to read.  If your target demographic is over 50, they are probably more likely to read than watch a video.  The older they are, the more likely that is.  If your demographic is skewed more to females than males, they will probably be more likely to read.   If your product has anything to do with books, writing, reading, etc.  your prospects are probably readers.

If your target market is 12 - 22 year old males into extreme skateboarding, then yes.  They don't read.  Also, extreme skateboarding is a whole lot more fun to watch than a writer sitting there trying to figure out what to say. 

Is the long sales letter still appropriate in some cases?  Absolutely.   People skim long form sales letters, looking at the headlines and sub-headlines and stopping to read what catches their interest.  Very few people read the entirety of a long form sales letter.  (Full Disclosure Again:  I am not completely sure I have ever read all of any long form sales letter I have WRITTEN, much less stumbled onto online.)   If you are targeting - ahem - older people, we are readers. 

All that being said, there's one more important factor, whether you are using audio, video or the written word (I recommend all three).  People are more and more pressed for time.  The news cycle is faster, internet speeds are insane, the economy has people stressed and most people feel like they are rushing just to keep up.  So, no matter what medium you are using, make your point and be done with it.  Just as long form sales letters sometimes go on too long, so do videos and audios.  There's nothing worse than sitting through someone's INCREDIBLY LONG video that is a takeoff on the latest (FILL IN THE BLANK HERE:  JAMES BOND, BOURNE IDENTITY, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, etc., etc.)  movie.  They are always too long, the pacing is slow and the acting (since the marketers usually star - after all, it's their little fantasy) is enough to make you gouge your eyes out with an ice pick.  Doesn't matter if you are using the long form sales letter, audio or video, tedious is tedious.  Make your point.  Then shut up.

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Finding Balance

I have been working on web copy for a client who is a fairly new real estate investor.  His goal is to wholesale houses, helping people in foreclosure, work short sales and maybe doing some rehabs. 

I sent him the first draft of the website copy.  Now my goal, when I write branding site copy, is to put the person or company in the best light possible.  I want visitors to get a feel for the person, get comfortable and have confidence in their abilities.  In other words, I have been known to lay it on thick. 

I was so pleased to get an email back that said something to the effect of "I like it, but I'm not sure I am able to do all those things."  (Which ones?  Leap tall buildings in a single bound?  Slay foreclosure dragons?)  I had to laugh.  Most people have no problem stretching the truth a bit when it comes to advertising or marketing.  After all, "Everyone does it."  It is one of the points I ponder on a daily basis.  How far should you go to put yourself in a good light?  How much truth should be revealed?  And if you are competing against people who are flat out lying, what do you do?  How do you fight it?

I have said before that I think the average consumer is tired of the hype, tired of being promised the world.  They are looking for people who are real, who are sincere, who are trying their best to do what they say they will do.  I think my new client is going to do just fine in this new economic environment.  Cheers to him.  And to all of you out there who are struggling to bring integrity back to marketing.

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More Stupid Quotes

I know.... it is TOO easy. But someone has to take the low road.

"You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being, not because anybody says so, not because you're successful, not because you make a lot of money, but because you decide to believe it and for no other reason." - Dr Wayne Dyer

Really Wayne? Cuz I've never met ANYONE who has an undeservedly high opinion of himself.

It's time that you begin to tap into the beautiful truth that, if you can see it in your head, you can hold it in your hand.-Bob Proctor

OK Bob. I can see George Clooney naked in my head. Very clearly as a matter of fact. But I am holding NOTHIN.

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OK.  I'll admit it.  I'm jaded.  Cynical.  Bitchy.  All of the above. 

But I also call 'em like I see 'em.  And I have to tell you, I am really tired of the hype and B.S. coming from the speaker at the front of the room. 

It's called platform sales and it's a great way to market your product or service or yourself.  Don't get me wrong on that point.   Most of my clients come to me by seeing me speak at a live event (which is ever so much more fun than a dead event).  But I think it's time speakers stopped with the crap.  Crap like: 

Hand-Me-Down NLP:  "Perhaps many of you like me have tried many times to be successful."   Wow, I am so glad you scanned through NLP for Dummies while you were swilling your Starbucks Vente (which actually means "twenty") at Barnes and Noble.  "I was sitting in the audience, just like you are today, blah blah blah."   There is more to Neuro-Linguistic Programming than scattering a few trick phrases into your talk.  If you are going to use NLP, spend the time and money and learn what it is all about.  Clumsy NLP doesn't work.  Think nails on a chalkboard.

Tale of Woe:  Stories are powerful ways of relating a message, no doubt about it.  But it seems to me that every speaker who gets up to sell has to have been  1) raised by horrendous or neglectful parents; 2) raised by loving but dirt poor parents; 3) been down to his last eighty-seven cents when he sadly watched his car being repossessed in front of his wife, children and mother-in-law; and, of course, 4) lived in a van down by the river.   I actually watched one psychologist/personal coach do a 90 minute presentation where he laid out all his issues with his mother.  He left home when he was about 15 years old.  When I saw him, he was well over 60.  He had 45 years to resolve his issues and move on with his life.  Obviously, he hadn't.  I am thinking that this is not the guy I want as my mentor.  Get over it.  And stop sharing.  So you had a whacked out mother.   A lot of people did.  Suck it up and move on you baby.  He's wasted an entire lifetime and then he had the nerve to waste 90 minutes of my lifetime.  Just doesn't work for me.  Sorry. 

Touching the Audience:  I'd love to name a particular name here, but then I couldn't tell you all I want to.  Let's just say there is a male speaker who has an old school carny barker style and he likes to rest his hands on audience members' shoulders as he speaks.  He thinks he is demonstrating a "connection" to the audience.  I have actually seen him kiss audience members (male and female) to demonstrate that he loves them all.  One word:  Ewwwwwww.  First, the guy is creepy.  Second, he doesn't even like himself, so how could he possibly love others.  Third, some people don't like to be touched by strangers, even non-creepy ones.  Fourth, he's an asshole.  No.  Really.  Fifth, did I mention Ewwwwwww?  He may sell like a little banshee (and I have heard his trainings are actually great, full of content and he really likes to help people) but he would be so much better off leaving the Grecian formula pompadour and attitude behind.  That "Rich Jerk" style doesn't do it for me.  Which leads us to…

Look how rich I am!:  "I'm rich.  You're not.  You suck.  I'm great.  If you want to be rich like I am (and you are some sort of pinko commie loser if you don't want to), buy my course."  I have to rank this right up there with loudly berating a waiter because the food wasn't EXACTLY the way the high-maintenance jerk special ordered it.  If I have to put people down to elevate myself, I'm in deep kim-chee.  On another note, most of the guys putting up those pictures of themselves and their toys (and, insulting all the women in the room by including their trophy wife/girlfriend in those pictures) don't really have them.  How many times have you seen some guy or gal standing next to that rented Bentley in front of the rented mansion?  Puh-leeeeeze.   We know the house.  We know the car.  We know it's rented.  

Can I get an A-men?:  No, you can't.  I don't want to spend time shouting your fruity, stale catch-phrase back at you just so you can think the audience is "with" you.  And that includes all of you guys still using the Austin Powers "Yeah, baby."  It's obnoxious.   If you want to know if the audience is with you, see if they start filling in the words on their own.  Regurgitating is not learning. 

Shoulder Massage Train: "Everybody turn to the left and rub the shoulders of the person in front of you."  OK.  See touching the audience above.  Ewwwwww.  I don't want strangers giving me backrubs.  Take me to dinner first.  Hello!

Bottom Line:  All of these are effective means of connecting with an audience when used correctly.  My complaint is with the clumsy and stale ways that these sales techniques are applied.  Marketing is constantly shifting.  Our economy has taken a wild swing from a few years ago.  People are smarter and more sophisticated about marketing.  They can fact check and product check in seconds by going online.  Old school marketing is just that.  Old school.  And it isn't working in today's market atmosphere.  And here's a clue:  If this stuff isn't working for platform speakers anymore, then these same techniques that you are adapting to one-on-one sales situations won't work anymore either.  That's your heads up.  Take a look at the way you are presenting yourself and your product.  And start really relating to what your target market wants and needs.  Cuz tricks are for kids.

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