The Internet continues to be the ultimate Rubik’s Cube of marketing. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, tools such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Groupon, Foursquare, and Twitter have become giant headaches for marketers. They have all introduced fierce competition for the attention of our customers and prospects in ways we couldn’t imagine.
For example, did you think the wine industry was ready for Gary Vaynerchuk? The answer is a big NO and I bet more than one of his competitors has a picture of him on their dart board. Gary is a great example of someone who has disrupted an entire marketplace by completely embracing the social-Internet with all of his might and is using them to take over his industry.
What’s the key?
The key is to keep working, keep creating, keep clients happy, keep attracting prospects and most of all—keep hustling. Don’t get complacent. Your dedication to your current and future customers should translate to the web.
Quick note: For all of you business owners that won’t take any action until you see the “ROI” – get over it. You can’t judge the benefits of a marketing tool without taking some sort of risk. Stop making excuses and start doing something about marketing your business on the web.
Here are 5 things to get your hustle started…
(Listed in order of time/money investment.)
1. Social Media
It’s free! For those of you who like to “do-it-yourself,” it only takes about 5-10 minutes a day to post 1 relevant link to your network. For those too busy to care about social media—you can automate everything! Did I mention that it’s free?
What’s so important about social media (besides the fact that it’s free)?
Answer this question;
“Where do you get the majority of your business?”
Most people will answer current customers or referrals.
What better way to keep your current customers up-to-date on how awesome you are AND give them an easy way to share your awesomeness with their friends than through social media?
Make posting an article link, a thought, or an update about your business a priority. Let clients and prospects know what you’re up to and more importantly that you’re hustling for their business. Engage them…they will respond!
- Twitter – www.twitter.com
- Socialoomph – www.hootsuite.com
- Hootsuite – www.hootsuite.com
- Facebook – www.facebook.com
If you’re still doubting social media, read this.
Email marketing has become the true standard for companies who want to deliver value, stay in contact, AND have a targeted group of people to market to. Focus on building your list and continually adding value to your subscribers! Stop finding excuses not to implement an email marketing plan. People want your email.
- Constant Contact (For beginners. Offers survey and event options.)
- iContact (Great if you need to import current lists)
- Aweber (For the more advanced marketer. Automate your contact process with autoresponders)
Adding value by offering your content through a blog or in product downloads such as ebooks or white papers shows your current and future customers that you have your finger on the pulse of what’s important to them. This kind of proactive effort is effective at building rapport and keeping you on the minds of everyone in your market. Remember, if you’re going to offer a free download, don’t give it away without asking for at least the name and email of the visitor (i.e.; integrate with your email marketing).
- Already desperate to learn more? Check out these posts on Copyblogger.
The next 2 are a little more advanced but should not be ignored.
Do your research, take some chances and try them out.
Webinars should be renamed AUTHORITY MAKERS. Webinars help establish you as the expert and you can immediately become the authority on whatever subject you are speaking about. In some cases it might more more appropriate for your sales rep to do the presentations but either way you should be planning on putting a webinar together. Sales-type of webinars can be presented often (some present as much as once a week) and other special presentations can be offered once a quarter. Invite everyone and use all of your tools to promote the event. These are fantastic ways to personalize the customer experience and can be an extremely effective lead generation tool.
- GoToWebinar (The most reliable that I’ve found. Make sure you record everything!)
- Autopilot Web Events (Automate everything. Do 1 webinar, record and repeat.)
5. Promotions and Sweepstakes
Promotions and sweepstakes are a great way to provide an ongoing “Thank You” to current and future customers. These can range from a monthly sweepstakes on your Facebook page to a time-sensitive offer like those found on Groupon or Yelp. Make sure you invest the necessary effort into creating a plan and outlining your expectations.
Check out these links:
Note about promotions and sweepstakes:
- When you use promotions or sweepstakes on Facebook to get more fans, make sure you’re offering something that ONLY customers would want. If you try to offer something cool like an iPod or iPad you’ll end up getting a bunch of bogus entries that will skew your fan base. Focus on quality and not quantity.
- If you decide to go with a Groupon/Yelp deal make sure you’re not giving away the farm. (see: The ugly truth about Groupon…)
Make the Effort
The bottom line is that your customers want to see you hustling for their business and continuing to say “Thank You” for their business.”
Keep on hustling and your business will keep on growing!