Top 5 Fatal Flaws of A Marketing Campaign

top5There are 5 Fatal Flaws that can cripple any marketing campaign; social media, advertising, email campaign it doesn’t matter. No matter how good your strategy or your plan – if you do these things – your campaign will not perform. Period. Here they are:

  1. Lack of a specific target audience – you can’t effectively target everyone. so don’t even try.  Pick one target and get the message and delivery right. Remember the saying “it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond…” and so it is with marketing.  Better to have the right people actually hear your message than to have a lot of random people maybe hearing it.  You’re conversion rates will increase.  Which means you will be more successful overall.
  2. Using a “one-size-fits-all” message – people buy for different reasons, they have different problems they are trying to solve. One generic message won’t get the response rates you’re hoping for. In fact, it can often lead to higher than average bounce rates, abandonment rates or unsubscribes. Not good.
  3. Assuming that you know which vehicles work for your target audience – you can’t assume that just because you like YouTube, your target audience does to. Or, just because you don’t like to read blogs don’t assume your audience doesn’t like to read blogs. Ask them and find out.
  4. Not listening – This is probably the single biggest benefit of social media for business – it gives you a direct channel to your customers. For example, let’s say you are chatting in a forum about something and they say “Hey, why did you stop doing X?” You should ask others if they also miss “X” and think about maybe reintroducing it. Someone had provided you valuable insight…the least you can do is listen and think about it.
  5. Continuing to do the same thing time and time again –  it’s easy to find something that works and stick with it. But the world is dynamic, things change and your marketing must change too. Not every day or every week – but often enough to keep folks interested, to leverage new vehicles, new media and new ideas.

You should write a book

driving_success_3d1The following is an excerpt from 42 Rules for Driving Success with Books, by Mitchell Levy.

As a business person in today’s turbulent times, you must be wondering what you can do to demonstrate your effectiveness. The key question you must be asking yourself when you wake up each morning is, “What am I going to do today to bring in more business?” What if prospects came to you asking:

  • How do I buy your product?
  • Can you please speak in front of my group (e.g. your prospects)?
  • Can I please get some of your brochures to share with decision makers at my company?
  • I love the brochure you sent in the mail, can I please get some more?
  • In a book I picked up at Amazon or Barnes & Noble, I read about your product/service. Can you tell me more?

A dream? Science fiction? No! You get all this and more with a book. You’re reading this and you’re excited until you think about what it takes to write a book. Then you ignore the idea because you’re thinking you don’t have 1,000 hours and can’t wait 1–2 years to create a book.  Myth!

Yes, a book published by a traditional publisher will take 1,000 hours to write and 12–18 months to publish (once you secure the publisher).  But, a book published by Super Star Press or Happy About will take 60–150 hours to write and 2–4 months to publish. For a 42 Rules book
(see Your Rules at the back of the book), you can have folks collaborate to help you create a book in as little as 60 hours. So the question arises, “Is a 100-page book that took 60–150 hours to create going to be effective?” The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Please read on, as many of the authors featured in this book created books that achieved amazing results. Those results are within your reach too, with a 42 Rules title to your credit!

Let me talk about the benefits of writing this book. From the time the concept was originated to the day when the book came back from content layout was 3 months. During that time, I spent 50 hours of time. Yes, just 50 hours. With the writing and other odds and ends before having a book in my hand 3 weeks from now, I would expect to have spent 60 hours. Even before publishing (see Rule 17) the benefits are amazing.

  • 4 new authors (contracts signed) and 18 others that have expressed interest.
  • 1 new executive editor (contract signed) who is searching for authors to write books in his series and 8 others that have expressed interest.
  • 8 marketing firms that have put us on their radar and we’ve hired one of them for 2 of our authors.

Let me repeat, amazing results for 50 hours of work. Absolutely the best bizdev tool I’ve ever deployed!

A “call to action” that actually drives ACTION

aware-demand-covert-graphicYou have seen them time and time again.  You have probably clicked on a few of them.  Maybe downloaded a white paper or two.  I’m referring to a “call to action” – what we marketers use to make our audience do something.  Any call to action needs to be considered in the context of your marketing strategy and objectives.  What are you trying to accomplish?  Are you trying to establish awareness?  Generate demand?  Convert leads?  See my post on this topic. In this context there are three basic types of “calls to action” (CTA).

  1. Asking Permission:  getting the customer to give us permission to communicate with them.
  2. Addressing Objections:  helping the customer overcome their immediate objections to your solution.
  3. Building Relationships:  supporting the customer’s decision making process until the sale is made.

These three CTAs correspond to the different phases of marketing:  During the awareness phase, you ask for permission to communicate with your prospective customer;  When trying to generate demand you need to overcome the objections your audience has – address what is keeping them from doing business with you at this time;  Once you are trying to convert a lead to a sale, the key is the relationship you have built with your prospective customer, do they trust you.   At each stage of the process it is critical to keep in mind what our customer is looking for.

Asking Permission: At the permission stage, the customer has just learned that you exist.  You need to be focused on awareness and making a good first impression.  You only have 1 chance to get their permission to communicate with them again.  That permission can come in the form of an opt-in email subscription, newsletter, blog or whatever you have going on.  The point is…you need their permission.  Otherwise, you’re spamming them and that is bad (enough said about that.)  Why should they opt-in to your newsletter or email list?  What’s in it for them?  It is up to you to build the case for yourself.  You could offer a trial subscription, provide samples of your newsletters on your website so they can see what type of information to expect, include testimonials from happy subscribers.  Make it easy for them, and put as few barriers to registration as possible.  Don’t ask for more information that you need.  For an opt-in email list (newsletter or the like) all you really need is a name and email address, that’s it.  You can get more info later on when you have built some level of rapport.

CTA = Register for our newsletter.  Opt-In to our email list.  Subscribe to our blog (Twitter, Fan Page, etc.)

Addressing Objections: Someone will always have a reason for not subscribing to your newsletter, or not purchasing your e-book, or not hiring you at all for that matter.  Your job at this phase is to address the most common objections you hear from prospective customers.  Is it budget?  Do they think they can do it themselves?  Did they have a bad experience previously that has colored their perspective?   Take these issues head on.  Write a “position paper” explaining why they can’t do it themselves.  Create a video of previous clients who wish they had done it sooner.  You will never move a prospect forward in the sales cycle without addressing their objections honestly and directly.  Use this opportunity to reinforce your messages and benefits.  What can they expect from you?  Offer opportunities to learn more, read more, to download relevant information. Make sure the information you provide is not only about you and your company.  It needs to help them get to know you, and the best way to do that is give them valuable information that will help them solve a problem.

CTA = Read our White Paper. Download our video.  Visit our discussion forum.

Building Relationships: Making decisions can be scary.  You’re always thinking…did I make the right one?  It is so easy to second guess.  It’s up to you to help your prospective customers through this process in such a way that the only logical conclusino is to do business with you.  The best way to do that is to not “sell” them on you or your stuff. Rather build a relationship based on trust and value.  Then when they are ready to make their decision you are top of mind because you have always been there with valuable information when they needed it. You have addressed all their objections in a way that helped them understand their options better.  You acknowledged their needs and provided information accordingly.  Now you need to give them the tools to make their decision.  Case studies, testimonials or success stories from other clients reinforce that other peole have made the same decision and that it worked out well for them.  Make these visible.  Also, make yourself available for discussions, consultations, one-on-one time.  People feel better about saying “yes” to someone they have at least spoken to.  Make it easy for them to say yes!

CTA:  Case studies.  Testimonials.  Success Stories.

Create a Video

youtubeVideo is becoming more and more popular because it is fast, entertaining and engages our eyes and ears.  However, a video on it’s own isn’t going to get you the results you want.  Your video needs to be an integrated part of your overall marketing strategy. Social media, email marketing, video marketing, articles…all of this integrated together in the right way will help you build your brand and our business.

Here are the basic steps to creating and marketing your video.

1.  Script it – figure out what you want to say, write it down, make sure you repeat key phrases so the viewer remembers them. Practice it.  Say it out loud.

2.  Record it – Now there are several ways to record a video. The easiest and cheapest way is to use a video camera that is built in to you computer.  OR to use a video camera you already have.  Test the lighting, background, and look for shadows.  Do a couple of tests – get comfortable with the camera and practice your script.  Practice until your delivery is smooth and comfortable.  

3.  Edit it – There is a ton of editing software available and much of it is free or comes with your computer. These are the key elements of a great video:
•    Visual look & feel – use your existing brand colors or theme to help integrate the video into your marketing activities.  You can certainly add other images, but don’t create something that is visually disconnected from other things on your website.
•    Timing – It must be under 2 minutes.  2 minutes of online video can seem like forever if the content is dull and the presentation is slow.  Keep it fast, change the graphics every 5-10 seconds.
•    Music – you need a soundtrack for your video. Don’t use popular music  or songs from well known artists as you can get in trouble.  But there are some resources for copyright free music that are really great.  Again, I’ll include this in my email.
•    Graphics – create graphics in your editing program that use key words and phrases. Time them to coincide with the script to reinforce the points you are making in the voice over.

4.  Promote it – The most obvious place to promote your video is on your web page or blog.  So clearly you want to do this.  The easiest way to get your video out to as many people as possible is to post it to YouTube.  YouTube is one of the most visited sites on the internet, worldwide.  So leverage it’s power. Create an account if you don’t have one. Upload your video and use their capabilities to post, share and promote your video.  Here are a few ideas:
•    Embed it on your webpage or blog – YouTube provides a simple embed link that you just paste into your webpage.
•    Email the “share” link to your opt-in email list and email them the link to the video OR direct them back to your webpage or blog to view it.
•    Post it to your social media accounts – LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter are obvious.  But you may also want to consider posting it to StumbleUpon or Digg or other sites.

Publish Articles

articlesPublishing articles is very similar to blogging.  The advantage to articles for some people is that while the effort required to create the content is very similar, the time requirement is very different.  What I mean is that a standard article runs between 400-1000 words, the same for standard blog posts.  So, writing a blog or an article is basically about the same amount of work.  What’s different about articles is that they don’t have to happen regularly.  Blogs need to happen regularly – several times a week, or weekly at a minimum.  Articles can happen whenever the mood strikes you, or whenever you have something you want to write about.  The pressure is definitely less.

The disadvantage to articles is that a there is no way of capturing subscribers or followers, like you have with a blog.  Articles do generate traffic to your site as there is always a “promo box” at the bottom of the article where you put your bio and a link back to your site.  But at that point, your site has to be working for you to turn the click from a published article into a registered user either through a subscription or an opt-in email.  You will get the traffic, and it is up to you to capture it.

Like blogs, articles are well liked by search engines.  The content of the article will be indexed by the search engines allowing people to find your article linked with your name.  But there won’t be an immediate link to your site – rather back to where the article was published.
To get started here are 4 steps to marketing yourself with articles:

1. Identify your topic. Choose topics related to your area of expertise.  If you have content already developed, leverage it for your articles. Look for connections to current events and take existing content and “spin” it into something new and exciting for your audience.

2. Write your article. You want to shoot for between 400-1000 words.  There are many different ways to structure your articles, but some of the more popular are Top 10 Lists, How To Guides, Tips and Tricks, Seasonal or Holiday tie-ins.  Make sure to include your short bio and a link to a webpage in the “promo box” usually at the end of the article.  The link can be to your business web page, blog, or social media profile. Use whichever one is most up to date and relevant to the article topic.

3. Publish your article: There are 4 major articles distribution databases.  You can submit your articles to all four services.  Each one of them has a reporting mechanism where you can see how many views your articles have received.

4. Promote your article: Now that you have your article published, tell people about it.  When answering customer questions, or talking to prospective clients, it adds a degree of credibility to include a link to an article you’ve written.  Don’t forget to post them to your social media accounts.  Use these as a way of establishing your credibility. Having your articles published on a 3rd party site is validation of your expertise.  It’s like a great reference for you.