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Online Marketing

In: Business and Management

Submitted By aki3
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Responding, converting, and measuring your marketing
Now also, useful is going to respond. And what I mean by this is, if someone's out there talking about you or asking that question, even if it's not directed at you, you want to make sure that when you come back. And you see that message, you respond to it. For example, me and my kids were sitting at CTech airport one night. it was about midnight and we were waiting for our bags and waiting and waiting and I finally tweeted to Alaska Air because I know that they always respond to stuff online. I figured I'd hear in the morning.And I said I know you have a deal where if our bag takes longer than 20 minutes we get something cool what do we get because we've been here for way longer? Within two minutes, at midnight, someone from Alaska Air responded, and apologized, and explained what it was.
And explained how I can go get it. Now as it turned out, this delay was not their fault, but you better believe that they made me into a real fan. Alaska Air really became, not only significant to me. But also just someone that I will go out and deliberately spread the word. So I became on of their group of the weird. And that's probably why when you go look on Facebook, Alaska Airlines whose you know a relatively small airline compared to some of the giants like United has 218,000 fans when most other airlines, the most popular pages they have.
Are the ones with people complaining about them, so just keep that in mind.You can search actively for things to respond to. So you can take a look on Google, you can do a search and just change it so you're looking at the past 24 hours, that's what I'm doing in the slide here. And just search for your brand and see what people have said. You can use tools like Sprout Social.Which will let you do searches on your brand across multiple social networks and look for questions as they come up. Then you can answer those questions at the moment that they appear. Useful also converts. And again, this is about deliberately reaping the rewards of all the work you're doing.
You want to make it easy to convert. This is a website for a produce seller.And if I decide I want to use this deal, they give me these three or four steps that I have to take. That is not easy. Am I really going to remember the particular promo code that I'm supposed to put into the field at step two, after I finish creating my account? Probably not. This is not easy, this is not the way you want to do it. Look at Mail Chimp. They have a single button. I get to their page, they've done that work, I've gotten there because of some messaging they have.
If I click Sign Up Free, I'm already into the process at that point. I'm one step more committed than I would have been before, it's super easy. Even on my own company's website, we make sure that there's always a next action that people can take. I'm a big fan of a lot of the research that the University of Washington is doing around social media and things like that. They have sometimes great little blurbs on their homepage, but they often don't have links back to more information about those blurbs. It just kind of leaves you sitting there saying more please, can I please get all this great information you're talking about? so, you know, that's an example.
You want to make sure people convert one way or another. And a conversion might mean a sale, it might just mean a click. Whatever it is, make sure they take that next step. So Useful is just plain cool. That's really what we're talking about here is that when you take your product and your message and you make it useful, you're making yourself cool to that narrow audience that you created, that little audience of the weird. But someone is going to ask me, how do I prove it works? Show me some data. Well, there is a way to do it, but you got to measure everything. So when you start on your campaign towards significance, you want to make sure you're tracking which pages get the most looks.
Which pages have the highest value? Which pages lead to people making conversions? So that if you're using content to demonstrate significance you can see the performance of that content, see which pieces of content are working better. If you're using something else to demonstrate significance, if you're using off web content, if you're using a sales team or something like that. Then just make sure that you're tracking over time, and that as behaviors change within that team, within whatever it is that you're doing offline, you track and see the results of your actions. Use tools like Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer which will let you track the relative popularity of a particular page, or message, or person on the internet in social media, so thatyou can see whether you are becoming more significant to your audience.
And, if you're using content, and I have to have a quick aside here, when I talk about content, I'm not talking about content marketing. A lot of people like to use that phrase. I'm just talking about using great content for marketing and the difference is you're not going to go out and buy fifty articles for $5 a piece to demonstrate significance, you're going to need to produce really quality stuff. So, when you do that you can aggregate different pieces of content together. If you have a whole bunch of videos that are really funny over the top videos, then maybe you put all those together so that you can then in your analytics reporting So you can see, okay all the funny over the top stuff performs much better than the really serious stuff or vice versa.
That will help you as you try to measure what's working. It will let you show to people that this is indeed doing the job. And you want to test wherever possible. And the big advantage to the internet. The thing that I actually think may have started as down the road to over focusing on search. Is the idea that we can test and measure everything. So, you can use a tool like Ubounce to compare different landing pages. So if you create a page on your website, you can put together some basic information on the page and decide you're going to try three different headlines. And Unbounce will automatically rotate those headlines for you, and show you which recipe, which combination of headline and graphic and everything else.
Generated the best result. It's a great way to see not only whether you're attracting the right audience, the right group of weird, but also whether you aregetting the right response when they get there. Are you proving useful to them? Tools like Crazy Egg let you measure how far people scroll on a page and where they click, another great way to see what on the page is proving significant to people. You'll sometimes find that people are clicking on things that aren't even clickable. And you need to change that because they want it to be useful, and it's not useful yet. So, some myths that people bring up all the time around this.
First, the idea that weird has to be bizarre. It doesn't. Marketing to the weird doesn't have to be a really strange thing. It can be, off the wall, really bizarre, really funny. But it can also be pretty subtle. It can be anything that has a niche of people who will be passionate when you talk to them. And that's why that overlap is so, so important. Some people come to me and say, never mind all that. Search is all about links. I gotta produce more links, I need more links. Well, Google's changed, links don't do what they used to, they don't work the same way they used to. They do still help you rank.
And of course they can drive great traffic, but one good link is worth an infinite number of lousy ones, and actually one bad link can do really bad things to you now Google has introduced a filter, an algorithm change called Penguin, which will actually push you down in the rankings if they feel that you're artificially acquiring links. Then people will say well, okay, this is great but everyone who comes to me is buying rhubarb and I need to use the word rhubarb 11 times on my home page or I won't rank. It's not really true either anymore. Yes, you need to use the language that your audience uses.
That's how you become significant, right? They have to understand you. But topics and topic focus and semantic match will take care of themselves if you become significant. People will tell me there's no ROI in this. My jaw just hits the floor. I don't know exactly how to respond to that. So, I'll just give you numbers. Let's say you buy a print ad In a magazine and it costs $200,000 and you reach about 3 million people. It costs seven cents a person and youhave no way to measure the return on investment. And this is actually a real example.

So you've established your audience of the weird. You know who you're going to talk to first and you know that, you're pretty confident that they're going to reach out to other people pfor you. But weird only gets you so far. You also have to be useful. And useful means in some way providing definite value. This is the easiest way to make yourself and your marketing and your message useful. My favorite way is to answer questions. Again, because it's very straightforward. And there's some great research tools. If you take a look at Google. And you type in a phase as a question like is a wedding dress.
Or I can type in a question about rhubarb. And when I type that in, I can find out what people are asking. And then I can go answer that question either in a blog post or in a video or in a printed ad or whatever. I can go to a site like quora.com which is purely built for question and answer. That's all it does and people are asking questions on there on a whole range of topics from marketing to sports to celebrities. Find the questions that the most people are following and that have the biggest discussions and then you can take that and use that.
As the questions that you want to answer elsewhere. You can also use a tool like Ubersuggest. Ubersuggest taps Google suggest. And automatically searches many many different forms of whatever you type in. And so you can type in a question, like, is rhubarb the beginning of a question? And Ubersuggest won't just find you 10 questions. It'll find you 100, 1000, something like that. And that'll give you things like why is rhubarb good for you? Or ten ways to cook rhubarb, whatever. It gives you lots of different ways to reach out and make that work.
Now you can also simply entertain. This is much, much harder, but when it works it works big. The reason it's much harder is because you have to go well outside the comfort zone of your brand. For example, I might have a client come to me and say well I sell forks. How interesting are forks going to be, how entertaining can I make them? Well these guys sell deodorant, how exciting is that? They found a way to make it really interesting and you can bet that some of the people in their advertising department, some of the people on their board were not happy about this particular campaign because it made them uncomfortable.
But they pushed through anyway and it was very successful. You can find ideas again by going to a tool like Google suggest. If you do a search on Google suggest for are forks, you'll find some ones that have some comedic potential, some entertainment potential like, are forks evolved from spoons or are forks or chopsticks better? They can be better in different situations. You can compare those situations and get a pretty entertaining piece. This guy sells razors. Would a typical ad executive do the same kind of ad that he did?This is a company called dollar shave club? No, absolutely not! Cause it might offend people.
That's okay, sometimes, to entertain, you want to do something that runs the risk of offending some people. It's okay. Useful can also just mean making waves, stopping people in their tracks. When JFK gave a talk about the moon shot, no political adviser would have gone to him and say, you should tell people how hard it's going to be. No politician would do that today. He went and did that. And by doing that, he stopped people in their tracks, completely changed the message around the moon shot, totally disarmed one of the big arguments about it and turned it into a mission for the country.
Useful also gets heard. And what I mean by this is you can't passively sit back and wait for people necessarily to hear you. You have to find some folks who are going to be part of that weird audience and then find people withinthere that you can possibly even reach out to specifically. For example you can use this tool called follower wonk. Which let's you search through people on Twitter and do a lot of data mining with different twitter biographies and twitter accounts. And you can just search for everyone who mentions puppies for example on twitter. And when you do that, you find everyone who has written the word puppies in their bio and then you can take a few of those people and look at the overlap between them.
And find the people that they have in common. So, if I'm selling a product for puppies, I might take those people in common, and either reach out to them very politely. Or wait for one of them to ask a question, if you remember from the being useful part, and then when I can, when I answer that question, I can make sure. I can be sure that they're really going to come back and know that I'm useful to them, right? I'm going to make myself super useful because I'm going to get heard and if they're influential, they'll reach out to other people as well.
And influential may mean they only know three other people that they'll reach out to. If they reach out to those three and each of those people reach out to another two. You're still growing your market, it's still worth doing. You can get heard by taking content you create, and posting it to third party sites, like slideshare.net. Which has an enormous audience, and if you think again about looking for the weird, there's an overlap here, it's people who like to lookat presentations, and then are interested by whatever topic it is that you've written your presentation about. So when you post to slideshare, you have a good chance of getting in front of all of those people, because you're accessing Slideshare's entire audience.
The same is true of video hosting sites like Vimeo and YouTube. Right? When you post a video to those sites, if you leave them publicly available on the site, then people don't just find the video on your website or blog. They find the video when they're wandering around this site that has millions and millions and millions of users per day, per week, per month. Another way to try to reach this audience to be heard is to look for things that people monitor and I'll explain what this means in a minute. But just as an example, say you put together a free eBook explaining or answering some set of questions that you found a lot of people are really interested in.
Maybe you went on Quora, and there's 20,000 people following one specificquestion, and you decide you know what I could do a whole eBook. I could write 20 pages about this. So you put together a Kindle eBook, and then there are lots of people who use tools like if this then that which automatically monitor the free eBook list. And send them a notification when a new book gets into the top 100. There's over 20,000 people monitoring that. So if you put together an eBook that makes it into that top 100, you can get pushed out to a lot of folks.
It's not easy. It's a little bit of a long shot. But it's a great example of being heard. You can also pay. You can just do paid advertising. There's tools like outbrain.com, which let's you promote your content by having it show up on other websites like slate.com. And it shows up as related articles that are off that particular site. So that's a great way to get high context, really high value advertising. You can use a tool like StumbleUpon. To get just lots and lots of views. Lots of eyeballs on your content.
Or you can use things like Facebook Sponsored Stories. And if you remember how good the targeting tools are in Facebook. When I showed you how I was mining for different kinds of interests and overlaps between interests. You can use those tools to push ads and stories to specific people. And specific groups of people. It's immensely powerful. It's very inexpensive. It's a great way to give. Some of your message that initial boost that it needs. So you've done all this work. You're on your way to significance. You've found the weird, you've found the overlap and you've made sure you're useful.
Well now you need to deliberately reap the rewards and what I mean by that is you can't necessarily just kind of hang around and wait. Now I talked a little bit about being heard and that's almost. To the point of reaping the rewards. But when I talk about reaping the rewards I mean what happens when people get to you. They've gotten to your site now. They're reading your content. They're doing whatever it is you want them to do. At that point you need to make sure that you get shared. And there's some basic best practices here. For example there are tools like share this, where if you click it you're gona get 20, 30, 40 little buttons of all the different possible sharing services.
It's very useful and very helpful. But if you want to get more shares, you want to have the three or four most used social networks for your audience front and center showing actual statistics for the number of people who have already shared. That combines social proof with a very easy way to share that content. You want to, if you're putting information on your website, have a wayfor people to embed that information on other sites. So I can take this graph, click embed. Get a little code embedded in my website. It'll include a credit to them. And it'll let you use their data.

Now also, useful is going to respond. And what I mean by this is, if someone's out there talking about you or asking that question, even if it's not directed at you, you want to make sure that when you come back. And you see that message, you respond to it. For example, me and my kids were sitting at CTech airport one night. it was about midnight and we were waiting for our bags and waiting and waiting and I finally tweeted to Alaska Air because I know that they always respond to stuff online. I figured I'd hear in the morning.And I said I know you have a deal where if our bag takes longer than 20 minutes we get something cool what do we get because we've been here for way longer? Within two minutes, at midnight, someone from Alaska Air responded, and apologized, and explained what it was.
And explained how I can go get it. Now as it turned out, this delay was not their fault, but you better believe that they made me into a real fan. Alaska Air really became, not only significant to me. But also just someone that I will go out and deliberately spread the word. So I became on of their group of the weird. And that's probably why when you go look on Facebook, Alaska Airlines whose you know a relatively small airline compared to some of the giants like United has 218,000 fans when most other airlines, the most popular pages they have.
Are the ones with people complaining about them, so just keep that in mind.You can search actively for things to respond to. So you can take a look on Google, you can do a search and just change it so you're looking at the past 24 hours, that's what I'm doing in the slide here. And just search for your brand and see what people have said. You can use tools like Sprout Social.Which will let you do searches on your brand across multiple social networks and look for questions as they come up. Then you can answer those questions at the moment that they appear. Useful also converts. And again, this is about deliberately reaping the rewards of all the work you're doing.
You want to make it easy to convert. This is a website for a produce seller.And if I decide I want to use this deal, they give me these three or four steps that I have to take. That is not easy. Am I really going to remember the particular promo code that I'm supposed to put into the field at step two, after I finish creating my account? Probably not. This is not easy, this is not the way you want to do it. Look at Mail Chimp. They have a single button. I get to their page, they've done that work, I've gotten there because of some messaging they have.
If I click Sign Up Free, I'm already into the process at that point. I'm one step more committed than I would have been before, it's super easy. Even on my own company's website, we make sure that there's always a next action that people can take. I'm a big fan of a lot of the research that the University of Washington is doing around social media and things like that. They have sometimes great little blurbs on their homepage, but they often don't have links back to more information about those blurbs. It just kind of leaves you sitting there saying more please, can I please get all this great information you're talking about? so, you know, that's an example.
You want to make sure people convert one way or another. And a conversion might mean a sale, it might just mean a click. Whatever it is, make sure they take that next step. So Useful is just plain cool. That's really what we're talking about here is that when you take your product and your message and you make it useful, you're making yourself cool to that narrow audience that you created, that little audience of the weird. But someone is going to ask me, how do I prove it works? Show me some data. Well, there is a way to do it, but you got to measure everything. So when you start on your campaign towards significance, you want to make sure you're tracking which pages get the most looks.
Which pages have the highest value? Which pages lead to people making conversions? So that if you're using content to demonstrate significance you can see the performance of that content, see which pieces of content are working better. If you're using something else to demonstrate significance, if you're using off web content, if you're using a sales team or something like that. Then just make sure that you're tracking over time, and that as behaviors change within that team, within whatever it is that you're doing offline, you track and see the results of your actions. Use tools like Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer which will let you track the relative popularity of a particular page, or message, or person on the internet in social media, so thatyou can see whether you are becoming more significant to your audience.
And, if you're using content, and I have to have a quick aside here, when I talk about content, I'm not talking about content marketing. A lot of people like to use that phrase. I'm just talking about using great content for marketing and the difference is you're not going to go out and buy fifty articles for $5 a piece to demonstrate significance, you're going to need to produce really quality stuff. So, when you do that you can aggregate different pieces of content together. If you have a whole bunch of videos that are really funny over the top videos, then maybe you put all those together so that you can then in your analytics reporting So you can see, okay all the funny over the top stuff performs much better than the really serious stuff or vice versa.
That will help you as you try to measure what's working. It will let you show to people that this is indeed doing the job. And you want to test wherever possible. And the big advantage to the internet. The thing that I actually think may have started as down the road to over focusing on search. Is the idea that we can test and measure everything. So, you can use a tool like Ubounce to compare different landing pages. So if you create a page on your website, you can put together some basic information on the page and decide you're going to try three different headlines. And Unbounce will automatically rotate those headlines for you, and show you which recipe, which combination of headline and graphic and everything else.
Generated the best result. It's a great way to see not only whether you're attracting the right audience, the right group of weird, but also whether you aregetting the right response when they get there. Are you proving useful to them? Tools like Crazy Egg let you measure how far people scroll on a page and where they click, another great way to see what on the page is proving significant to people. You'll sometimes find that people are clicking on things that aren't even clickable. And you need to change that because they want it to be useful, and it's not useful yet. So, some myths that people bring up all the time around this.
First, the idea that weird has to be bizarre. It doesn't. Marketing to the weird doesn't have to be a really strange thing. It can be, off the wall, really bizarre, really funny. But it can also be pretty subtle. It can be anything that has a niche of people who will be passionate when you talk to them. And that's why that overlap is so, so important. Some people come to me and say, never mind all that. Search is all about links. I gotta produce more links, I need more links. Well, Google's changed, links don't do what they used to, they don't work the same way they used to. They do still help you rank.
And of course they can drive great traffic, but one good link is worth an infinite number of lousy ones, and actually one bad link can do really bad things to you now Google has introduced a filter, an algorithm change called Penguin, which will actually push you down in the rankings if they feel that you're artificially acquiring links. Then people will say well, okay, this is great but everyone who comes to me is buying rhubarb and I need to use the word rhubarb 11 times on my home page or I won't rank. It's not really true either anymore. Yes, you need to use the language that your audience uses.
That's how you become significant, right? They have to understand you. But topics and topic focus and semantic match will take care of themselves if you become significant. People will tell me there's no ROI in this. My jaw just hits the floor. I don't know exactly how to respond to that. So, I'll just give you numbers. Let's say you buy a print ad In a magazine and it costs $200,000 and you reach about 3 million people. It costs seven cents a person and you have no way to measure the return on investment. And this is actually a real example.

Conclusion
And now for the inspirational conclusion. Which really isn't that inspiring, I'm sorry. this stuff is really hard. And thing you just have to keep in mind is, do not quit. Building marketing around building significance is a very powerful tool. It helps you in a lot of different ways. Something I haven't even talked about is the way building marketing around building significance. Keeps you from chasing after the latest shiny thing in marketing. So that, if someone comes and says, this is the latest greatest thing. It's going to give you the best ROI ever. It's revolutionized marketing. And, of course, two months later, it turns out not to work.
You'll be able to really interpret that. And look at it, and say, you know what? I'm not quite so sure. So you can provide a better assessment. When you hold it up to this lens of significance. Significance is risky like all marketing, like all business. You're starting your own business. You understand what risk is. Or you're running a business. You understand what risk is. But it's no riskier than anything else that you're going to do to promote your business. And it takes work but it always works. And this the part where actually the risk factor goes down. The longer you do it, the longer you persist, the more likely it is to work.
If you just take a look at how I grew my own business because this is how I grew my own business. I went out and I did lots of teaching. I found that audience of people who want to internet marketing a certain way and I spent years going out and just continuously teaching people. About internet marketing. That made me very useful, to that one kind of weird audience of internet marketers, and they went and talked to other people who were not internet marketers but needed services. And those people would then come back to me and say, hey this person told me about you, can I please hire your company, and over time it kept the company going until we got 2008, 2009 where the company really started growing in leaps and bounds.

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