Here’s a great marketing post by Joel Fortner. Joel’s company BlueBridge Communication specializes in helping entrepreneurs effectively market their business. Follow Joel on Twitter. You can guest post as well! Read how to here.
As marketing coach Joe Polish said, “Marketing is a process, not episodic.”
A mistake many business owners make is putting too much pressure on a single advertisement, newsletter or service offer to seal the deal. While this type of marketing can be successful, it’s the exception to the rule. Marketing is not about “getting your name out there.” It’s about motivating people to take the next step toward buying, volunteering, donating or whatever it is you want people to do.
If you’re married—assuming it wasn’t an arranged marriage—you had to woo your spouse first. You had to convince him/her that marrying you was a good idea. You had to build their trust over time. You didn’t just pop the question after the first date!
Stop doing this with your marketing. Instead, let your marketing ideas support one another and ultimately compel your target customer to act. Here’s a four-step example using Facebook.
- You have a Facebook page for your business.
- You run a targeted Facebook advertisement, compelling people to “Like” your page. (Facebook can be a great place to advertise directly to your target audience because of user’s profile information, posting history and so on.) Note the ad didn’t sell anything, it simply moved people a step closer to becoming customers.
- As your followers grow, you continue to build trust, rapport, and market to your target audience. With Facebook Insights, which is free, you can see follower demographics to get an even better idea of who your audience is, see which posts reach more people and when, and so on. All of this information can then be used to improve all of your marketing ideas.
- You execute a simple Facebook posting plan, which includes number of posts per day, types of posts (promotional, engaging, educational, video, photo, etc.) and timing. A key is adding value, not being a nuisance. So, don’t just post offers. Instead, post tips, advice, funny but relevant information, etc. Another key is sharing content that causes people to comment, like or share it. The more people who do this, the more your posts will show up in user’s feeds, based on how Facebook works behind the scenes.
Simply put, the more people engage your posts, the more Facebook recognizes them as valuable content to your following and therefore prioritizes them above other posts in a user’s post feed. To quote a news anchorman I know, “It’s science.” You just have to know how to use it to your advantage. Note, again, you ‘re not just selling to prospective customers, you’re communicating, building trust and rapport, and strategically sharing offerings, services, promotions, etc. If you execute this correctly, you will compel more people to buy.
There is an infinite number of ways to do what I’ve outlined here online and offline. For example, run an ad in a print magazine that drives people to a free educational video online or a free recorded message. The video or message compels them to visit your website, where they can download free, helpful information in exchange for an email address. Now you can continue to market to them.
It all may seem like a lot of work and unnecessarily complex, but it’s not. Getting the attention of your target market, building the necessary amount of trust and rapport and motivating them to buy isn’t easy. But if you commit yourself to smartly working the marketing process, it will pay off.
Question: How can you see this helping your marketing?
31 thoughts on “Stop Pressuring Your Marketing”
I completely agree with your point that marketing is not about “getting your name out there,” but rather it’s about motivating people to take the next step, whatever that step is for your business.
As a young business owner, I do find myself wanting to saturate the internet with content so that our firm shows up in google searches. And yes, that does help. But ultimately it’s about engaging a prospective client on their level and on their terms, reaching them and resonating with them.
I gain clients because they like me, they trust me, and they believe I can do the work. They want to work with me, and I am honored to help them. And like you said, it all begins with communication.
Thanks for the encouraging post!
Excellent post. I have a small business and a full time content marketing position with a very large company here in Pittsburgh. This is great advice for both of my passions.
As a small company, I am only looking to reach about 20 clients per year, so reaching the right 20 is vital. I have made so many marketing mistakes over the years, but have learned from them all. This is a great reminder, to stay small, make the plan and execute.
This small defined plan also can help serve as the ‘baby steps’ we need to take as the big company (I work for) with a need to ‘get small’ again. I have been tasked to lead the effort to Engage our audience on a new level, continually add value and build trust and foster relationships. I am thrilled with the challenge!
I don’t comment often, but should ;). I have really been enjoying your blog for quite sometime and really enjoy all of the guest posts. Thanks Chris!
Glad this was helpful, David. Glad to hear you’re thinking in terms of targeting the “right” people. So many businesses go for the largest possible market and try to be all things to all people. It doesn’t work. You need to pick single target markets, get to know what makes them tick and match up your marketing.
We do the same thing kind of… Word of mouth is the best marketing, and we have been building an excellent reputation for 35 years.
It takes time for any marketing to work, from the time you get the prospect to closing a sale.
I like your thoughts on the facebook application. I haven’t posted to my facebook page for over a year. I should get that rolling again.
Exactly, Tom! You have to let your marketing brew with people. A key is testing marketing ideas with small targets to see what works well.
Love this post Joel! I agree with EVERYTHING you said! I found myself saying “Amen!” as I read your post!
=) Thanks for the validation, Jon! You da man.
Great post, Joel.
How do you recommend applying this to more traditional means of advertising like newspaper, radio, tv, etc.?
Same way. You design ads with your target market in mind that compel them to, let’s say, visit your web site for free must-know information. Or, the ad drives them to listen to a free recorded message that compels them to leave their contact information to have some sort of guide mailed to them. Direct response marketing is about process, building trust and rapport with your target market by knowing them very well and slowly moving them closer to buying by making an irrestible offer. It’s not about selling them on the first date. Make sense?
Joel, I read your post this morning and kept thinking, “YES!!” And to your question, Loren, “Absolutely!”
I specialize in integrated marketing…using offline (usually more traditional) media to drive online media effectiveness and sales. Joel, I couldn’t have said this better myself. It’s all about building trust and credibility with your audience, and this takes time. In our fast-paced, tech-based world, we all expect immediate results, but I’m constantly reminding my clients that it takes time and patience to build rapport with an audience.
The market is saturated with many options, and as my favorite marketing guru, Seth Godin says, “Does your audience have the opportunity to choose you when they’re ready to buy?” Meaning, does your potential client even know and trust you so that when they are ready to purchase, you’re their first choice? Consistent marketing with the right messaging to the right audience is the key.
Well, you got me on my soapbox. I’ll step down now 🙂 Thanks for this wise post, Joel.
Sounds like a guest post to me! 🙂
No doubt! Get cracking, Holly!
Well said! And Godin is exactly right. The thing is the business has to lead people to the purchase and make great offers at the right time. Great marketers do this and it seems completely natural to the customer.
Great insight, Joel!
Thanks, Holly! Now when is your guest post coming?!!
“Consistent” being the key word here, Holly!
Joel, when I saw Facebook was the example, I froze up. (Yup, like an icicle.) Read it anyway, didn’t understand much, and now I’m hoping you write a post explaining new ways to market using one’s blog. (Icicles can’t think – they need step by step thaw-out instructions)
HAHAHA….you crack me up. I think you’re right, we need a two parter from Joel. 🙂
Ha! You crack me up. Based on our emails on Facebook, yeah, that was a bad example for you!
Perhaps I’ll write that post for you. Actually, there are lots of great articles and blog posts out there on that topic, but since we’re on the topic, I’ll intro it now.
You’re trying to build trust and rapport with your blog and generate leads, and like I talked about in this post, move them to the next thing. Is that your web site? To subscribe to an email newsletter? To act on an irrestible offer? Your blog should be part of a larger marketing process, not just a stand-alone marketing idea. In other words, don’t pressure your blog to make the sell on its own. Just like Facebook. =)
I see how in a connected world, it’s really hard to “speak” to your audience effectively. It’s like the high-tech version of an outdoor market where you have thousands of people walking by and hundreds of people trying to be heard over the noise to advertise and sell their wares.
I’m in baby step 0.1 with creating my brand and producing content that is relevant and helpful. This is GREAT information!!! Thanks Joel!
Be very very clear on who your target audience is. That will help you cut through the clutter.
Joel, great post! I could not agree more. I tell my clients very much of the same thing. Rather than trying to seal the deal in one ad or event, deliver a series of calls to action & reward each one with real useful value. Each new action leads them closer to purchasing & each new delivery of value solves just a little bit more of their problem.
In the end the goal is to have delivered enough value where the sales call is close to saying, “If you like how we’ve helped you so far (for free, automatically), then why don’t we just take care of the rest of your problem for you?”
Marketing is a process not a single event. I couldn’t have said it better!
Great thoughts Joel! I am passing on this post to my friends in marketing field. I have seen them on their toes on multiple instances. Your post gives a different perspective this morning.
Good deal. I hope it’s helpful to them.
Enjoyed your post Joel!
The nuggets to success over and over through your information here is trust and rapport. Wow! If only people realized it was that simple. That easy. That profound. We know people want to do business with people they know like and trust, so why do we try to sell them on that?
Misty – RIGHT ON!
Trust is at the center of every purchase! As a business person, you just have to deliberate about building it.
Joel – GREAT post! And love how used FB as an example and you laid out the plan. I totally agree with you – branding your company as one that can be trust – one that gives value and great advice – but we have to “market” that!
Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed the post!
My boss just started a fb page. So I’ve been thinking some about this type of stuff lately. Thanks for sharing, Joel! I really like what you had to say and how you said it… Makes me want to market 🙂