P.S.: Perry writes much better copy than I do, therefore, I save you from having to bear with me and urge you to go over to his site and read what he has to say about Google Adwords in 2009/2010 and why you need to get his book.
When you ask someone with a successful social media presence how to build your own audience, the answer most often is, “Write a blog post, Tweet it to your following, and share it on Facebook and LinkedIn.” But what if you do not have many followers on Twitter or Facebook Fans?
A few weeks ago, my company decided to start a process to answer the question: “How can a business that does not have many hits on their website, has no followers on Twitter, and no Fans on Facebook, generate sales leads using inbound marketing in only 30 days?”
Catching leads on social media ain't easy without a plan (image credit)
Our goal is to get people to sign up for a webinar where we will share this marketing plan.
Below is how we are getting webinar attendees:
Create a Story
The web is a crowded space and you are in constant competition to earn your target audience’s attention. We have come to realize that your competition does not just reside in your industry, but is everywhere. Think about what you read – whether it pertains to your business or not. What stories resonate with you the most? It can be a blog post on how to grow your business, or news relating to your favorite football team, or the heartfelt story of a mother reunited with her child. All content producers are competing for your time, and no matter how you spend it, you only have 24 hours a day.
Before writing a blog post, and before building your social media plan, you first need a story that will resonate with your ideal customer. At Cloud Marketing Labs, we want to be known as the firm who can deliver sales leads in 30 days using Social Media. We feel this is something our audience can wrap their hands around, and will help us stand out from some of our marketing firm competitors.
You cannot join every network and be successful at all of them in 30 days. You need to focus all of your time and energy on 2 or 3 platforms. We chose blogging, public relations and Pay Per Click (PPC).
After writing great content pertaining to your story, you need an audience to read it. In order to grow our audience, we would share our most helpful posts with friends and customers by emailing them a link to the post and asking them to share it with their friends. The key here is not to abuse your contacts. Only send a few posts, otherwise, you risk becoming a bit of a spammer and annoying. Even if you do not have a large following on Facebook, Twitter, etc., chances are someone who you are in regular contact with does, and will be happy to share helpful information with their network.
We found many blogs, such as the E-Biz Booster Blog, looking for guest posters and fresh content. If your story is compelling and unique, chances are they will allow you to leverage their network and help you grow your audience and expand your reach.
By pitching our “Sales Leads in 30 Days Using Social Media” story to various blogs and friends, we have been able to set up a few guest posts over the course of these 30 days. We get the benefit of expanded reach, and they get the benefit of new voices.
We are also going to submit a news release announcing a webinar where we will share this story with small and mid-sized business owners. However, instead of emailing the news release to journalists, we are going to use the online distribution service PRWeb. This will help with our search rankings and increase the visibility of our story as it gets picked up by various news aggregation sites.
Pay Per Click
Our final focus is on PPC advertising. However, instead of using Adwords, we decided to use Facebook’s advertising platform. There are two main reasons for this. First, it is cheaper. We are in a competitive space, and Adwords clicks would be well over $1.00 per click to get onto the first page. Second, Facebook ads will help you develop your buyer persona. You have visibility on things like age, gender, likes, and job titles that you are unable to see using Google Adwords. This will help us target our ads more precisely, increasing the efficiency of our campaign.
founder of Cloud Marketing Labs gets you leads.
Greg Digneo is founder of Cloud Marketing Labs, a marketing service that helps small and midsized businesses generate sales leads in 30 days using inbound marketing. He is hosting the webinar “How to generate sales leads in 30 days using social media” (offer has expired), is co-author of the Cloud Marketing Labs blog, and guest author on the reputable site Copyblogger.
Isn’t it fascinating how social networking platforms are taking over the Internet in a storm?
Ease of use and multimedia capabilities seem to be the main driver behind this development. It makes it fun for non techie people to use the Internet, to play around, and to communicate.
Fred Wilson, principal of Union Square Ventures, discussed today that he was quite shocked—even though he had anticipated it—when he realized that social networking has overrun email (↑) already.
Here is the corresponding slide from Morgan Stanley’s latest Internet trend report (PDF file, 2.5 MiBytes ↑). (Update in Feb. 2013: 404 Not Found)
Communications Trends, April 2010
Now, let’s be honest and compare the two.
Common email clients (even Gmail) smash a wall of incomprehensible letters into your face. I am talking about the inbox displayed as a dense list. Too many emails, too many of them irrelevant, and mostly not fun at all.
On the other hand when composing a new message you are staring at a scary white page. Ever had writer’s block in that situation?
In contrast to that you are basically navigating in a space that’s comparable to your email client’s address book. But an address book on steroids.
You see avatars and blurbs with what your friends are up to right now, videos, pictures, full multimedia. And it’s so easy to use. You don’t need to compose a new message, you just click one time or even type your response directly. Takes you seconds and you don’t have to switch platform to do so.
Much of what’s happening on social networks is not private between two people, but it can be. Twitter’s direct messages and Facebook messages are a good example for this. And many users get email notification about activity on social networks anyway.
Don’t write off email, yet.
An email address is still a valuable asset of contact information for a business. For now and the near future. And I have pointed out some additional reasons in a previous discussion about email marketing versus social media.
But the one piece of contact information that might prove to be even more valuable in a short time is a mobile phone number.
Mobile Is Coming With Light-speed
When I compare the quality of contact information, then mobile phone number is a clear winner. It has certain advantages:
It’s more intimate than an email address.
Is tied to a device that is on almost 24/7.
Less likely to be a fake one.
Has direct billing capabilities built in for some classes of products.
And much more.
Regardless of mobile Internet usage with iPhone, Blackberry, Google Phone, whatever. Messages from the Internet can “ring through” to the user. An increasing number of services are taking advantage of this.
Facebook and Twitter can optionally handle your mobile phone number for texting purposes. Airlines offer to notify you about delays, etc.
Besides those “Internet attached cases”, the Net arrives at more and more users while they are on the road so to speak.
The mobile Internet user base is growing faster than desktop usage ever did. Morgan Stanley predicts that the number of mobile users of the Internet will outgrow the number of desktop users in 5 years.
Trend towards mobility, April 2010
What does that mean for you?
Big opportunities of course. Like if you are dealing in information product marketing, it’s smart to think about convergence.
Your free and paid content accessible from desktop and mobile devices. For some niches you might want to offer editions for Amazon’s kindle as well or put something in the iTunes store.
Delivering your content in multiple media formats. Video channels, podcasts, slide shows, classic PDFs, etc.
Advertising on mobile devices. Google once again goes that route early on as well. And its CEO, Eric Schmidt, has stated many times that Google is embracing mobile use BIG time.
Multiple ways of contact with prospects and customers. From presence on social platforms, having lists of fans, followers, friends to email addresses and mobile phone numbers.
This technological and social revolution does indeed change the way we communicate privately. This happens almost automatically.
However, it takes effort to change the way your business communicates.
A business owner who publishes a monthly email newsletter asked me for advice. The business in question is a European based specialist for color trends and consults with designers in the fashion and home design industries. In this particular case, Carol, wanted to know how to increase the open rate for her newsletter editions. Her company publishes the newsletter once a month.
The content and design of the newsletter I was giving the advice on is rather intriguing. However, it is a constant challenge to keep readers engaged and interested over a longer period of time. I gave Carol the following tips to think about.
5 Tips on how to engage your readers and increase your open rate
(1) Make it more personal!
Have an editor, a spokesperson write the newsletter in a colloquial tone. Introduce that character as a person with a back-story, and also address the reader on the personal level. An email is communication from one person to another. A newsletter should not be an exception.