Are you in love with your product or service? You should be! And your customers should be too! But too often, a poor, bland or uninteresting use of words will have an audience leaving your website, email blast, blog or social network faster than the girl who just heard the world’s lamest pickup line at the local bar. If you happen to be the jilted suitor vying for a little attention, try giving the written copy some creative TLC.
Content is King…But Imagination is Everything!
Why do some people read novels? (Then again, why do people watch Twilight movies over and over? I’m perplexed!) They’re imaginative, creative and paint a picture. One method for attracting attention and keeping audience interest is to become an artist with words, using both metaphor and similes. You might say to yourself right now that you are not the linguistic version of Picasso. Yet, even the most mind-numbing products and services have characteristics that are able to create a mental picture with words. Does ice get jealous? Can food clown around? Of course not! However, by giving seemingly disconnected and sometimes-inanimate objects, human characteristics – even a glass-chiller product for a bar or nothing-special restaurant food, can come alive. Try it yourself. Does your product stick like glue? Do your services get attention like the roar of a lion?
What Do You Mean?
For some of you, getting a little “out there” with your writing won’t suit the professional nature necessary for your web, blog or social media content. But, you still want your audience to find meaning in your writing. One simple method for explaining complex information in an entertaining way is to use analogy. By using comparative concepts, you can relate to your audience and connect complex ideas they won’t understand with simple notions they already know well. In my case, if I were to explain the ’marketing experience’ concept to an audience where I live – particularly San Francisco Giants fans – I might say the marketing experience is about communicating the feeling you get going to the AT&T park, with the sights, sounds and smells of the game of baseball. It conjures the imagery and helps explain the concept without being “over-the-top.”
Summon Your Inner Steve Jobs
Watch any keynote by Steve Jobs and you’ll understand why thousands travel from afar to the “City by the Bay” and hundreds of thousands more watch online, just to see him speak. Steve knows how to arouse an audience. It helps that Apple has generated a cult following around its products that rival entire world religions. Yet, Steve Jobs presents Apple products, not in terms of Gigahertz, RAM and boring features. You can find those if you want to. No, Steve Jobs focuses keynote presentations by setting the tone with emphasis, using a vocabulary of incredible zeal and just plain…“cool.” You can turn your written copy, even videos and webinars “Jobsian” with just a little research and a thesaurus.
There is quite a bit more to good copywriting techniques that sell product and get attention; but a little creativity can go a long way in attracting an audience who cares.
And remember boys and girls, if you happen to use a cheesy pickup line, at least make ‘em laugh with you, not at you.
By Frankie Frederick, Guest Writer
Published April 1, 2011
Reality check! Kindergartners are better at marketing than you or I might ever be. How can that be? You’ve studied, taken the tests, got the certifications.
Never mind the pint sized cuteness and rambunctious energy that makes the Energizer Bunny look…well more like the tortoise than the hare.
Forget that a five year old can get massive amounts of attention at the mere mention of poop, walking up to the front door covered head to toe in mud, or have an entire mall looking with a simple fall on the floor tantrum.
No, if you want to truly learn how to market your brand. If you want to really find out how to create an experience, ask a kindergartner. Here’s why:
1. Wild Imagination
A five year old can tell the best stories. They don’t have to be true, but they can suck almost anyone in with vivid, wild imagination. No stone is left unturned and childlike details create an experience.
Need a superhero to represent your brand? Ask a kindergartner. They’ll have the best ones. Want to create a video about cute? Ask a kindergartner. They know cute beyond our jaded, seen it all eyes. Need to write a sequence of blogs in storyline format? Ask a kindergartner. You’re sure to get a great story idea.
See, most of us are limited in our imaginations. We are realists, logical, rational, always thinking about the perceptions of our ideas and the results of our efforts. We think to ourselves, “that won’t work”. Yet, a five year old has almost no concept of these things and thus runs wild with creative imagination.
2. Won’t Bore You
Have you every seen a boring child? I’ll bet you haven’t seen too many, if at all. Yet, I know we’ve all seen a ton of boring adults and well…boring brands.
We want to be “safe”, “informative” and “thought leaders”. (YAWN! SNORE!).
“The housing market is down and here is what you can do to get this house quick!”
The five year old says, “Housing Market? I wanna slide down that bannister! I want to do flips into the pool. This is a cool house!”
The idea is, while we worry about making people laugh or cry, the five year old doesn’t care and he/she provides the great experience that isn’t well…boring.
Children get so excited to attempt things without thought or fear of failure. Sometimes they fall down. But, often times, they get back up and try it again until they get it right.
As marketers, we on the other hand fear attempting something new or different. We fear backlash at our ideas, we fear failure.
Kids like to push boundaries. That’s how they discover what works and what doesn’t. That lack of fear leads to an amazing amount of knowledge in a short time. We, on the other hand don’t push boundaries, don’t discover as much as we could and therefore don’t get the attention and recognition our brands deserve.
Next time you’re trying to figure out how to develop your marketing campaign, go ask a kindergartner.
Imagine this scenario with me for one moment. You wake up to check on your client’s social media account and find that fans and followers have increased by 500 seemingly overnight. That bright glowing orb in the sky is shining on this glorious day and your ready to get to work thinking how excited you are for the day to end so you can enjoy the evening at that fancy new sushi restaurant down the street. But then, your client calls and says, “We need to talk!”
You stroll into the office and see the CEO, CFO and the marketing manager in deep discussion. You close the door and are subsequently told they are stopping all of their social media initiatives. Dumbfounded, you start babbling like Charlie Sheen, spouting off something about 500 new ‘droopy eyed one armed children.’ You tell them you and their fans are WINNING!
You ask for an explanation and receive puzzling answers. Something about costs, shifting budgets to advertisements and other mumbo jumbo. Confused, you leave dizzy and wondering what happened. Then the sad realization hits you…It’s the numbers, stupid!
What you lean very quickly is that the numbers matter. I’m not talking numbers of fans, followers, re-tweets and mentions, although those soft metrics are very important. I’m talking numbers in conversions and sales. Im talking new leads. I’m talking ROI. In most cases, those are the numbers equaling the holy grail for marketing departments, CEO’s, CFO’s and owners of small and medium sized organizations. Community building, PR, engagement, they get it, but not as much as justifying expenditures that lead to revenue.
If that scenario seems all too real, the following are 3 tips for justifying social media now and beyond:
1. Create Integration and Alignment with Business Goals
We like numbers, we like fans, followers, mentions. If you’re like me, you jump up and down when they grow and grow fast. Yet, those numbers, as exciting as they are, in the world of marketing are, “soft metrics”. Soft metrics do matter; however, soft metrics that lead to referrals, leads and sales are the “Holy Grail”. The problem stems from assumption, and you probably remember the old saying about “assume”. This means, that if we generate more views, more fans, more mentions, surely we think they’ll lead to more sales for the company. The quickest way to get a social media initiative killed is to guess or assume.
Therefore, justifying social media marketing often times comes down to the ability to integrate and capture results that align with measurable organizational goals. Not social media goals, business goals. For example, if the goal is to increase eCommerce sales by 30%, you might work with your client to set an objective using use social media marketing to drive 10% of that. Then you can work with your client to devise the tactics that will influence those numbers through social media marketing.
2. Connect the Sales Funnel
I love the word “anecdotal”. Yet, anecdotal in most organizations doesn’t fly too well. Every organization has a sales funnel. That funnel likely starts with driving awareness, influencing current customers and getting new prospects to well….BUY. If your client, even your own company is pushing social media, eCommerce, or even brick and mortar as a way of driving business, usually everyone wants to know where sales are coming from. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to know every time that social media was the driving factor, but you’ll be able to justify its use that much better.
From coupon codes, to Google Analytics, finding ways to connect the customer path to the sale can help you find and uncover the numbers and evidence you might need to show that social media works. You may need to work with your clients marketing, sales or IT departments to gather the data, but it will likely be in your best interest.
Let me add that the numbers and data will tell you a great story that help in other ways too. For example, lets say there were 2000 new visits this month to the sales page directly from say a combination of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, yet there were only five purchases. A root cause analysis might suggest that social media efforts were highly successful, but there is a problem that resides with the sales page or other areas not social media.
3. Document the Numbers
Want to really justify the worth of social media? Well now that you have connected conversions/sales to business goals and the sales funnel, now it’s time to document the numbers.
At a minimum, the formula you should calculate should include:
ROI is typically expressed in a percentage. Now you’re talking numbers!
To calculate your ROI for social media, work this formula in Excel or other software:
(Net Revenues – Marketing Investment) / Marketing Investment X 100 = ROI%.
If you’re just starting a campaign, aligning with benchmarks (reasonable ones) can help you forecast and justify the costs of social media marketing.
A one off sale or promotion, especially through social media is often times shortsighted. What happens next month or next year? Again you may need some data from the sales, marketing or even accounting departments. Therefore, if you’re really ready to get tricky and really impress you might calculate:
We won’t get into the methods for driving sales, creating experiences and all the other integration that leads to referrals, sales and even customer retention; that’s for a whole other writing.
However, do not ever be surprised when caught of guard if you are ever asked, what is the value of a fan, follower, re-tweet or mention. When you can connect the dots of “soft metrics” to the numbers or Holy Grail…you likely won’t wonder as to why your social media initiative got killed…as in, “It’s the numbers….stupid.”
A friend just asked about advice for SXSWi.
Since I am a SXSWi expert/celebrity/goddess (you get the picture, right?) I’ll generously share my reply and then some:
I could have a LOT of tips for you – First, it’s a massive conference. Expect overwhelm.
Then: Plan as best you can, and then throw the plan out the window.
Here’s a comprehensive list of events.
–> RSVP now for everything you know you want to attend, and even the stuff you are on the fence about attending. (Most events are badge &/or RSVP only).
You will not get to everything. Don’t even try. (As Lucretia Pruitt said, “SXSW is like a surfing competition – you can train all you like, but you ride the wave you get.” She was right.)
(No SXSW post from me would be complete without a message from the following sponsors. Namely, Me.)
I have an event on March 15: http://techkaraoke.eventbrite.com
I speak on March 14: http://outsourcingsocialmediaprofessionally.com
You might have fun playing the Meet-Meme SXSW scavenger hunt: http://meet-meme.com/sxsw
Down time & a good place for networking will be the Tech Set Bloggers Lounge (where you’ll want to find Derek Overbvey and ask to borrow his earbuds. Tell ’em KBJ sent ya!) at the convention center.
But you’ll actually find out that cool kids will be here: http://bloungeatx.eventbrite.com
Connect with people you want to meet now & put them on a Twitter list and then follow them on Foursquare (this is the best way to find people).
You could follow the #SXSW or #SXSWi hashtag, I find them overwhelming now (and create my own for folks to follow… who remembers the Adventures of #KOZi?)
Bring backup power supply for all your electronics…
Take lots of PICTURES
(Starting to sound like Baz Luhrmann’s Sunscreen Song here. Well, you might want to do that, too.)
That’s all I got!
You could also ask smarties like:
hmmm…. what else? tips? links? share ’em!
UPDATED: Crapola! I almost forgot. Hug @SugarJones. Get a picture with @Unmarketing wearing these bad boys That last one might be just for me!
(watch iframes Part 1 full screen)
(watch iframes Part 2 full screen)
There are other resources –
Unfortunately, Fan Page Engine has only released their iframe solution to existing customers.
Lujure has released an FBML to iframe converter, and it looks like any new custom tabs created there are already iframes… so that’s awesome news!
You could, of course, create new web pages anywhere (not just on WordPress) and install by creating a new application!
COOL TIP: You can change the name of tabs now (see screenshot)!
You want an interactive website, but readers see more plugins than the hard work you put in on amazing content.
Or, all you have is fabulicious (has that word been coined already?) content on your site and you don’t wanna mess with a bunch of Facebook and Twitter plugins or configure tag clouds.
I’ve got a solution for you! No coding necessary.
Help your readers connect to you with the amazingly simple Wibya toolbar.
https://kbjonline.com/wibiya (affiliate link)
It’s so simple, even a monkey can do it. And it works on many of the most popular sites.
Best of all, rather than cluttering up your page with Facebook this and YouTube that, the Wibya toolbar is incredibly visible yet out of the way of the things that are important for your viewers.
Get interactive the right way and see more benefits by checking out the Wibya toolbar here:
https://kbjonline.com/wibiya (affiliate link)
I just closed more than 40 browser tabs between 2 computers.
I remember what some of them were and I’m really sad that I didn’t read them.
Others, I’m sure I’d be seriously disappointed that I didn’t read if I could remember what they were.
And I have no links to share with you today.
But on some level, it felt good.
I’ll likely forget all about it by Monday, and the process will start all over again.
Between browser tabs, email labels, bookmarks, social bookmarks, hard drives, books, paper files, etc, (oye!) information starts to pile up and get disorganized!
Sometimes, you just have to close them out. I did today, and I liked it.
Added bonus: my machine runs much faster and so does my brain!
Not anything earth shattering, here, but sometimes, you just gotta let ’em go!
One of the most important things that you can do to land that first client is to always be on the lookout for the next opportunity. There are countless opportunities around you. Everything from a short conversation with the diner owner that you visit for coffee each morning, to a few of your online friends can lead to a new client and a new opportunity
While it is important not to always talk like you’re trying to make the sale, keep in mind that a simple conversation can sometimes lead to great results. Keep your possibilities and your mind open.
Of course, landing a new client is not only about being in the right place at the right time, or making the opportunity happen for you. It is also about how the potential client sees you.
By demonstrating that you are plugged into what’s happening, people are more likely to start seeing you as the go-to person for their social media needs.
With your newly acquired skills, and of course the ability to learn new ones too, all that is left is to be your natural friendly self. Be positive, be friendly, and present yourself with the confidence and professionalism that you would come to expect from those around you.
While how you present yourself and looking for opportunities is important, it is also vital to know how to accomplish those tasks. Always remember to do the necessary research. Make use of online tools such as Google Alerts or the search function on Twitter to seek out new possibilities.
One way is to start getting notifications or alerts for search words in areas that you have a special interest in. For example, let’s say that you have a special interest or knowledge in Sicilian cooking. Why not set up a Google Alert for those ideas as well as social media management? That way, when you find people searching for those terms, you’ll be able to quickly tailor what you do to fit their needs.
Also be sure to set up general searches for social media assistants or social media management as well. You never know what you’ll find on the end of the line – maybe a partner, a subcontractor, or even a client just waiting to find you!
As a social media manager, your brand can truly make or break your business. So having an effective brand is essential to your success. If you’re looking into creating or even re-vamping the brand that you present, here are some surefire ways to get the job done.
One of the most effective ways to have an effective brand in social media is to be consistent. Nothing can make a business fail faster than the impression that you are not what you appear to be.
One of the easiest ways to make sure that you present a consistent image is to simply be yourself. If you have a bubbly and friendly personality, don’t come across as a take-no-prisoners-professional in your email. Conversely, if you are more comfortable keeping everything very business-like and professional, don’t start greeting everyone with a forced smile. As the saying goes, keep it real.
In today’s world, often you only get a few moments to present your brand to a potential client. Sometimes an opportunity will present itself as your walking together down the hallway, or perhaps when you are in an elevator.As a social media manager, you know that it is often necessary to get to the point quickly and effectively. You need to give them a lasting picture, a snapshot of who you are, and what you can do for them.
Thankfully, a well-made, well-practiced elevator pitch can accomplish all these things. An elevator pitch is basically a cliff notes version of your business that can be provided in under a minute. There are a number of different versions available, but they all basically have some of the same characteristics.
First, your elevator pitch should be short and to the point. Second, it is natural. Third, and perhaps the most important, it provides a way for the other person to get more information.
In order to get your elevator pitch ready to use at a moment’s notice, take your time and create the one you want, and then practice it. I know it sounds silly, but don’t be afraid to practice in the shower, in front of the mirror, and even on your friends or family. Getting critical feedback is a wonderful way to hone your elevator pitch into one of the most effective ones out there today.
How you present yourself and your company to the general public can go a long way to making sure your business venture is a successful one. Be consistent, be yourself, practice that elevator pitch and you’ll do great!