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Last night I was tumbling through YouTube for what only felt like a few minutes but must have been hours. It started with just wanting to learn how to play a guitar chord progression and ended with me watching Elon Musk talk about artificial intelligence. We’ve all been there. When you’re in that tunnel, there’s no escaping it. It got me thinking: How did I get here?
I heard a tune on Pandora and it made me want to jam, so I jumped on YouTube and clicked an ad. One thing led to another and ended with Elon answering if he’s an “alien” or not. It was just one of those nights.
Along the way, there were so many ads screaming for my attention — to the point where I was numb to them. It’s because we can’t seem to exist without being sold to. Today, I’m going to share three old-school marketing tactics that aren’t so in-your-face for consumers, and will ideally get you positive traction:
Think of the internet as a giant rock concert, but instead of Bruno Mars singing his heart out, the audience members are the artists producing non-stop content. If you’re a small business owner, it can feel almost impossible to stand out from the noise.
But back in the day, there was an effective piece of marketing that customers appreciated: direct mail. This is when you made a personalized letter, flyer or gift card and dropped it off in the mail. Today, it can be a nice touch that stands out in a world where everyone is tweeting.
If you want to take this a step further, think of how you can create pieces of mail that stand out. Imagine a customer’s expression when they check their mail and it isn’t just another flyer, but an interactive experience. That should be the goal here. You want to leave them with something to remember you by.
One example might be a flip book. It’s interactive and offers plenty of room to provide brand updates, messaging, specials and to encourage next steps. Also, when is the last time you got a flip book in the mail? You can also take this to the next level and share images of it on Social Media and ask your followers if they got their flip book yet.
The key here is engagement. Because you own a business, everything you do in nature is to sell. But it doesn’t need to be spammy or forced. You have a great opportunity to engage your customers.
Think of all the people who drive to work. And now think about your week: Did you spend any time listening to music? Perhaps a streaming service like Pandora or Spotify. These platforms offer the chance to advertise on them. They also reach millions of users daily.
A word to the wise: Make sure you have a way to measure your ads. Ideally, you provide a website URL or promo code that can be tracked and measured to see what type of return on investment you get.
If you’re going to make a radio ad, make it stand out. Make it catchy, fun and memorable. Remember to leave listeners with an experience they’ll want to talk about.
My business did a streaming ad on Pandora. We provided the script, selected the song and Pandora did the voice over. We gave them some direction, but it was a breeze. When we launched the radio ad, we had a unique URL to track our efforts.
In your case, when creating a script, remember to think of your audience. What are they doing? Who are they? Why should they stop their lives for 30 seconds and listen to your ad? These are good questions to direct your ad. Most people tune out commercials, so much like the direct mail piece, aim to have your ad engaging. Don’t be afraid to take risks that are in-line with your brand.
Networking At Local Events
Join a local Facebook group and ask when and where the next local get together will be. Key things to look for in Facebook groups are regular and consistent activity. Also, make note of the size of the group. If it’s too small (under 100), you may not get much value from it. A good starting point would be around 500 members. Finally, take note of how the group responds to each other. Some groups are active but are just people selling to other people. That’s not what you want. Ideally, join a group that shares value through their content.
The catch: When you show up, do not sell at 100%. Bring value. Meet people. Share something like an e-book, YouTube video you made, even a free consultation. Avoid this becoming a pitch session.
The truth is everyone is always selling. If you want to increase your odds, create a relationship first. Build trust by giving things of value away for free. Establish you’re an authority figure and customers will not only respect you for it but remember you next time they are ready to make a deal.
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