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How Can You Elevate YOUR Business
In The Eyes of Current & Potential Customers?

Hold onto your socks, or toes; whichever is easily accessible. This strategy is going to surprise you.  AND because only the tiniest percentage of businesses commit to this, it is another, very powerful, strategy to set your business apart from others in your industry, develop raving fans, and loyal customers!  So let’s get started.

You’ve heard from your family, friends, acquaintances, strangers—a good 1000+ times, if you’ve heard it once,  references to ‘gifts that keep on giving.’  Quite probably, this quote could reference both positive and negative examples.  This use is all positive. I am not talking about free reports as an enticement for a prospect to provide their email address, etc.  I’m not even talking about a “value added” bonus, which you might include with a product, service or information product.

Here, I am talking about another powerful opportunity to be of service to your target audience, by providing a gift to address their needs.  A gift that will indeed, keep on giving, to you as well as to your target audience:

  • This additive does require ongoing attention
  • Can be a core component to “brand building” for your business
  • Acts as a catalyst toward gathering rewards through your new marketing strategy—rewards for your target audience and for your business’ bottom line.

The gift is your business providing some source of digital information—a blog, podcast, Facebook Group, an “Ask Annie / Ask Us” Website or a separate area of your exiting Website—which addresses one or two challenges, or concerns, shared by those individuals which make up your target audience.   And . . . this is the IMPORTANT part, you provide these resources . . . without any selling!

“What!?,” you say.  Yes, this strategy involves a bit of a trust, a leap-of-faith. But if you provide an information venue which addresses issues especially relevant to your target audience; provide this from a perspective this is not part of your actual, going-out-there-to-sell marketing, it will make a huge difference to your target audience—your current and prospective customers/clients.

This is your business providing information that is valuable to your target audience.  This is you, as a business owner, building relationships, which leads to trust.  And when prospects trust you, they’re going to end up coming to you when they do need a product or a service that you offer.  They will want to come to you, someone they’ve learned to trust, instead of searching for someone else.

This results in sales. It just doesn’t do so initially. This strategy is slightly indirect but still amazingly powerful. This strategy has already made amazing differences for large businesses and even small businesses, such as River Pools & Spas in the state of Virginia. This approach is worthy. Yes, it’s different, but it is worth your time and effort!

Do’s:

  • The information can be in a domain you own, even a section of your main domain
  • You must do the ‘marketing’ of your “gift area” to point your target audience to exactly where that information exists
  • Somewhere in your graphic, or at the byline, place: “this blog/venue is authored, or managed, by MyCompany.com”
  • Do say “Go to OurWebsite.com/specialized_information” or “Go to SpecializedInformation.com.”
  • It is permissible, as well as important, to have subtle branding somewhere on the Web pages of your ‘gift’ area, whether that area is within your primary domain or on a separate domain, which you may decide to set up for this information.

Don’ts:

  • Do not say, “Go to OurMainWebsite.com and click on such-and-such particular link” to direct prospects to access your “gift information” area
  • Your ‘gift’ area cannot have anything that really tries to take your Website visitor back to your products/services or says, “Oh, hey, click here to see our great products/services.”
  • There cannot be anything that attempts to bring their Website visit for this ‘gift’ information to a sale.

Presenting Your ‘Gift’ Correctly

Keep in mind, I did say subtle branding. Displaying “MyMASSIVEbusinesslogo” on every page is not subtle branding.  You do want those who come across this “specialized information” to be able to know that it is your business providing the information.  However, you do not want to beat your Website visitors over the head with this fact OR sell your wares and/or services in this specialized area.  Utilizing what is supposed to be a gift area for your target audience, to sell, advertize, or dazzle your Web visitors with massive logos or branding would not provide the desired results.  It would end up being only a less functional expression of your main Website and become a colossal waste of your time and energy.

Probably the single best example is Proctor and Gamble’s (P&G) “BeingGirl.com.”  The enormous variety of products that P&G offers, includes feminine hygiene products. One of the non-selling ‘gifts’ that P&G decided to offer was a Website to specifically be of assistance to young girls who are about to or have just recently ‘entered puberty.’ The site is a hub for information; an archive of questions/answers and an online community with an “Ask Me” feature. It is formatted to be like girlfriends talking to each other. Everything at this site is meant to help young girls by addressing questions, concerns, fears, and myths about the changes they are, or are about to, experience in their lives.

This is a place they can visit, privately, to ask questions they might yet be too embarrassed to ask their parents.  At this site, they can get more reliable information than that of well-meaning, though misinformed, friends.  This single site, BeingGirl.com, has helped hundreds of thousands of young girls.  Did I forget to mention there is also a site for Moms and Dads in search of help on how to approach and manage discussing the topic with their growing daughter(s)?!

None of these pieces link directly back to Proctor and Gamble.  This is just information for these girls and a separate site for the parents.  There is branding, to a point, as far as color scheme and logo, but the information presented there is truly just to help some of P&G’s target audience find the information they need.

Yes, P&G is already a giant business.  But consider, what if your business had come up with that ‘gift’ idea?  What difference might that have made for the growth and financial standing of your business?  So, put on your thinking cap . . . What could you come up with for your business to provide as a gift to your target audience? Your ‘gift’ to your target audience does not need to be huge or expensive.  It only needs to be on-target for your target audience.  And who knows, some time in the relatively near future, you might end up coming up with another ‘gift’ idea, a super-power solution for your target audience.  One that ends up making an even greater difference to the bottom line of your business.

 

HOT TIP

Don’t try to work in all the extra flavorings for your business marketing “Secret Sauce” before developing and launching your new marketing messages. Get your basic “Secret Sauce” working for you, first.  The very process of re-crafting your marketing messages; the work you do on creating the base ingredients to your “Secret Sauce” lays the foundation for your added flavorings.  This approach of going through your marketing message revolution in stages will also prove more cost-effective.  This should be another item for your Marketing To Do List!.  Set a future date for this one.  Yes, you might need to adjust your date but SET a date.  “Someday,” does not exist on anyone’s calendar; “someday” is not a real point in time.  Make this real! Assign an actual date to this item on your Marketing To Do List!

In this series, 12 steps to effective online marketing, we are presenting a step-by-step re-structuring of your marketing strategies.  Designed to be taken step-by-step. Do not drive yourself crazy, or stress your finances, trying to implement too many factions at once. Burning out your convictions OR your business finances will not give you the desired effect you want to target . . . “take it to the BANK” results!

12 Steps to Effective Online Marketing
Step 1 – Why Social Media Is YOUR Most Powerful Marketing Tool
Step 2 – Human Nature And Negative Word of MOUSE Marketing
Step 3 – Great Examples of the Power of Social Media Marketing
Step 4 – What’s Missing From Traditional Marketing Advertising
Step 5 – Anatomy of a Customer-Focused Marketing Message
Step 6 – Be Clear Exactly Who You’re Marketing To
Step 7 – Adding “Story” To Make YOUR Marketing Memorable
Step 8 – Boost Your Business Providing 1 or 2 Resources WITHOUT Selling
Step 9 – YOUR “Business Voice” What it is; why it’s important
Step 10 – A Sampler of Social Media Types/Channels
Step 11 – Which Social Media Will Work for Your Business
Step 12 – Working Social Media Into YOUR Regular Business Operations

Tune in to The Word of MOUSE Blog Show on iTunes, the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month for MORE Word of MOUSE!

Questions?  Go to WordOfMouseBlog.com

Go to MIYPmarketing.com for more resources for YOUR small business!