• Exclusive2
    Luxury Cars, Hollywood Blockbusters, and ‘Promotion Emotions’ Luxury Cars, Hollywood Blockbusters, and ‘Promotion Emotions’

    Luxury Cars, Hollywood Blockbusters, and ‘Promotion Emotions’

Luxury Cars, Hollywood Blockbusters, and ‘Promotion Emotions’

 

Porsche. Ferrari. Lamborghini. Bentley. Aston Martin. Rolls-Royce. Maserati These brands are symbols of status, power class and style. There’s a good reason we don’t see TV ads, print ads, or even online ads for these brands.

 

The reason is this: mass marketing and an elite image aren’t all that compatible. When your target market wants something no one else has, the exclusivity that makes your high-end brand desirable requires a different marketing approach.

 

So what is marketing like when you only produce a few thousand units annually and your least expensive model goes for half a million dollars?

 

It’s a different ball game, that’s for sure. That’s why product placement for luxury brands in the modern film and television industry can seem strange.

 

Speaking of strange … The title character in Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) drives (and crashes) a Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4, a 10-cylinder machine worth more than a half million dollars. The film (still in theaters) was one of the biggest hits of the last few months.

 

Lamborghini gave the filmmakers six Huracáns to “play with.” The stunt team and special effects teams got two each. They also had two more for Dr. Strange to “destroy” for the camera.

 

Why would a high-end luxury Italian sports car manufacturer want product placement in a Hollywood blockbuster? What could they possibly have to gain?

 

Lamborghini said that they felt “there are a lot of characteristics of Doctor Strange that are connected with the Lamborghini philosophy.” Their marketing effort wasn’t confined to the on-screen shots of their beautiful cars; at the world premiere of the film, Marvel mastermind Stan Lee posed next […]

  • monopoly
    Use Psychology to Create Habit-Forming Products Use Psychology to Create Habit-Forming Products

    Use Psychology to Create Habit-Forming Products

Use Psychology to Create Habit-Forming Products

How can you capture the market’s attention and make sure your customers keep coming back and interacting with your product?

You make your product a habit.

First, let me just say that a guy named Nir Eyal wrote a book about this topic called “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.” It’s a manual for creating products people love, and most of the ideas in this blog are from Eyal’s research.

 

Make products addictive

Being a workaholic, a drug addict, a sports fan or a gym rat. These are all different habits built on the same psychological underpinnings.

You might think “habit” implies something negative. And it’s true—habits are often BAD habits. Think of “mind games” used to manipulate people and exploit them. But you can also use the psychology of habit formation to build behaviors that make people’s lives better. Marketers can use psychology to promote healthy habits and valuable services.

Good advertisers know how to push your buttons. The psychology at work here is the same with addictions.

Every industry—particularly an online service, app or technology-based product—is dependent on changing user behavior from what it currently is to what you (the entrepreneur) want it to be.

Why can’t kids stop playing video games when they should be sleeping or studying? Why can’t people stop using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? What’s the underlying psychology at play here? What is it about these products that keeps us coming back time and time again?

When you have the impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought, you have a habit. When you’re using a product without any kind of prompting , you’re hooked.

 

Marketing is applied psychology

Are you struggling to build a great product or service?

Yes, make the best product you can. But let’s be clear: There is no relationship between being good and getting […]

  • brain
    Gary Vaynerchuk’s Tips on Overcoming Social Noise to Connect With Customers Gary Vaynerchuk’s Tips on Overcoming Social Noise to Connect With Customers

    Gary Vaynerchuk’s Tips on Overcoming Social Noise to Connect With Customers

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Tips on Overcoming Social Noise to Connect With Customers

How would you put your product in front of an audience 20 years ago? By paying for newspaper or television ads, right? In other words, by going to someone else and paying them to use their platform.

Online, it’s different. We can take our pitch directly to the consumer. There are no editors, there are no gatekeepers. For the cost of registering a domain and a cheap hosting plan, you could theoretically build the next multimillion-dollar industry with a great concept, some good luck, and the sweat of your brow.

Running a successful online business requires an understanding of what entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk calls the “meritocracy of the Internet.”

That’s the good news. The bad news is this: You can’t just pay your way into the good graces of your audience by throwing money into advertising. Sure, marketing will get you so far. But branding and organic reach mean telling a story. After all, good stories are what customers—what all humans—respond to best.

This is where Vaynerchuk’s philosophy comes in. His book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World” argues that yes, our culture has ADD. You will never have your audience’s full attention. In fact, if you’re reading this, you probably have your phone out, or you’re watching TV, or you have another few browser windows open.

All the more reason your responsibility as a marketer is to tell a compelling story. To make people look up from what they’re doing for long enough to listen to what you’re saying.

Yeah, anyone can start a website, set up Shopify or some other ecommerce platform, and wait for the dollars to roll in. But if they aren’t telling a […]

  • google
    4 Free Google Tools Your Business Can’t Grow Without 4 Free Google Tools Your Business Can’t Grow Without

    4 Free Google Tools Your Business Can’t Grow Without

4 Free Google Tools Your Business Can’t Grow Without

We’ve covered SEO, YouTube marketing and customer retention in recent blogs. Now let’s pay attention to the 800-lb gorilla in online marketing.

I’m talking about Google, of course. In addition to PPC (AdWords) and organic search optimization (on-site linking and content development), there are ways to leverage Google to promote your business and grow your customer base. Think of this as low-hanging fruit that will raise your profile online.

These tools that are free and relatively low-effort. Let’s take a closer look.

 

  1. Google My Business

Want some free advertising on Google? Then claim your Google My Business (formerly Google Places) listing to have your business featured in search results and in Google Maps.

After logging into your Google account (or creating one if you haven’t already), you can claim your business listing or enter one if they don’t already have it. This process will also create a Google+ profile for your business, which will link you to the network of Google platforms and tools.

With a Google My Business listing, searchers will see your location, address, phone number, reviews, hours and a photo. That’s a ton of your business information shown to a customer on page one of the search results page.

Don’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront? No problem. If your business serves customers at their homes or business, you should list your business as a “service area business.” Or, if you do business completely online, list as a “Brand” and your Google+ page will link customers directly to your ecommerce portal.

GMB also gives you a review page for your customers to leave public feedback. You should always encourage customers to leave a review. If you use WordPress, the best free plugin to showcase your Google My […]

  • money
    7 Ways to Grow Your Business Using YouTube 7 Ways to Grow Your Business Using YouTube

    7 Ways to Grow Your Business Using YouTube

7 Ways to Grow Your Business Using YouTube

Google and Facebook are the two most popular websites.

YouTube is number three.

Can your customers find you on Facebook? I bet the answer is yes. Can your customers find you using Google? I HOPE the answer is yes.

Can your customers find you on YouTube?

If the answer is “no,” keep reading. Because that means you are missing out on an opportunity to attract qualified traffic.

Think of YouTube as the second largest search engine in the world. It has over a BILLION active users, and they spent 60 percent more hours watching videos in 2015 than they did the year before.

Still not convinced? Consider this: Regardless what you sell, most of your customers will say they are “visual learners.” Words (blogs, newsletters, AdWords) will only go so far. Use video and audio to show off your brand. YouTube is an often-overlooked channel  that will boost sales, drive email sign-ups, and grow your business.

Whether you’re creating videos or advertising on other people’s videos, read on, and I’ll tell you how to make the most of your YouTube marketing.

#1 Create the right content

Where do you start? With your first video, of course! But what will it be ABOUT?

You want a video that explains your product, which addresses your audience’s needs, something your audience will think is valuable.

Anything that solves a problem, inspires, teaches, or entertains—within the realm of your industry, of course—makes a great video. Start with a “how-to” video. Or, if you’re selling yourself as a thought leader, use your video to answer frequently asked questions or conduct an interview.

Once you have your idea, write a script, then write it again and again until you are happy with it. It should begin with an introduction that sets the […]

  • seo2
    The One-Hour Crash Course in SEO Marketing Strategy The One-Hour Crash Course in SEO Marketing Strategy

    The One-Hour Crash Course in SEO Marketing Strategy

The One-Hour Crash Course in SEO Marketing Strategy

 

Whether you have a personal blog or an ecommerce site, the million-dollar question remains the same: How do I get to the top of the Google search results?

I wish I could sell you foolproof instructions on how to accomplish that. I’d be able to afford some very nice Christmas presents for everyone on my list this year.

Unfortunately, I can’t make promises. Google and the other search engines don’t explicitly tell us how they determine search rankings (that would make it too easy for site owners to game the system). But we can observe what works and test small changes to measure results. Doing this has given us a list of “best practices,” which I’m sharing with you here today.

In a couple of previous blogs I looked at Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing for small business owners. Today I’m going to look at some basic SEO best practices, then discuss a few high-level strategies that can fine-tune your search engine optimization, making your website easier to find.

 

Start at the Beginning

If you’re an absolute SEO novice, I recommend the following resources for learning the basics:

Like a lot of things worth building, an SEO strategy takes time. Patience is key. SEO optimization can be a lengthy process and indexing will NOT be done overnight. Even if your site is perfect, you may have to wait up to three months (or more) before seeing your website within the SERP’s (that’s shorthand for “search engine result page”).

 

Write Down Your Goals

Getting to the first page of the search results may be the ultimate goal, but there are a lot of battles to be won […]

  • customer3
    Stop being dumb. Listen to your customers. Stop being dumb. Listen to your customers.

    Stop being dumb. Listen to your customers.

Stop being dumb. Listen to your customers.

Once upon a time, customers didn’t know how to solve their own problems. They had to rely on salespeople who had “solutions.”

Salespeople didn’t necessarily always have a deep understanding of what the problem was, because they didn’t have to. What they were selling was “close enough,” and the customer could take it or leave it.

Today, customers are more in control than they have ever been. They make their purchasing decisions (researching products, comparing pricing, reading reviews) before they ever talk to a salesperson or end up on a website with intent to buy. This means it’s up to you, the business owner and/or the salesperson, to build a relationship early on and show the customer how the product or service you offer uniquely solves the problem they’re having.

Think about it. Your customers hope your product fills a basic need or desire they have. You have only to convince them that it does. That’s your job.

Remember: Your business isn’t about your product or your service. It’s about your customer. And it’s about building that relationship. Part of relationship-building is building trust. You want lifelong customers here—not one-night stands. So stop trying to score on the first date.

What does this mean? If your product is inexpensive and the market is based entirely on impulse buys, a “buy now” button on the first point of contact may be appropriate.

But if you’re selling a high-dollar product or an ongoing service, or if your business model is B2B (where buying decisions might require the approval of several decision makers), you need to shift your focus from closing the deal immediately to educating your customers and building trust.

A “learn more” button on your website that collects names, email addresses, phone numbers, and other […]

  • businesswoman thinking and plan business strategy
    Develop a Content Marketing Strategy that Doesn’t Suck! Develop a Content Marketing Strategy that Doesn’t Suck!

    Develop a Content Marketing Strategy that Doesn’t Suck!

Develop a Content Marketing Strategy that Doesn’t Suck!

Time for a story.

Once upon a time, the “content farm” model meant business websites could publish tons of keyword-stuffed content and rank high for every search term under the sun, even if the content was useless to anyone.

Then came Google’s Panda update in 2011. The search giant started to look at the editorial focus and content quality of the overall site. The low-quality content sites tanked in the rankings, and since then businesses have to be seen as an authority in their niche to rank well.

In short, you have to not suck.

This is a good thing. A content marketing strategy that doesn’t suck will give you predictable, cost-effective, and scalable traffic and lead generation.

A content marketing strategy that doesn’t suck will support your sales team by building brand awareness using social media, blogs, infographics, and premium content like online tools, ebooks and webinars.

These efforts won’t be rewarded right away. You probably won’t see much of a return on your investment of time and effort for many weeks.  Creating great content isn’t easy, but business owners who are doing it right find that paid search (pay-per-click, or PPC) and other traditional forms of paid advertising are more expensive and not as effective.

Indeed, content can snowball and deliver exponentially awesome business results.

Think of content marketing as an annuity. Annuities are a popular choice for investors who want to receive a reliable income stream in the future. They have to put in a little now, and next month, and the month after that … It takes time and patience. And it’s boring. But in the end, slow and steady wins the race.

As a business owner and entrepreneur, how can you come up with a reliable content marketing strategy for 2016 and beyond?

Before we can answer this, […]

  • L1
    The Business Owner’s Crash Course in Advanced Social Media Marketing The Business Owner’s Crash Course in Advanced Social Media Marketing

    The Business Owner’s Crash Course in Advanced Social Media Marketing

The Business Owner’s Crash Course in Advanced Social Media Marketing

Entrepreneurs and business owners in general are guilty of a BIG mistake.

 

Over and over, they tend to see social media as more of a nuisance than an opportunity. It’s not that they don’t understand the importance of social outreach. It’s that they don’t have time for it.

 

They’re also wondering if it’s worth their trouble.

 

Today I’m going to talk about why social marketing is worth your trouble and how you can do it effectively. Here are the strategies that I’ve seen work. These strategies not only help busy entrepreneurs get their brand in front of a huge audience—they also actually end up bringing a huge return on a relatively small investment of time.

 

Note: Most of these points pertain to your blog and to Facebook, but you’ll find much of it applies to Twitter, Instagram, and how you set up content on your business website as well.

 

Let’s get started.

 

Define Your Goals

 

Write out what you plan to achieve with social marketing. Do you want more interaction with potential customers? Do you want better relations with existing customers? Are you seeking new leads for sales? Or are you floating new product ideas to your customer base?

 

Have a clear plan for your social media strategies and your expected results. If you open a bunch of accounts and start posting without coming up with a strategy first, you’re doing it wrong. Your social outreach will end up being a huge time suck with little to no reward for your business.

 

Look Beyond Facebook

These days Facebook makes it hard for businesses to market to their fans. You can post to your page and only a tiny percentage of your followers will even see it. Facebook wants you to pay for more visibility; […]