Having trouble keeping up with all the
latest marketing tools (or even getting started)? Fortunately, there are lots of places—most of them free–to find great articles, videos, and resources to help you up your marketing game. So if, like me, you’d rather spend your vacation time gardening than sitting at your computer, here’s my lazy guide to marketing resources.
In 2015, Bud Light printed beer cans with the slogan, “The perfect beer for removing ’no’ from your vocabulary for the night.” The marketers who came up with the phrase probably intended to create a fun, lighthearted message, but after protesters pointed out it looked like the company was condoning rape, drunk driving, and other unacceptable behavior, Budweiser quickly apologized and withdrew the cans.
If only they’d run the slogan past a focus group, they could have spared their reputation—and their budget. Chances are that someone in the focus group would have pointed out that the slogan was offensive and Budweiser wouldn’t have printed the cans.
Want to know what people really think about your idea before you launch it? Run it past a focus group first.
One of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your website is to get your business or nonprofit listed on web-based directories and listings services. There are thousands of online directories out there. The most important ones are published by search engine companies and social media sites, but pay attention to the local and industry-specific directories too. In most cases, the only thing it will cost is a little of your time.
It use to be easy to answer the question, “Should I advertise my business on Facebook?” When Business/Organization Pages started in 2007, promoting your business or organization was free and easy. Anything you posted had a good chance in showing up on the news feeds of your fans and followers. Today, the likelihood that your post will show up in a Fan’s feed (your organic, or unpaid, “reach”) is pretty small, unless you advertise.
One of the most powerful ways to market your business or organization is to create a short phrase to help it stand out. Whether you’re using a descriptor or a tagline, a few well-chosen words can help shape how people think or feel about you.
Planning to hire someone to produce a creative piece for you? Whether the end result is a logo, ad, video, or an entire campaign, putting together a “creative brief” in advance can save time, money and aggravation.
My nephew, Rob Greenfield, is a born marketer and a prodigy when it comes to marketing stunts. His degree is in aquatic science, chemistry, and biology, but at the age of 29, he owns his own marketing company (The Greenfield Group), has a large social media following, and has been featured in dozens of media outlets.
Rob’s primary goal is to inspire social change, not to sell toothpaste or even solar panels, but he’s also developed an impressive ability to promote himself as a brand. The key to Rob’s marketing success is his use of storytelling and stunts to grab our attention. While most of us are unlikely to take up dumpster diving, we can learn a lot from his techniques.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media channels, especially among young people. Since Instagram is primarily a visual medium for posting photos and videos, many businesses and organizations haven’t figured out how to use it to promote their brand or increase web traffic. Yet, with care, you can pair great visuals with Instagram tools–such as your profile, captions, and hashtags–to grow your business.
Campaigns aren’t just for politicians or community activists: they’re useful any time you’re trying to motivate a group of people to think, feel, or act a specific way.
I define a “campaign” as an effort to achieve a specific goal during a measurable time period: get someone elected, sell 100 tickets to an event, or get people to choose a designated driver. A campaign can serve as your entire marketing strategy or as one piece of a larger plan. It usually includes a strong creative component that appeals to inner feelings and motivations.
The Internet is awash with free websites, applications, and tools to help you save time, increase productivity, spy on your customers, and generally do business better. Plus there are countless webinars, eNewsletters, and blogs serving up neat molecules of free advice. Practically the only thing that isn’t free is your time. Here are my tips for getting the best free advice.