An interesting quick post from Seth Godin.
Check out this article from Inc.com. Good reading, especially if web design and navigation are your responsibility (or interest).
Too many of us marketers are complacent to simply consume what is produced for us. We look at industry trends, and follow the ones that are successful. However, very few marketers actually create. In a creative field like marketing, I’m surprised at this “follow the leader” mentality that has emerged lately.
I don’t mean to insult the accountants and financial wizards of the world (they do a great job of maximizing profit, and organizing finances), but what in the world are they doing making marketing decisions. Marketers of the world need to step up and do what they do. Stop letting non-marketers make decisions for you.
The best way to break away is to create something. Anything. Either a process, a tactic, or simply new content. Sure, it’s important to look at successful industry trends, but why settle for that? Instead of looking at the leaders, become that leader, and have your competition look at you for ideas. Blaze that trail. Be creative. Be a marketer.
Here is a very nice post from the folks at CrowdTilt discussing some advice on promotional campaigns. This is good stuff, well worth the read…
Here are a few quick tips on how to get your Crowdtilt campaign started off on the right foot.
1. Never stop promoting the campaign.
Send e-mail, facebook updates, or tweets to your friends and family. One of the single most important tips for an online campaign is to be persistent. While some people will contribute the first time you ask them, the reality is that it will take at least 2-3 friendly reminders before the majority of your friends and family open up their wallets for you. Campaign pages who keep their donor base engaged with frequent updates tend to be the most successful.
Keep in mind this doesn’t mean peppering people with links. (They will ignore it after a while) A well-timed and placed tweet, facebook post, or e-mail will go a long way. Here is a great guide to limit how to limit your outreach without becoming overbearing on your friend’s social feeds.
Tweets: 4-5 times a week.
Facebook posts: 1-3 times a week.
E-mails: 3-4 per duration of campaign
Some tips on generating traffic on social networks:
- The three biggest usage spikes tend to occur on weekdays at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET.
- The biggest spike occurs at 3:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.
- Weekday usage is pretty steady, however Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET is consistently the busiest period.
- Although most posts and comments appear around 3:00 p.m. ET, posts published in the morning tend to perform better than those published in the afternoon.
- Fans are less active on Sunday compared to all other days of the week.
Remember: The campaign’s chance of success is directly related to the amount of work and promotion the campaign administrator is willing to put forth.
2. Promote Tactically.
While we recommend telling everyone you know about your campaign page, before you send out mass e-mails to everyone in the contact book, first send out e-mails to your closest family and friends. This is one of the most important tips for success. The reason you want to do this is because your inner circle of friends and family will be the most generous and easiest to recruit to help spread the momentum for your campaign by setting the tone for subsequent contributors. For instance, if your first four contributors each give you $75, future contributors will view this as the appropriate contribution size and will be more likely to give this or a similar amount as well. You can also manually set the donation amount in the campaign creation settings.
3. Start with a modest goal.
One of the keys to a successful Crowdtilt campaign is building momentum. Your friends and family will be more inclined to give if they think their contribution will help you reach your goal. By setting a modest tilt goal for the campaign and quickly reaching fundraising milestones like 10% and 25% of your goal you can build a lot of momentum and get your donors excited about the campaign. On the other hand, if you set your goal too high, some people will be discouraged from contribution because they’ll view your goal as unattainable and will feel like their $25 or $50 bucks won’t really make a difference.
4. Offer your contributors a chance to get something in return.
A great way to get people to contribute is by offering them a raffle prize. Example: When you e-mail your contacts you might include that you will be raffling off a $50 gift card to Home Depot [or whatever prize you choose] to the first 20 people to donate. This creates extra motivation for those people who are on the fence about donating. A well-run raffle with the right grand prize can raise incredible amounts of money for campaign. Most groups underestimate how much money a raffle can raise. Your choice of prize or prizes should vary depending on your financial goal, the size of your potential market, and how many volunteers you have to sell tickets.
Remember, bigger prizes mean more tickets must be sold to turn a profit, but they also mean substantially higher profits. Design your raffle prize offerings to match your community’s tastes.
The most successful raffles generally have between one and four prizes. When you decide on the selling price of your raffle tickets, keep in mind the market value of the raffle prizes. For high-end prizes ($800+) it is not uncommon to see prices on the raffle tickets of $6 or more.
Selling raffle tickets is really easy on Crowdtilt. Set up a campaign that has predetermined amount equal to the price of a raffle ticket. Contributors will also be able to purchase multiple tickets at once. The campaign administrator will be able to track who bought tickets and how many were purchased for the drawing. It brings a level of excitement and anticipation to the deadline from the contributors.
5. Get your story in the media.
The local paper will usually be more than happy to write about your campaign if it benefits the community in some fashion. The more exposure you get, the better your campaign will do especially if it’s a local campaign on the local news. It’s no secret that people like to be apart of something that is high profile within the community.
6. Make your campaign go viral.
The most successful fundraising campaigns are the ones that go “viral” on the Internet. The results can be astonishing with hundreds of people making contributions across the country and raising thousands of dollars for a cause. Although not every campaign will go viral, here are some tips to help get you there:
- Ask friends and family to spread the world. When you send out your e-mail make sure to ask your contacts to share your campaign with their friend’s co-workers.
- Create a 24-hour Facebook “Wallflower” Campaign where everyone donates their status message for one day to direct the participant’s networks to contribute to the cause.
- Make sure to get off to a good start with a big donation off the bat (close friends and family can help). This will give you some quick momentum to get people excited about your campaign.
7. Thank your contributors.
When you create your campaign page, you can draft a thank you message that automatically goes out whenever someone makes a contribution. You can also send personalized thank you e-mails to your donors from their profile pages. Thanking each contributor individually is essential if you plan to fundraise again in the future and hope to ask the same people.
8. Create a blog about the campaign.
This will give the campaign a human face and a voice (yours) as well as providing an outlet to publish updates, stories, and highlight the people behind the campaign. It’s a great resource that builds credibility and enthusiasm about your campaign. Once the information gets rolling it will get picked up and re-blogged by other sources. We recommend tumblr.com for functionality and sharing capabilities.
Tumblr tip: Run a search for like-minded blogs to start following. If you follow a blog they will most likely start following you back. If you have good content then you are more likely to get your posts re-blogged.
9. Create an attractive campaign page
Personalize your fundraising page as much as possible with a heartfelt description and a striking photo.
The campaigns that do the best are the ones who really make an effort to tell their stories or are super descriptive about what the funds will be used for. Explain to your contributors what you are raising money for and why it is so important to you. If your friends and family see that you are passionate about the campaign, they are more likely to give and give generously.
Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words so make it count. Also remember you must choose a picture that will also be attractive and striking in thumbnail size from the search page.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you would click on a link if you were scanning the page. Get advice from others as well. The larger a focus group you have the better shot you have at nailing down a picture that will get noticed.
10. Have Fun!
It’s always important to remember to have fun. Getting a campaign tilted can be hard work but it can also be very fun and if you’re not enthusiast about it will tough to fake. It should be a fun activity and if you’re having fun with it, the positive emotions become contagious and will make people want to contribute.
Posted by: G.Case
First of all, you may be asking “what is a swipe file”? Basically a swipe file is a journal of ideas, keywords, concepts, etc that you’ve taken from other sources which you may or may not use in your own business.
You might be thinking to yourself ”that sounds kind of…. evil”. Well, what can I say, it kind of is. But that’s not to say that you shouldn’t have one. I think every marketer out there should have a swipe file, and I’ll tell you why.
Good ideas are good ideas. It doesn’t matter who or where they come from. Just stealing an idea outright is probably not the best way to go, but if you think about it, you may have ways to improve on that concept. Then it really isn’t stealing is it? You may have a different way to implement that idea or concept, or maybe just thinking about the idea brings you another different idea that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of.
As a copywriter, I think it’s okay to take certain keywords or phrases and use them yourself. We do this anyway whether we think about it or not. Every word in our vocabulary has come from someone that has come before. We don’t invent new words when we talk to each other. Therefore I don’t really think it’s wrong. It’s not the same as stealing someones essay or blog post.
Anyways, you get the idea. If you don’t already have one, go out and buy a composition book, a spiral, whatever, and start jotting down ideas from different sources. You may be surprised when those ideas may come in handy.
Here is an interesting graphic that I’ve taken from the MindJumpers blog.
I was doing my rounds, checking out the usual marketing blogs the other day, and found an interesting article on Robert Middleton’s site Action Plan Marketing about what he called intellectual firepower. Basically he talks about how in order to be successful you have to put in the work. This is all really easy to agree with; I’ve always been a fan of hard work. The truth of the matter is that lately I feel that many marketers out there are just plain lazy. What can be done about this? Read on…
It really starts with motivation. Before even trying to develop intellectual firepower, you have to genuinely want to improve yourself. If you’re just trying to motivate yourself, then you should already know which buttons need to be pushed. However, if you’re a manager, tyring to motivate a team or specific members of a team, you’ll need to really understand what motivates them both professionally and personally. Once you and/or your team is at the point of genuine motivation, then you can begin to arm yourself with intellectual firepower. How do you do this…
Back in school, you’re given homework. Why should it be any different at work. Give your employees reading assignments, and spend some time addressing new marketing ideas and emerging concepts. I think that most businesses merely exist with no real emphasis on growth, development, or innovation. Of course, the CEO’s of the world are looking for growth, but what about the average employee? Find some way to arm your employees with knowledge, and show them that their development is important to the future of your business. Then maybe you’ll see some real effort. Motivate and then educate.
Of course, developing intellectual firepower is about more than just reading. You have to put in the work. This means that management has to be approachable, and flexible. Listen to what your employees tell you and take it into consideration. Reward good ideas, and encourage everyone to bring their A game to work. I could go on and on, but you get what I’m saying.
What do you do to develop intellectual firepower? Let me know in the comments below or email me privately at email@example.com.
Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a gamer. You can read all about it on my other blog. Sometimes I spend some time looking through videos on YouTube of games that I’m interested in buying so that I can see if they’re worth the purchase or not. Why then are video game companies forcing YouTubers to take down videos of playthroughs and such? Don’t they understand that this is how gamers find their products? I just saw a video by a well known YouTube commentator that pretty much sums up my feelings as well. He uses some vulgar language so it may not be safe for work, but here’s a link to the video anyway.
This is what happens when you let accountants and financial folks take control of your business. They do a great job of organizing, and re-investing your money. But why are marketers letting them do their job for them? As a marketer, it’s your decision as to how your products and / or services get promoted. I’m of the philosophy that you should use any and all tools in the box to get your message across.
In this day in age where consumers (especially gamers) are spending less time watching / listening / paying attention to commercials, why would you want to take your products out of a media that they are paying attention to? It makes no sense to me. I was just talking to a friend yesterday about how video game marketers usually do a horrible job (someone please hire me, I won’t let you down), and today I see yet another example of that.
If you are a decision maker at your company, please do not limit your marketing opportunities, or alienate your customers by trying to stop them from using current technology to promote your products or services. Use these guys to your benefit, and profit by them.
What do you guys think? Agree, disagree? Are there any other examples out there that you can think of where companies have done this? Let me know in the comments below.
Check out this link from the Marketing Charts website. It’s a new study that shows that older consumers are less likely to cut back on products and services than their younger counterparts. Even if you don’t specifically target older demographics, understanding this data may be worth some money to you and your company. The folks at Marketing Charts have their own ideas about why this is the case which you can read on their website, but let me tell you what I think…
Quality of life:I think this is probably the most overlooked reason why older consumers are less likely to make cuts. Older people know that they have a finite amount of sand in the hourglass, are are therefore doing their best to enjoy life. Why deprive yourself of something that you enjoy?
Old Fashioned: When you’ve been doing the same things for a long time, it’s hard to change your ways. If you’ve subscribed to the newspaper for 30 years, it’s a bit more difficult to decide to cut it than it is for the person that’s only subscribed for 3 years.
Less Disposable Income:It’s no secret that younger people have more disposable income than older people. With less disposable income there are fewer ways to cut back. You can cut back on frivolous activities, but when all you have left are necessities, it’s a bit harder to make cuts.
I know I’m just scratching the surface here, so what do you guys think?