Sunday, May 17, 2009

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is nothing more than a marketing method for engaging potential customers thru the different social websites out there like facebook, myspace, digg, stumbleupon and many many others.

It's been said that social media marketing is the next best thing and it is growing as we speak. Many people are skimming all the time on how to market their products thru this environment. New ideas appear all the time, partly because of the rapidly changing nature of the internet environment and because social media marketing is not an exact science.

More and more people these days are using social media websites to interact and exchange information. This is a gold mine for internet marketers because of the structure of these websites. These websites are all about the exchange of information. The only trick is you have to know how to make your message interesting and appealing so that people will pass it on.

This post is just an introduction to social media marketing. I will be posting step by step lessons, tips, tricks on how to start marketing throw the social media environment.

This is a harder marketing technique because it takes time to set up and it needs constant attention. But once you have captivated your audience, the results are quite amazing. This method will bring your allot of customers and lots of money if used properly.

Of course there are things you need to avoid and things you need to know before starting this kind of campaign. I will be talking about these later on so please SUBSCRIBE to my blog to read throw what I am about to post.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Guerilla Marketing Idea #1: Napkin Message

As I said in my former post which was a small introduction for the guerilla marketing technique (Guerilla Marketing Basics), I am going to talk about a small idea for a marketing campaign and as you probably figured out by now it has something to do with a message on a napkin. 

I have started using this idea a couple of years ago and I can tell you it worked great. I didn't actually thought much about it at that time, but after seeing some results I started using it more and more and now I made a habit out of leaving scribbled napkins in bars with my websites or other kind of messages.

I started this just as an experiment. My father was a mechanic and I wanted to help him get some new customers. So I was in one of those bars where people meet to talk about cars and I thought I just leave one or two napkins with a simple message like: "Car Mechanic" "Name" "phone number", just to see what happens. 

And so I left them there and never gave them a second thought, until about a week later when my father's phone started ringing with people wanting to fix they’re cars. Not many ... but these where people who found the phone number on the very same napkins I left in that bar. Not many people at first just 2 or 3, but they started referring my Father's business to their friends and so on.

Since then I have made a habit of leaving these kinds of messages in bars wherever I go. It's not much but it makes a difference, and it is absolutely no effort to me, so why not.

A very important aspect you need to keep in mind is that the notes are hand made so they look like something someone forgot there and they look less like a marketing message. People will catch on quick if that is the case.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Guerilla Marketing Basics

Guerilla Marketing
No one can deny that guerilla marketing is an effective marketing technique and it works wonders for big businesses and small businesses alike. But it is mostly usefull for small businesses with a smaller marketing budget, simply because of the nature of this marketing technique.

Instead of having a big marketing budget and spending allot of money to get your marketing message to the public and to all your potential customers, this marketing technique uses, most of all, time and imagination.

This is a unique marketing technique because potential customers are usually targeted in unexpected places and the marketing message is spread thru unexpected methods. Basically your imagination is the only boundary to the success of this marketing technique.

A guerilla marketing campaign does not reach as many potential customers as a regular marketing campaign but it has the potential of creating "buzz", making the message memorable, intriguing and even making it spread virally.

Off the internet we can find the classic example of the T-shirt marketing strategy. People wearing branded t-shirts are a classic example of a guerilla marketing campaign. But as I told you, your imagination is the only barrier. There are lots of ways to take the message to your potential customers, like graffiti, bumper stickers, or just a marketing message on a tissue paper in a bar or something like that.

But think about it a bit, you go in a bar drink a beer, leave a couple of tissues on the table with your message, and people who see it will become intrigued and maybe become your customers.
Personally I have had some success with this idea. But I will be talking about it later in greater detail and give it as a guerilla marketing example.( Update: Guerilla Marketing Idea #1: Napkin Message)

The same strategy can be used in the internet environment. In the chat rooms, shout boxes on forums and other websites and many other ways.

Also to keep the branded t-shirt example, I have found a few techniques that resemble wearing a t-shirt on the internet. I like to call this the "Internet T-shirt" or "E-shirt" for short.I will also be talking about this in a later post and I am going to show you the way to use the e-shirt marketing strategy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Viral Marketing 101

In the internet environment the term "Viral Marketing" refers to any marketing strategy that encourages other people to spread a marketing message. Off the internet, it is usualy referred to as "word of mouth marketing" or "creating a buzz". It is called viral marketing because of the way the message spreads, which resembles that of a virus. Once a group of people has been infected, they will in tern infect others and so on, thus creating an exponential growth in the number of people who receive your message. This is what makes it a powerful marketing strategy.

Basically by creating an incentive for other people to distribute your marketing message you create a relatively low cost marketing campaign.

These incentives vary allot and do not have to be financially related. In other words, you do not necessarily have to offer people money to spread your message, the way multy-layer-marketing (or MLMs) works. 

As I said these incentives can vary. Some are more effective then others but in other for your viral marketing campaign to work it is imperative to take note of a cople of things:

- Make it easy for people to share it with others. 

This is one of the most important step of a successful and low cost viral marketing campaign.

- Take advantage of what motivates people. 

Other people won’t pass on your message if it does not appeal to them. Most people will spread your message if and only if it appeals to them in some way. For example if you make a funny video or very useful video, people who see it will most probably share it with their friend thus creating the viral spread I was talking about. There are many other ways people are motivated. Most people are looking for a couple of things: Acceptance, anything that will make them look cool or anything that produces an emotion.

- Give away free stuff. 

Here is a small example of a viral marketing campaign:

Hotmail is a popular example of an effective viral marketing campaign. When they started, they embedded in each outgoing email a signature instructing other people to get free email services from them. Every person sending an email would spread this message around to other people. This is the biggest contribution to the success of hotmail.