(GUEST POST: For the first time ever, I am opening up the BAM! Blog to select partners for a trial series of Guest Posts. This initial article is by Allie Blankinship. Your feedback is welcome in the Comments section below. Enjoy! ~Nikolas Allen)
Small business owners know that the best advertising is through word of mouth. These days, that also includes email and social media. Delivering the right message via mass email service or your favorite social network can have a huge positive impact on your business – but only if it gets talked about.
The following do-it-yourself marketing tips will help you get talked about, whether you deliver message via your blog, social media, or email.
1. Make Sure Your Email Gets Opened
Sadly enough, the majority of the emails you send out with each blast probably won’t get opened. That’s okay; email marketing typically follows something analogous to the 80/20 rule. The majority of your success likely comes from a minority of your readers. Rarely does a campaign have anything close to 100% open rate. Using a mass email service helps you reach consumers efficiently, but often in a less specialized way – which can affect open rates.
Be thoughtful as you plan your email campaigns to best appeal to the wide audience you’re targeting. Since your success typically hinges on a small percentage of your readers, every email that gets opened will dramatically improve your chances of success.
The first key to this is making it through the SPAM filter. While your messages are most likely not spam, SPAM filters don’t necessarily know this. Certain words and phrases can mark your email as spam – especially when they are used in combination. Double-check your emails to make sure popular email services like Gmail, Yahoo, & Hotmail, as well as readers like Outlook, won’t throw your mail away.
2. Stir the Pot
No matter how you do it, exciting people’s emotions will typically get you and your business talked about more. There are several ways to do this. The first, and maybe most common, is to create a little bit of controversy. It doesn’t have to be anything huge in order to get some buzz going. Usually, just having an unusual or contrary take on one of your market’s “big ideas” is enough to get plenty of email forwards or social media shares.
The important thing to remember is that while being contrary will get you more readers, it’s best to be civil with how you do it. Disagreeing with others in your industry does not mean being insulting. Be respectful of other voices, even when you buck their opinions.
3. Make Yourself Different
You don’t necessarily have to have a unique product or service to stand out from everyone. What you do need, is either a unique way of positioning yourself, or a unique way of delivering your product.
Take Best Buy’s Geek Squad, for example. They’re more than just a repair service. They’re a “squad” of guys and gals who are really into what they do (implied by the word “geek”), who drive around in unmistakable VW bugs. They get more business this way because everybody remembers them. “Best Buy Computer Repair Dept.” just wouldn’t stand out the same. The Geek Squad is an example of both positioning, as well as great delivery. Staff is typically friendly and informative – unlike many independent repair services who can be uncommunicative at best and condescending at worst.
Making yourself different from your competition will get you talked about and remembered. It’s not just a matter of branding but of positioning. Position yourself to be different. Say something different. Make sure your message is seen, whether you do that via article syndication, social media, or a mass email service.
Guest Post by Allie Blankinship
Allie is a freelance writer and consulting analyst who is fascinated by business and finance. In her free time, she is teaching herself to code.