Well we all know everyone loves Bacon. Stop what you are doing right now and visit http://search.twitter.com and enter the word “bacon”. It is astounding how many mentions of bacon there are. However, research has shown here that it’s not about the bacon but about the sizzle. The smell of sizzling bacon evokes an emotional response from us carnivores that makes us salivate. When is the last time a full plate of bacon actually made it from the stove to the kitchen table without the “I better check this for thermal viscosity” sampling? Or the old school favorite “I better check this for poison”. My kids are pretty tired of hearing that one.
This brings me to the question. How are you creating sizzle in your marketing campaigns? What are you doing to make your customers crave just a sample of what you have to offer and come clamoring back for more? Ken Blanchard would call this Raving Fans. Tom Peters dubbed it the Pursuit of Wow. Seth Godin has published at least 1,000 books on this exact subject. This may be an exaggeration, but he knows what he is talking about. While many folks are still dumping millions into traditional marketing programs such as direct mail, brochures on websites and email marketing that drive a measly .1% to 1% response, many of us have seen the promise of social media to drive our brand, improve customer care, drive interest as well as excitement and most importantly REVENUE.
As I talk with nonprofits, small businesses and others, many are looking for that secret recipe that will allow them to develop a closer relationship with their customers. Imagine if you had fewer customers that were more loyal or better yet were raving fans. We all know the cost to acquire a customer is outrageous. Here are 5 cost-effective ways to start Sizzling.
5 Ways to Put the Sizzle Into Your Marketing!
Invest into social media - Don’t just dabble, dive straight in. There is a learning curve to harnessing all of these social media platforms to your advantage. If you don’t figure it out now, your competitors will. Now is the time to ramp up and become an expert in your industry. There is plenty of free content out there via blogs, webinars, and YouTube. More importantly, there are great experts offering outstanding content for a small fee. However, if you don’t want to wait until you learn the ins and outs of each platform, the tools and tips that work for each, and how to best follow the guidelines within each, hire a firm to do it for you. Insert Subliminal message here.
Make it Easy To Engage - Create clear calls to action on your website for folks to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin related groups. These are just the top 3. Prioritize and measure traffic to your website from these activities. The explosion of social media has made it far easier for companies and individuals to engage with their target audience.
Start Shooting Video - Notice I didn’t say producing. Authenticity in video comes from taking advantage of real-time events to create a memorable video. It’s ok to create a formal intro and subtitles but don’t over produce the day to day videos. Use these as a platform to demonstrate your unique value proposition. Capture testimonials from your Raving Fans. For Nonprofits, use these to capture video of volunteers in action or images of those receiving need. Donors want to connect emotionally with those they are helping.
Share Simplicity – Make it easy for folks to share content on your website with others via social book marking sites such as Digg and Del.icio.us as well as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There are plenty of free plugins such as Sociable and others or have your web developer embed his own unique look and feel. Let people choose to spread the word about your content. Citizen Journalism at its finest.
Create Compelling Events – Get creative about the events you host. Instead of the one way presentation to many, look for ways to interact with your audience. Invest in the interactive polling devices to engage your audience real-time. Plan launch parties for new products and services or for your customers. That goodwill goes a long way.
Be Authentic, Be Transparent, and Be Consistent to develop relationships with your followers. Maintain communication with your customers. Share tips and tricks to make ownership for existing customers even more beneficial. Demand honesty from your staff in dealing with questions and complaints. Resolve customer service issues as they arise. You’d be surprised how those raving fans will blast their gratitude into the TwitterSphere.
You will be hearing more about bacon from me as well as I am in stealth mode on a company named “Bacon Marketing”. As Chief Bacon Maker, I take responsibility for putting the sizzle into your marketing strategy. Who else but a guy who grew up on a commercial pig farm in southern New Mexico. The name is in honor of my father who gave me my first exposure to an entrepreneur. My dad built a farm from scratch with 10,000 pigs and taught me the value of hard work. More importantly, how to create something of value that produces wealth.
Also, if you are ever in Ann Arbor, MI, check out the Fleetwood Diner. Had many a 3 meat breakfasts there as a grad student at The Ross School of Business at University of Michigan.
Mike Merrill is Director of Marketing at ReachLocal and Chief Bacon Maker and Marketing Strategist of Bacon Marketing. He is also Chairman of the Social Media Club of Dallas and co-organizer of Ignite Dallas.