Disclaimer: This project was transacted via Ann Smarty’s new project: MyBlogU. Neither Ann, nor any of the participants, were aware the idea was stolen. It is not their fault. I bear full responsibility for this heinous act of unmitigated, merciless, mysteriosophy.
Scope: My intent, with this group interview, was to (in effect) gather votes on exactly what are the most powerful internet marketing techniques currently being practiced. Jonathan wisely said, “It depends” … and so it does. Internet marketing (any marketing, really) is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. That keeps it fun. And, speaking of fun, these MyBlogU group interviews are exceptionally valuable. If you have yet to check out the new tool …. don’t wait. Click Here.
My Best Marketing Technique
Q. If you could only afford to do one thing to promote your product or service … what would it be … and why?
A. Adam Connell (Founder of Blogging Wizard)
If I could only focus on one tactic, I would focus on influence marketing. This is because I have found no strategy that allows for a similar level of growth, apart from paid traffic.
There are people in your niche/industry who have influence over your target market, so no matter what point your business is at, you can develop relationships with key influencers in order to spread your message.
And while you will get a lot out of leveraging the influence of others, you will be helping influencers out simultanously which allows for a mutually beneficial relationship.
A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )
Helping people for free. The key to make this successful is two-fold. First, you have to be genuinely helpful in a way that just comes from the heart. It sure helps if you like helping people! Second, it is critical that in the process of helping the person, you let them know what you are capable of. This might come naturally as you are helping them, but sometimes you might be helping them in a way that is not obvious.
It is also possible that the person you are helping is not really in the market for your services, but when they thank you, there is nothing wrong with saying, “Tell your friends!”
A. Matthew Anton (web designer / online marketer)
When Atilla the Hun set out to oppose Rome, he had to gain the favor of the local chieftans, since the Huns were a nomadic, fragmented people. He knew it would be virtually impossible to unite the tribes by starting with the most influential/largest ones; instead, he took a bottom-up-approach, winning favor in smaller communities, building up momentum, and finally gaining favor with the larger players … thereby uniting a people behind a cause for the first time.
Marketing takeaway: Affiliates can be seen as your greatest asset/tribes. If you don’t have anyone vouching for you, or supporting you, it’s a struggle to accomplish anything. This is why it’s critical to focus on creating the best product you can, whether it’s a physical product, or digital/information, and approaching the gate keepers, brokering deals and utilizing their reach.
It could take years to build an email list, deep pockets for PPC/SEO, and a well-executed social media plan … or you can rely on your tribe to get the word out. If you have a rock-solid product, with huge affiliate incentives with a high % or recurring, you can be like Attila the Hun and rally everyone to a cause – your mutual success.
A. Yoav Ezer (Yoav)
If I had to choose only one way to promote my product and/or service I would select joint ventures…
Joint ventures would allow me to integrate my offer into other people’s sales funnels, whether it is in their actual sales funnel, their followup sequences or just put a banner on their site that directs their readers to my offer and earns them a commission.
Joint ventures would allow me to begin spreading the word around without an advertising budget.
They will also allow me to grow and to expand beyond my market into related markets (something that you can’t profitably do with advertising).
A. Cormac84 (Ego bait works well)
We often find that ego-baiting can work well — particularly with smaller blogs in certain industries. With so many blogs with quality content flying below the radar and often not knowing how to promote themselves, they’re often very happy to hear someone appreciates them.
Including them in a blog of your favourite blogs to read and promoting them on social media often works wonders in return for mentions. And if not, the blogs themselves are great to read and often educational too … so, at the very least, you learn something.
It may sound simple, but I’d just use Twitter as a tool. The sheer range of things that you can do, lack of boundaries and potential of that social media site is huge. In our line of work at Myonlinemarketer it leads to fantastic opportunities in the area of content promotion. We often see our work us cited in other blogs and is also a fantastic place to pick up great content and ideas.
A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)
I would love to be able to take out ads/advertorials in mainstream print publications that are in the education field. The Times educational supplement and The Guardian education section (on a Tuesday) spring immediately to mind. These publications are read by 90% of teachers: my target market. Teachers’ interests are otherwise very diverse, which makes them a difficult group of people to promote to.
A. Jonathan (Mr)
To me it depends on the product or service. If you had a business-to-business service in the technology sector, then I might say get busy on LinkedIn, but if you have 5,000 products to sell direct to customers I might say use Google PLA’s. If you had a product for late teens early twenties, I might say Facebook all the way…
Without the product or service and target audience, it’s hard to say. One thing does not cover every scenario. If time was on my side and people used Google to find what I needed to shift, then I would use SEO (as that’s what I love). But in a lot of ways this involves many types of promotion to get the results you need. SEO without outreach, content, social, etc. will have bad results, and each of these elements is a method of promotion.
A. Anna Fox (Blogger)
Facebook advertising… I’ve seen great results and it’s very cheap! I don’t think it’s for every niche, though. By far the BEST results are promoting a local shop or a restaurant! You can target Facebook ads very closely to the area, plus if you could get a few favorable Facebook ratings, friends of friends will start flowing! It’s cheaper and much more effective than Google Ads (which was a surprise to use!).
A. Andy Nathan (Start Up Gap)
If I could only do one thing, it would be continue writing great blog posts for clients. The more posts I write for clients that help them drive traffic and conversions, the more prospect requests I receive as well. Writing for clients on their site brings in quality prospects, because my name is in the byline. This year I started to write for bigger and better clients, and my prospecting improved as well. It took a while to get the better clients, but when you do, it opens up doors for additional opportunities.
A. Paul Manwaring (Paul @ IMH Blog)
Affording to do one thing can mean a lot. Really, I think you mean if you had $xxx to spend what would you do. If I had my product or service setup, everything was ready to go, and I knew the product or service was high quality (and likely to convert well), I would probably stick all my money in paid ads, it could be an email list, banner on a relevant website, or an ad network like AdWords or Facebook. Nothing is going to give you laser-targetted traffic as quickly and effectively as paid ads. Once I made a few sales, it’s just a case of testing and tweaking the campaign (split test everything from the ads to the landing page) and then scale appropriately.
That’s all, folks. Considered advice from those on the front lines. Please share, pin, follow, tweet, or otherwise give this article and its participants a shout-out. Our panel of experts deserves it. My hat is off to each of them for taking the time to share their wisdom with us. You guys rock!