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If you’re like most businesses, as soon as you get a little extra cash for marketing, you want to spend that money on ads to build brand recognition. Sounds like a great plan. Except, what you really want is more money, not brand recognition.
And money comes from customers.
Customers come from leads.
These days, getting new leads with traditional advertising alone (like newspaper ads, coupons and TV commercials) is as effective as putting your logo on a wooden sign and slapping people with it. The least it’s going to do is annoy people rather than attract them. The most it will do is piss people off.
We all hate ads. Billboards cut into the scenery. Commercials interrupt our favorite shows. Smelly perfume inserts clog our magazines and irritate sinuses.
We are constantly annoyed by companies selling us stuff.
From the moment you wake up, you’re being bombarded by ads. A recent estimate was around 5000 ads per day, per person. Think about that. One ad will never get attention in all that noise.
Real brand recognition, the kind that eventually leads to money, comes from being in the right place at the right time.
If I’m bleeding out in the passenger seat of a car speeding down the highway, I’m going to care about that billboard for an emergency room. Until then, it’s just noise.
So What Are You Supposed To Do With Your Ad Money?
You can still make money by spending money, you just need a different approach.
The simplest form of advertising is selling something. Our fantastically fake merchant, Betty, has two cows. She wants to sell one. Here are 5 smart ways Betty can do that:
1. Facebook Ads
Betty has 2 cows. So she ran a small social media campaign.
Her Facebook ad casually appeared in the news feed of people within her targeted demographic (rural vegetarians) and anyone who had “cool cows”, “petting large docile animals”, or “drinking milk” listed as an interest. She only paid a few cents every time someone clicked on the ad.
That’s how you target your market! Welcome to the party Betty.
2. Google AdWords
Betty has two cows. So she gave Google a list of keywords that will trigger an ad for her cow to appear in search results.
It popped up on Google when people searched for “rad cows”, “short horses that moo” and “milk machine”. It didn’t cost very much. In fact, she only paid a few cents every time someone clicked on the ad.
Betty still has 2 cows. Instead of paying for ads, Betty started blogging about the benefits of fresh milk, churning your own butter and making your own cheese.
She used her business social media accounts to post pictures of cows, funny videos of cows and tips that made caring for a cow look easy. People are starting to think of Betty as a cow expert. Now they’re going to her site first when they want to know more about cows.
#farmhacking #cowsofinstagram #moo
4. Content Offers
Betty might still have 2 cows. She used content offers to generate a list of leads and potential buyers.
First, Betty listed the cow for sale on her business website. She’s seeing a huge increase in traffic because of all of the information she’s providing for free with her blog, promoted by social media.
Then, Betty wrote some eBooks and long-form informational offers about cows. When people wanted to download or read those, they first had to fill out a form on a landing page, giving Betty their email address and basic information. Those have made an incredible list of leads for Betty.
Way to make the business come to you Betty!
5. Email Marketing
If Betty still has 2 cows... She nurtures those leads individually and with weekly eblasts.
Betty personalizes those emails with names and insight based on the information she collected using her content offer landing page form.
For leads in the beginning of the cow buying process, the cow awareness and cow consideration phases, she emails educational and entertaining content to help them get further toward a cow purchase. For leads in the cow decision phase, Betty writes emails that answer all of their questions and help them choose the best type of cow. For those hot leads in the cow purchase phase, Betty sends cow discounts and cow sale information.
Nice lead nurturing Betty!
Betty is Psyched.
No, Betty doesn’t have 2 cows anymore. She has 200. She sold her cows fast and got a huge return on investment with her smart, inbound marketing efforts. So, she put that extra ad money back into her business and invested in a bull.
Betty is currently living happily ever after on a giant farm as her content sells cows for her.
Be like Betty. Sell your cows smarter.