Guerrilla Marketing – Ways Any Business Can Tickle the Unconscious

When you are looking for ways to promote your small business, it can be very expensive and daunting to try and compete with the big boys. However, there is no need to throw a ton of your hard-earned money out there on unsuccessful interruption marketing. Instead, you need to attack it guerrilla-style. Read on to find out how you can successfully market your small business on a shoestring budget.

The first thing that you need to think about when marketing a small business is that you need to focus on the wants of the customer. You will put yourself in a much better position when you know exactly what the customer wants and all you have to do is position your product in such a way that you hand it to them on a silver platter.

Using guerrilla marketing means that you are taking the road less traveled and using unconventional approaches to marketing and advertising, using much less money, while still getting a very positive response from your sales material.

Here are a few tactics that you can use in order to gain a stronger response from your customers without having to spend a lot of money:

1. Use a rewards system. By providing your customers with valuable rewards, you will be able to keep your existing customers coming back repeatedly. Re-selling to a current customer is almost free compared to the cost of acquiring a new customer each time you make a sale. It’s all about getting repeat business.

2. Get the word out. Do EVERYTHING you can to get your business’s message out there. Whether it’s a better use of your business cards, a quick email out to your client list, or a direct mail piece; you can’t let your customers to forget about you. You have to remind them that you are still in business and ready to solve their problem.

3. Make sure you always include a call to action in all of your marketing material. There are way to many businesses out there that think that can just mail their customers a pretty brochure and then they will come running. In order to have a steady stream of business, you need to make sure that you tell your customers exactly what you want them to do in every marketing piece that you send out.

4. Over-deliver as much as possible. If the customer orders one of something, send them 2. If the customer is expecting the delivery in 2 weeks, send it tomorrow. If the customer thinks the price is X, discount it slightly by the time you send the bill and tell them it’s because you value their business. There are many ways to do this, but ultimately, guerrilla marketing is just taking your message to your customer in ways that they will listen and respond.

Market Your Direct Sales Business Online With Keywords

The competition for direct sales business online can be very stiff. For that reason, it is imperative to study keywords. You can rank high in Google for a keyword or key phrase, but if nobody is searching for it, it doesn’t really matter. A fantastic online marketing strategy is to discover the keywords and key phrases that are searched for in high volume. Also, the competition maybe thicker for general terms, for example the name of the direct sales company. It is a good idea to focus part of your research on long tailed keywords, for example specific services, promotions, or products. There are several different ways to study keywords for your business and implement those words on your site.

To find tools online to research keywords, do a quick search in Google for “keyword tools”. Google Insights for Search is a great tool. Another great one is Wordtracker. These tools will give you an idea of what exactly people are searching for. Once you have found a keyword tool you like type in a generic keyword, for example the name of your direct sales company, and the tool will give you a list of keywords and phrases that are most searched.

Another method to research keywords, and this one is the one I use most often because it is super easy, is Google’s suggestions. You’ll notice when you begin typing a search term in Google, it will bring up a drop down menu that anticipates what you might be searching for. As you type, the suggestions change. Begin typing your direct sales company name and see which suggestions are listed in the drop down and those are great ideas for keywords to focus on. You can also try your abc’s. Type the name of your company and then put a space and type an A to see what comes up. Go through the alphabet and see what comes up. You can then use your own common sense and/or other keyword tools to determine if those keywords that come up are worth focusing on.

Now that you know which keywords are being searched, you can implement those on your site. There is a balance between writing your content for the search engines and for your site’s visitors. You want the search engines to easily read your site so that visitors find you in searches. You also want your visitors to love your content and easily find what they are looking for when the search engines bring them to your site. Use your keywords in the title, headers, copy, and the alt and title tags of images. While doing this, be aware of your keyword density. If you overfill your copy with keywords, it will seem goofy to both the search engines and your visitors. There are online tools that will calculate your keyword density. You can also use common sense. I try to put the keyword in the first sentence in the first paragraph and then I use it as much as possible and natural throughout the rest of my copy. If I am using the keyword in every sentence, that would not read like normal English and both my visitors and the search engines would not be happy with it.

Also, it is helpful to make each page specific to a keyword or phrase. One way to do this is to create a post a week highlighting a specific product, promotion or service. As time goes by you will build an archive of pages specific to important keywords. Make your first post about the most popular product or service you offer. Optimize it for keywords in the title, headings, images, and copy.

Optimizing your site for highly searched keywords is a great strategy for any direct sales professional to beat online competition.

Direct Marketing Tips for Consumers in 2011

In looking ahead to 2011 and the brewing economic recovery, it is essential to understand what happened in 2010 and how it will shape the next 12 months.

  1. Don’t take a one size fits all approach – For decades now companies large and small have invested millions of dollars in targeting their audience with messaging that their “gut” tells them will resonate with their target consumer. They fail to do their research and take a homogenous all approach to marketing. Even large global brands like Chevrolet tried marketing their Nova around the world without taking into account regional interpretations of the word. The net result was a sales disaster in South America where the model name roughly translated to “No Go”.
  2. Do your research – Market research is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Today’s consumer base is highly fickle and they often times know your product or your marketplace better than you do. Spending a few extra weeks in your marketing process to understand what makes your customers tick, their likes and dislikes and their perception of your brand can be the difference between an overwhelming success and an utter failure when your product goes to market. When possible involve the target as early in the product development lifecycle as possible, even simple Facebook polls on your brand website can derive valuable information at no cost.
  3. Be where your consumers are – Let’s face facts, the days of targeting the masses via a 30 second spot on NBC or a print buy in the NY Times have long since passed. The last 10 years have created an incredibly fragmented marketplace and the next 10 are likely to increase fragmentation exponentially. With a litany of methods for content distribution, it is now more important than ever that your message is carefully crafted, delivered at the right time and via the right channel. Working with technology that can manipulate your message and deliver it across multiple platforms, in multiple languages is no longer an expense you can’t justify, it is a technology you must justify.
  4. Social isn’t going anywhere – With Facebook being the second most visited site on the web your website alone isn’t going to cut it anymore. Consumers are spending more time engaging, promoting and complaining about brands on Twitter and Facebook now more than ever before. Consumers expect to be heard, they expect to play a role in choosing the next flavor (Mountain Dew’s Dew Nation), they want to participate in helping raise awareness (Susan G. Komen), they want to buy within Facebook (Target, Sephora, 1-800-Flowers), they want to get a great deal (@DellOutlet, @JetBlue), they want to find your mobile coffee, Korean BBQ or gourmet cupcake truck (@kogibbq, @coffeegroundz, @sprinkles), they want to broadcast their problems and get them solved(@bofa, @frontier). Listen, innovate and engage.
  5. Go mobile – Seems that every year since 2005 has been heralded as “The Year of Mobile”, 2011 might be the year. In 2011, the iPhone will become available on Verizon (USA’s largest carrier) and Google Android will shatter the 300,000 units activated per day number. Add the launch of Honeycomb (Android 3.0 OS) to support a variety of iPad competitors coming online and the mobile opportunity looms large. Retailers will be able to sell directly through QR codes, barcode scans and mobile storefronts. Location aware ads will become a reality, imagine getting a 20% off mobile coupon from Macy’s valid for 60 minutes when you enter the mall or a coupon for a free small cup of coffee at the airport food court.

2011 promises to be an exciting year for consumers and advertisers alike. A well-rounded marketing strategy inclusive of targeted campaigns, increased consumer dialogue and a focus on more efficient technology will make you a more effective marketer.