Friday, January 28, 2011

How to drastically grow your site traffic overnight using PR

PR is one of the greatest weapons of the zero budget marketer.

But not the sort of PR that most people THINK is PR - putting out a media release to any and all comers.

Well targeted PR is what's key. Being in/on the right medium for your product or service. This means that with your limited time you can focus on researching the right medium and ensuring the pitch is interesting to someone else (there's a whole other blog post on what NEWS actually is!).

I just saw a great example of selecting the right medium - and thanks to The Start Up Daily for sharing the details of their success with Springwise.

I love Springwise; a fantastic site & newsletter that shares news of very creative, entrepreneurial startups. I always finish reading it and feel inspired...and with a few ideas in my back pocket. Yesterday they featured a business idea that I thought was very clever - a daily blog featuring a vignette of wisdom from a business book each day. The revenue model will be kick backs on book sales. Obviously a volume game, but I think it has potential.

So I signed up. Here's the kicker. Apparently, so did 41% of the visitors from Springwise! 41% is a DREAM conversion rate. It's MASSIVE.

The Start Up Daily had obviously found the RIGHT place to attempt to get coverage. The author, Karl's, post said he was shooting for 1000 subscribers by 1 Feb. When I visited yesterday he was at 2,500. And today he's at 3,300!

What a success. Now, as long as Karl keeps on putting out great updates, and he keeps reminding people to do so, they'll share. And he'll keep growing.

So the zero budget marketing tip today is that PR is your best friend if you (a) have a great story to tell and (b) find the right place to target the story. And the right place isn't necessarily a daily fact, in today's online world, the right blog post can apparently blow your aspirations out of the water.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to turn a negative into a positive

The measure of a good marketing business is how well they deal with problems; when things go WRONG rather than when they go right. Too often businesses ignore problems, ignore unhapy customers - but in the world of social media, that's a dangerous strategy to maintain.

As a regular (some would say TOO regular!) online shopper, I am on many mailing lists. I noticed an offer from Mimco a few days ago, but was more interested in this follow up email that just came out.

I don't know what happened BUT it looks like a promotion they've set up has hit some sort of snag; perhaps their fault, perhaps not. But what is interesting is how they've dealt with it. Not only haven't they ignored it, they've provided a fix AND made a bit of a marketing opportunity out of it. I particularly like how their promo code is "Whoops".

Ultimately, they've managed to turn a negative into a positive - and given themselves and extra customer contact opportunity at the same time. They're also obviously committed to their social media, as the have immediately dealt with the comments/posts people have made regarding the issue.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Local marketing tip for opening a new cafe - generating $1000 in sales from a $10 investment

Local marketing can be both easy AND hard. Easy because you have a nice, geographically designed area to target. Hard because if you can't find a way to influence or entice that market, you're in some serious trouble.

I'm a big proponent of the free trial- giving your product away with the confidence that if it's good, people will come back for more.

Nashi is a cafe franchise in Melbourne - great sandwiches by the way. They're moving into a new location near a client of mine, and they've done two very smart things.

1. They identified larger businesses in the "zone" they'll be opening in and delivered a box of free food - per floor - to each. (They didn't have anything IN the box about the store opening, my recommendation would have been to do this too).

2. They've managed to get the company to put a $5 gift voucher offer out by the company to all staff members, which also communicates when they're opening. I've included this in the image.

This isn't a totally zero budget example, but the whole exercise would have likely been $1-$2000 in product to reach hundreds of prospective customers. And they've ensured that all their potential target market knows the type of food, when they'll be opening, and what is in it for the customer to come in early ($5 voucher).

So let's say it costs $10 to reach each potential customer. But this campaign will immediately pay for itself. And the beauty of a cafe is that it isn't a single sale. A loyal customer will return several times a week, if not every day. The annual value of a sandwich and coffee purchase twice a week is around $1000 PER PERSON. The lifetime value is going to be somewhere between $2000-$10,000 per person.

Suddenly a few free muffins and a $5 voucher looks like a pretty cheap idea, doesn't it?!

This promotion look a bit of legwork no doubt, but is a great example of a zero budget marketing promotional idea.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Amazing what $6 will get you

Came across this great little example of a creative zero budget marketing.

An advertising creative looking for a job paid for a Google Adwords campaign on five NY Creative Directors - and when they googled themselves, the top listing they saw was an advertisement relating to hiring him.

Love it. Watch his brief slideshow. Not to give the game away, but he got 4 interviews & 2 job offers. And the campaign cost him...$6.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The importance of a brief...even if you're doing your own creative

Most creative agencies seem to agree on one thing; the better the client brief, the better the outcome for the client.

When you're in "zero budget marketing" land, often putting together your own creative (copy, emails, website, promotions, etc), there is still value preparing a brief, even if it's only for yourself.

Yes, it is more work, but it's a good exercise; it makes you consider all of the important elements - IN ADVANCE. After all, it's very easy to miss things when you're trying to do everything; so consider it both a pre-planning tool and a great checklist.

Here are some items you might want to have on your own campaign brief...

Project summary:

What problem are you trying to solve?:

What are your 3 key objectives for this activity?:


Who are you talking to and what do you know about them?

What do you want them to think and do?

What single/clear message should the communication convey?: (eg. headline/subject line)

What additional information needs to be shared?: (body copy)

At what point in the decision making journey will the prospect see this communication?: (location, website, research vs ready to purchase, etc)

How is what you are saying that is DIFFERENT/distinct from your competitors? Why should customers care about your business/your offer?


What does success look like for this project/campaign? (eg. what results do you want?)

How you will measure success?:

What is the call to action?:


Is this part of a bigger campaign?

What relevant activity has already run? (from you or competitor)


Is there anything going on in the world that is relevant to this campaign?


Your logo
partner info/logos?
promotional code?
website address? And have you double checked the accuracy of any links!
telephone no?
corporate font?
terms and conditions?

Timings Material deadlines: Live Date: End Date: Review point: (etc)

No - go forth and run a more successful zero budget marketing campaign!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Window displays don't need to cost a mint to be effective

Snapped this pic when out shopping's taken me this long to get over the crush of last minute xmas shopping to share it with you!

Not only did this window make me laugh out loud, it was also ample proof that a good window display doesn't need to cost a fortune. It's amazing what some yellow paint, some rubber chickens and a clever marketing idea will get you....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Make your marketing more effective by following all the way through

A clever little marketing campaign came across my path today that demonstrates the value of following through.

I subscribe to SourceBottle, which is a fab little service that features shout outs from journo's to the marketing/pr community. They pay for this service (I'm guessing) through the ads at the top, which are often quite clever. Today's was no different....

The copy read:
Does your website measure up?

Seems nothing will stem the tide of consumers jumping online to make a purchase. And this is true across the globe! Which is why it's so vital your business is making the most of its presence on the net. Are you using it effectively? Or are you missing out on valuable sales?

The online specialists at FrontBox are giving you a chance to change all that. For TODAY ONLY, they're offering their popular Online Conversion Analysis for only $97 (normally $197)! They'll identify areas where the Internet could be working much harder for you, with detailed suggestions on how to make this happen. (No wonder it's so popular.) In fact, FrontBox guarantee to improve the effectiveness of your web presence or they'll give you your money back.

I clicked, as I wanted to learn more. And landed on the page pictured to your right.

Notice the first line? "You read the ad, and you clicked on the link."

This is a simple way to tell me that they KNOW what offer I've clicked on. And to re-assure me that I'm in the right place.

So many online ads you click on just dump you on a home page (or a facebook page, etc) with no link between the offer and the landing area.

Online is still EXCELLENT value as a marketing tool - as close to zero budget as most tactics will ever get - but if you do it BADLY it's a waste of money.

This campaign show the value of good copywriting, a good offer...and thinking it through the whole way. Congrats to the marketer/business owner that came up with it.

Happy 2011!