June 22, 2015
Unless you are a giant multinational conglomerate, the probability of scoring major media profiles is dim at best. This advice is based on 25-years of “making news,” without the advantage and oppressive cost of engaging leading public relations advocates. These three simple footsteps can improve the likelihood that your company can “make news.” It all begins with sizzle, something new and ten-times better that is interesting.
Without any advertising, you would think growing your business is an improbability. However, marketing has changed at lightning-fast speed. Today, it is more about social media, sharing personalized recommendations and experiences to foster sales. Augmenting the news from Tech.Co and other leading media outlets is this micro-level strategy. Creative marketing can go viral and spread as voluminously as a front page profile in The Wall Street Journal.
1) Outreach To Your Customers.
Imagine if each new order led to just a few additional customers? Sales would exponentially grow. The best way to achieve this is also the easiest way: Ask. For online businesses, when orders arrive, instantly send a personalized “thank you isn’t enough” message from the CEO. Explain why you are so passionate about helping the customer. At ScanMyPhotos.com, I explain when I was 7 years old, my Dad passed away and the only indelible memory was a snapshot of him hugging me at Disneyland. It’s true, personalized, and shapes the narrative on why every photograph is so emotionally valuable. Get personal and explain why you want to earn their business. Ask your customers to directly keep in touch with the CEO throughout the entire process, from ordering to the completion of the sale. Make customers your friends rather than bedeviling noise. Be human rather than robotic by sparking their interest. Incentivize them to share your message with a hefty discount towards future orders, but for only a limited time.
2) Send Flowers.
If receiving surprise floral arrangements on your birthday or special occasion is magical, imagine if your customers experienced the same warm-fuzzy feeling? While my photo digitization business is very emotional as people revisit generations of nostalgic memories, any business can create the same warmth. How can you afford to send flowers? How can you not, is my response. What is the cost to acquire a new loyalist customer for life? The surprise factor of flowers and a personalized message from the CEO sparks heart-stopping replies. One customer was actually indignant at first. In our message we explain that “they are the reason for our 25-years of success.” At first, she thought the flowers were an anniversary gift marking 26 years of marriage and that her husband goofed on the year count.
3) Link Up With Giant Companies.
More than a hundred years ago, Willy Sutton explained why he robbed banks. The infamous bank robber enunciated “that’s where the money is.” Indirectly following his counsel can score vast rewards – without having to rob a bank to fund a marketing campaign. Does your company have large vendors? Reach out to them and share your story why they are the reason for your success. Think big. I contacted the U.S. Postal Service’s Director of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. to explain that people trust them to safely deliver their most precious possessions … photos. That lead to this USPS-produced commercial. Another example by recognizing your vendors as partners was this Miva Merchant produced commercial. Having sold a very large number of photo scanning packages with Groupon, with 93% positive reviews, we shared the love by starring in their merchant profile commercial. When an industry giant launches a new product complimenting your business, link up with them. Can you identify any challenges they have where your business can help out? When Google Photos, the widely praised new photo-sharing service was launched, I suggested they had 3.5 trillion problems. That is how many analog photos have yet to be digitized. Their challenge was that mostly people can only upload recent pictures from mobile devices. Rather than invest boatloads of money advertising, identify a problem and the solution. Contact the reporters on that beat only after thoroughly reading their prior stories. Study them like you are taking an exam and engage with useful content without any hyperbole. For the reporters covering Google, my subject line was “Google Photos has 3.5 billion problems and this simple solution.” Explain the problem and the solution to inspire a news profile, after attaining familiarity with the company you are targeting. Become their biggest advocates to foster a relationship with them.
Share your innovative marketing tips with me. What worked and what bombed in your pursuit to make news?
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