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Pulp-Fiction Style Online Adrenaline-Shot to the Heart of your Small Business Online Marketing

This post is part of the “Marketing That Works” Ideas Contest, showcasing 20 of the most innovative marketing ideas from the blogosphere’s up and coming marketers. If you like the post, please show your support for the contestant by tweeting, liking, sharing, and commenting below!

When Danny Iny asked me if I’d be interested in participating in this contest I was both nervous and excited because in full disclosure I’ve never entered a contest of this nature before.  Not being known as a person with much in the way of patience I immediately accepted the challenge and turned my marketing brain on.

I printed out the flyer Danny sent me outlining what the contest entailed, shut the door to my office and got to thinkin’… If I worked for a small business, what could I do that would be quick and easy to implement (small business types don’t have much time to budget for marketing) and wouldn’t require me to be a marketing-guru-ninja-rockstar but could completely change the game for my small business?

Then it hit me… I’ll write about the importance of a quality ad in the Yellow-Pages…

Psyche!

Look, I try to be funny and break the ice, but the deal is simple, I work for a small business, an independent family-owned insurance agency in Upstate NY.  All my clients are small businesses, so this is actually a very important exercise because small business is struggling right now and contests like these help drive innovative thought creation that could potentially help small business get back on their feet…

So like I said before the idea needs to be highly effective and impactful but at the same time relatively low-tech and easy to implement.  Then it hit me, leverage time for dollars, what every small business needs is more time and more money.  The idea that I am about to drop on you isn’t some pie-in-the-sky marketing consultant’s dream project, however it does involve the Internet.

If we’re talking innovative, game-changing, leverage time for dollars in today’s business world I think you have to go online.

Now that we have that piece figured out, let’s move to the next question.

What is the most important aspect of the small business online presence?

I would strongly argue (as I’m sure many of you would) the most important aspect of a small business online marketing is the ability to get found (Internet-guru-ninja-rockstars refer to this as SEO or Search Engine Optimization in Internet-guru-ninja-rockstar long-hand).  Unfortunately SEO isn’t a marketing strategy

Ah Ha! Innovative game-changing time leverage for dollars online marketing idea found…

And I’ll call it:

“Pulp-Fiction Style Adrenaline-Shot to the Heart of your Small Business Online Marketing”

Catchy, I know…

And here is that actually means.

Over the course of the next few weeks collect questions from your customers, one hundred (100) questions to be exact using Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and email and however else you want to collect them.  In my case these will be questions about insurance because that is my small business.  You would collect questions specific to your business… duh.

DON’T CHEAT! Collecting the questions and phrasing them exactly as they are asked by your customers is one of the most important aspects of this marketing idea.  See you talk about your small business in a very specific way… The way a master talks about his or her craft.  Being a master of your craft, your brain by-passes certain phrasing and assumptions that experience has taught you are unimportant.

But that’s exactly why I say don’t cheat.  Just because YOU master-of-craft realize that something is unimportant or unnecessary does not mean that your potential clients share this wisdom.

When your potential clients need to find a solution to a problem in a certain industry they are going to search Google with the understanding they have using the phrasing they use.  The point here is your phrasing is going to be different their phrasing and we care about their phrasing not yours.

So now that you have your 100 questions phrased in terms used by your clients, (The phrasing they will type into Google), what’s next?

Now you answer them!

Simple, right?  Genius, right? Totally simple genius…

Except you’re not just going to answer them, you are going to answer each question in 90 seconds or less on video and you are NOT, I repeat, NOT going to use any technical industry barf language that your potential customer is not going to understand.

And here is the really fun part… You are going to answer 100 questions on video in 100 days.

You are storming your small business competition’s SEO beaches and there crappy Facebook page and brochure website can do about it.  In one hundred days you will have created a search-optimized, keyword-rich, solution center that provides undeniable value in the form of answered questions…

Ryan… wait, wait, wait.  Every website on the Internet has a frequently asked questions page.  There is nothing Innovative or Game-Changing about this idea!

Listen hater, I’m not talking about creating some tired, FAQ.  This is YOU, small business person, sitting in front of a camera delivering knowledge in casual, conversational language like you’re sharing a glass of scotch with an old friend and just dropping some knowledge.

This is YOU small business person showing that you’re a human and not a series of ones and zeros… You’re something that potential client can come by and shake vigorously if they are unhappy with something…

I’ll keep the nuts and bolts short but basically what you’re doing here is creating one hundred videos in one hundred days.  Each video each day is posted to YouTube with the Question answered as the Title. In the description you link back to your contact/sales page and fill in the rest of the description with a keyword heavy, yet valuable summation of the video.  Make sure to include a Call-to-Action!

You then repeat this process on your blog, with the question answered as the title and a brief description with keywords before the video which you embed in the blog post making sure you have a prominent Call-to-Action for the product you’re answering questions about.

The purpose of this strategy is to create a VERY searchable yet highly valuable resource in a short period of time… And very important, the execution of this plan should take no more than 30 minutes a day… And the video can be from your iPhone!

Small business peeps don’t have to be writers or struggle to come up with content. They just have to answer questions like they do all day long for their business…

Let the power of the Internet and Search do the rest!

Thank you!

About Ryan Hanley

Ryan Hanley (@RyanHanley_Com) is an independent insurance agent for The Murray Group in Albany New York and also the author of Strategies in Content Creation where he blogs about communicating on the social web.

48 comments

  1. Matt says:

    While all of the ideas that were part of the contest had some great points. This is probably my biggest take away. I have always thought that video was a great way to set myself ahead of others. I have never been a great writer. Something about needing to have great grammar. Thus article marketing was never a great asset for me. Video is definitely worth pursuing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Priya says:

    Excellent idea Ryan but you’re a braver person than me – putting yourself out there video style for 100 days!
    I hate seeing myself on camera so I doubt I’d be able to pull this style of marketing off for myself, but I love the idea of getting questions from customers and answering them in a more personal way than written FAQs.
    Something to think about tweaking for my own introverted self at any rate.

  3. Jason Anthony says:

    Hey if you can incorporate Pulp Fiction into marketing, I’m a fan.

    This is a great idea, Ryan. And a wonderful way, as you mentioned to absolutely crush SEO and reach out the specific needs of your customer. It’s also going to refine and seriously improve their on-camera presence and candor.

    1. Ryan Hanley says:

      That’s an important point Jason! Over time the video presentation will get better as well because people will start to feel comfortable in front of the camera.

      Thanks!

  4. Rana Shahbaz says:

    Really simple and highly effective idea.

    Even though I think many people are aware of this fact but again success is always depends on the implementation of any idea well.

    Raw videos are perfect and but crafting the video titles, descriptions using proper keywords are important to get the desired SEO benefits.

  5. David Sneen says:

    What are the concerns business owners/webmasters have? Traffic, where to get material, how to get ranked? Hmmm, I think your pulp fiction style marketing idea more than addresses all of these concerns. I have this in my notes, and I am brainstorming as to how to fit your idea into my marketing plan.

  6. Brent Kelly says:

    Ryan,

    I love what you have been doing with this. You are doing something that many insurance professionals have been scared to do. You provide straight forward advice and add your personal touch. That is often what our industry lacks. Keep killing it.

    1. Ryan Hanley says:

      Brent,

      I get asked all the time if I’m ever nervous about giving people advice online…

      Really?

      Isn’t that what the Internet is for? Information.

      Thanks dude!

  7. Dennis says:

    Love the plan….simple concept and pretty brilliant I might add. The amazing thing is how many people want the exposure but will notate the time to apply the plan to make it work for them. They revert to old outdated tactics to grow business, many don’t work that well anymore.
    Good luck on the contest!

  8. Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation says:

    Ruth, you did think of it, just right now you did. Now go out and crush it. Take a look at what Jason is doing as well. His video game is pretty tight.

    Let me when you get it going we all need to stay connected through Video.

    Thanks!

  9. Ruth - The Freelance Writing Blog says:

    I LOVE this idea. Love love love. And for me, it’s timely. I’m trying to figure out how to integrate more video into my content marketing strategy (and my clients’ content marketing strategies), AND I’ve also recognized the long overdue need to solicit more feedback from my subscribers and stakeholders.

    DUH – why didn’t I think of this?

  10. Tom Treanor ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ryan,

    I love it and I know it would work – that’s the best part! I also really liked the Pulp Fiction angle so extra points for that. Thanks for the great post and actionable idea!

    1. Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation says:

      No doubt Tom… I’ve also been really digging your stuff.

      Thing I liked about this idea and what made me do it is how simple it is but how powerful it can be. One post a day… 2 minutes of video. That’s it. If you do nothing else you’ve already done a lot.

      Thanks buddy.

  11. Jason Fonceca ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Good lord. Thank you for this shot of adrenaline! (sexy headline)

    This is a fantastic idea, and I could see it catching on and becoming saturated (like most exceptional ideas tend to do — this is not a bad thing. :D)

    I also think it suits me quite a bit, I adore being seen, heard, known. I feel my video presence is powerful and epic.

    Hmmm… well, we’ll see how life unfolds, I have many awesome projects swirling together (listen for the masterful Ryze Anthem, coming soon :D)

    1. Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation says:

      Jason,

      I had a feeling just from the brief bit that I know about you that would enjoy the Title of this post!

      Also I think with your charisma you would kill with a video series… Thanks buddy!

      1. Jason Fonceca ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        You’re right, I LOVE the headline 🙂

        Thank *you* man, this is really good, really inspiring, and I’m glad to hear you’re feelin’ my video presence too 😀 I was inspired by Paul Wolfe and Adrienne Smith and I’ve made 7 videos since January 1st ( http://www.youtube.com/user/ryzeonline ), but most of them weren’t like … raw, unpolished, “me” – so the video-adrenaline is really interesting.

        1. Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation says:

          Like dude…? Your teaser for the success course is completely Ballin’… Keep it up dude and we can high five on the way to the top.

          1. Jason Fonceca ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

            High praise man, your channel seems to be doing quite well, thanks for subscribing! 😀
            (for anyone who doesn’t know Ryan is talking about this ryze e-course video teaser: http://youtu.be/I5uEm0sIFc4 )

            And we are definitely high-fivin’ while we ryze.

            Hey, sounds like rap:

            High-fivin while we ryze-in’
            keep eyes on the horizon
            don’t sympathize just realize that you aint shy an’ you ain’t hidin’
            you ain’t tryin’ – you succeedin’, Ryan Hanley helped stop tha bleedin’
            unh…

            [grin]

            😀

  12. Jeanne Pi says:

    What I dislike about most business websites is that they’re so impersonal. If you’re a local small business owner and you don’t put your face on your website, you’re missing out on that human connection that can really bring customers in. As a customer, seeing your face makes me feel more comfortable doing business with you.

    For example, there’s a very successful lawyer in New York who utilizes videos to educate potential clients about medical malpractice. Lawyers are notorious for seeming distant and unapproachable. But Gerry Oginski turns tire kickers into clients by (1) showing that he knows what he’s talking about and (2) he’s someone that you or I would feel comfortable working with. And the results of the videos on SEO speak for itself. He ranks #1 for both “New York medical malpractice attorney” and “New York medical malpractice lawyer.” It’s worked so well for him that he’s also teaching other lawyers how to do the same thing at Lawyersvideostudio.com.

    I’ve been following your Small Business SEO Experiment, and I admire the fact that you walk the talk. 100 videos in 100 days is ambitious. I think the toughest part will be avoiding “the wall” that might hit you out of nowhere (like a marathoner).

    Like you said, it’s about consistency and patience, which is easier said than done (otherwise we’d all have rock hard bodies like the celebrities). But doing it in front of the world certainly helps us stay motivated. Good luck on your experiment, though we all know that it’s not really about luck, but lots and lots of hard work. 😉

    Great work!

    1. Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation says:

      Jeanne…

      I don’t know what to say other than Thank You and I 100% agree.

      I am worried about that Wall. I know each week it gets a little tougher to get the videos done. But I have no doubt I will do it. I might hate video afterward for a few weeks, but it will get done.

      Part of what makes it possible is having people like yourself to hold me accountable!

      Thanks again!

      Ryan H.

  13. I also agree with the other commenters. I like this interesting idea and will look forward to learn more about you helpful tips, thanks! Technology is amazing and you’ve pointed out all the right reasons which can help us work more efficiently,

  14. Mike Lesczinski ( says:

    Ryan, don’t underestimate yourself. This is Game Changing. Ha. But in all seriousness, raw, uncut video is a phenomenal way to connect with your audiences. Helps pull back the curtain on your company and adds value to the customer experience. Great post.

    1. Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation says:

      It’s funny you mention the uncut nature of the video. I will be honest in saying that some of the video quality is not A+… But then I’ll find that people will connect with that video the most where in my mind a bit horrified of the unprofessional nature.

      Thanks for the Thoughts!

  15. Dianne M. Daniels says:

    Good morning!
    Found this in my email this morning, and I love this idea! Going to implement it on BOTH of my sites – one fairly new, one more established (but still needing a shot in the arm). They are at successbeyondsurgery.com. Thanks for the creative shot in the arm!

    1. Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation says:

      My pleasure Dianne… If you think of it let me know how it works out for you. I’d love to get other peoples results….

      Thanks!

  16. Sarah says:

    Ryan – this is brilliant. I think we can use this for our non-profit too…. we are always fielding questions about what we do. Thanks very much!!

    1. Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation says:

      Sarah,

      It’s funny you say that because I was talking a NFP professional at a networking event last night and we were discussing business. I told her what I was doing for Insurance and she said the same thing. There are so many people that have questions about NFP and the Mission, and Volunteering, etc that she could do a 1,000 posts on just questions.

      Good luck!

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