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…
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!