Marketing Tips

Read these 73 Marketing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Entrepreneur tips and hundreds of other topics.

Marketing Tips has been rated 3.6 out of 5 based on 691 ratings and 4 user reviews.

Improve home page conversion by being provocative or arousing curiosity

People love a mystery, so if you can evoke their curiosity to know more with your headline, then you will successfully entice them into the body of your home page. Here are some examples:


  • The Most Expensive Mistake of Your Life

  • The People Who Read This Book Will End Up With Your Money

  • Do You Do Any of These Ten Embarrassing Things?

Aren't you just dying to know what that expensive mistake is? And how will reading a book help people take my money? And, ooh, I hope I'm not doing any of those embarrassing things... I better find out what they are. Mystery and curiosity are compelling... use them wisely to draw people into your copy.

   

Answer your target market's burning questions

Here's an article marketing tip: You need to get your articles read in order to have them help you accomplish your goals. One way to get your article read is to answer your target market's burning questions. What keeps them up at night? What are they combing the Internet in search of answers for?

But how do you discover what these things are? One way is to do some key word research.

Once you know what the burning questions are, you can answer them in your article. Better yet, create a product or opt-in bonus that answers the question at a deeper level and use the article to tease them with part of the answer. Your resource box then points them to your more developed answer to their burning question.

   
How Can I Get Closer to My Clients?

Marketing Yourself

Your business isn't the only thing that needs to be promoted. You, the business owner, need to market yourself so that people know who you are, and by proxy, know your business.

Tell Your Story
As an entrepreneur, you likely have an interesting story about how you got into business. Play this up to the media. Here are some great story ideas that might apply to you:

  • Pulled yourself up by your bootstraps from a life of poverty
  • Overcame discrimination to become a minority business owner
  • Gave up a secure job to follow your passion
  • Woke up one night with a genius idea
  • After working in one field for decades, you decided to do something the polar opposite
The media loves a good tale, and if you have one, you can generate a buzz around yourself.

Get Intimate
Not only should you market yourself to the media, but also to your clients. Don't be just the name on the label or box. Let your clients know that you are a person, an individual, who can relate to them. That goes a long way to great customer relations.

You don't have to go door to door and introduce yourself. Consider sending out a monthly newsletter that contains personal anecdotes about your experiences with the company. Don't make it about sales, make it about building relationships. Include your signature at the bottom.

Be Available
Even if you're busy, make time for your customers. Give out your cell phone number or personal email address so customers know you're sincere about being there for them. You'll surprise people, but they'll stay loyal to you and your company.

   
How Do I Pick My Company's Name?

Naming Your Baby: First Step of Marketing

You may consider only your advertising efforts to do the heavy marketing for your company. But your company name has just as much clout when drawing in new business. Think about businesses you have worked with or purchased from. Can you remember the names? If so, there was thought put into naming those companies.

Here are some tips to help you in the brainstorming phase of naming your business.

Get relevant. Your company name should infer what you do. If you're a dry cleaning store, Dian's Dry Cleaning gets the point across better than just Dian's. You don't have to be so obvious, but it should be clear what your business does.

Get creative. This is a name you're going to be stuck with for a while, so choose a good one. If suitable, pick a fun name that will generate a buzz and get people asking you questions about your company name. People will remember Egg Marketing over SNR Marketing Agency because it's fun and creates an image in people's minds.

Get specific. If your company is an LLC or is incorporated, decide if you want to include that title in the company name and logo. You can leave it off if it doesn't go with the rest of the name. However, you may like the official ring it gives your company name.

Once you have a few candidates for names, try them on friends, family and customers. Ask what associations your audience has with each name. If there are any negative connotations, toss it and move on. See which names are more memorable and which make the audience feel like learning more about the company.

   
How Do I Effectively Use Promotional Products?

Promoting Your Brand With Products

You've probably owned your fair share of company-branded pens and notepads. But how many of them ever got your attention? How many promotional products have stimulated you to buy from that company? Probably not many.

Promotional products can be very effective forms of advertising, if they are chosen carefully.

1. Do not skimp on your promotional product budget. If you're not prepared to spend some money, you will end up buying pens no one reads. You want to go above what your competitors do, and that may cost you. Keep in mind that the cost will more than be made up with the boost in sales you will have.

2. Think outside the notepad. Today, promotional products include unique items like stress balls, clocks, and desk toys. You want something that people will look at frequently and register your company name. Get creative and it will pay off.

3. Your logo should be eye-catching. If it's not currently, consider a redesign before you order products. Your logo should be pleasing to the eye with attractive color schemes. Avoid having too much text on a small product.

4. Splurge for big-payoff clients. If you have big clients or potential clients that could mean a major win for your company, invest in special gifts for this crowd. Nice pens, a polo shirt, or duffel bag with your logo can really impress a client or close the sale.

   
How Do I Create a Marketing Plan?

What's the Plan?

Even if the best-laid plans sometimes go awry, it's still necessary to have a plan in the first place. Just because your business is growing in leaps and bounds, don't think you can get away without a marketing plan. You must have a marketing plan that establishes what your company goals are. Otherwise, you will end up with a ball of knotted yarn down the road.

Strengths and Weaknesses
An effective marketing plan should lay out what your company's strengths and weaknesses are. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the operations of our business that we don't see the bigger picture. By writing it out, you can easily see how you can play up your assets and compensate for your Achilles heel.

Opportunities and Threats
With your nose to the grindstone, you'll never see the opportunities that are right in front of you. But if your marketing plan assesses what's going on in your industry, you may see new possibilities appear.

Analyzing your business means analyzing your competitors. If you know how they operate, you can devise a plan for how you can rise above them and corner your market.

Timeline
In developing your marketing plan, set a timeline for your goals to be met, and follow up every month or quarter to chart progress. You can always make changes to your marketing plan, but if you keep your eye on where your development falls in relation to the plan, the changes will be only minor.

   
How Can I Promote My Company With Press Releases?

Extra! Extra! Read This Press Release!

If your company has exciting news that you want everyone to know about, write a press release. Press releases are sent out “over the wire,” which means multiple news sites, TV stations, and newspapers receive your release. Typically, your press release will be posted instantly on the majority of the news sites that get it. Television, newspapers, radio and magazines are harder to get into. If your news is earth-shattering, or extremely relevant to a specific population, one of these forms of media may contact you to do a followup story or interview. But in general, your best best is the online news sites that publish your release.

Keep in mind, no one wants to read fluff. You should genuinely have news to share. Your news may include:

Grand opening of company

New product being introduced

New addition to executive leadership

Company going public

Award or recognition given

Major client secured

Your press release should be quick and to the point. The first paragraph should have all the pertinent information: who, what, when, where, and why. Readers will only spend a few seconds skimming the first paragraph before deciding if they want to read the entire thing in detail.

It should be no more than 400 words. It can be challenging to get everything you want to say in 400 words, but the purpose of a press release is to give a news blurb, not a detailed story or feature.

Be sure to include your company's contact information and website so that people who want to learn more about your products can do so.

   
How Can I Use Technology to Market My Company?

Use Technology Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Despite what you've been told, you don't need a big-time budget to get your small business off the ground. There are several technology tools available online that don't cost a dime, but can help generate sales for your business.

Blogs
Blogs are a casual form of marketing. Rather than sending stuffy emails or letters, you can let your clients and potential clients know what's going on with your company in a blog. While you can cover strictly company information, such as new product releases, frequently asked questions, and customer concerns, you can also write about your industry in general, making your company a known expert in your field.

There are tons of free websites that let you easily set up a free blog and link to it on your website. You don't even have to be an IT guru to figure it out!

Podcasts
Podcasts are another great trend in advertising right now. With a cheap digital recorder (or using recording software on your computer), you can record regular programs and upload them to your website for visitors to listen to.

You might cover industry news updates every week, then plug your company at the end.

E-Newsletters
If you have a database of clients and interested parties, stay in their faces. By sending out an email newsletter every month or two weeks, you can keep them up to date on what your company is doing, as well as offer them special promotions not available to the general public.

   
How Can I Become a Known Expert in My Field?

Expert Articles

Becoming a known expert in your industry may seem like a long-term project, but you can actually do the job pretty quickly by writing articles. By writing about the business you're in, people can see that you know what you're talking about – and while you're not blatantly trying to sell them on your product or service, you are planting subliminal seeds in their minds that will grow into future business!

Here's a quick how-to for article writing:

  1. Choose Your Topic: Decide what you want to write about. If you are a veterinarian, you could write about how heartworms kill animals, or how the right flea product can prolong your pet's life.
  2. Write an Appealing Article: Your article should be informative and to the point. Don't make it too long (try 400-600 words). You should give the reader knowledge they didn't already have.
  3. Find a Publishing Resource: There are many websites that publish articles. Some even pay for your articles! Also look into trade journals and publications in your field. If you operate in a small industry, the chances of your article getting coverage in a publication is pretty high.
When people start to associate you with knowledge, they'll visit your store or website more frequently, which of course will turn into sales!

   
What Do I Do If I Don't Have Money to Advertise?

You Can't Afford NOT to Advertise!

You're a small business owner. You know you need to advertise to make money, but you don't have the capital. Unfortunately, many small businesses will fail because they didn't advertise. What's a poor entrepreneur to do?

Take Risks
You wouldn't be in business if you weren't willing to take risks. You may have taken out a second mortgage on your home, raided the nest egg, or scrimped and saved to start your business. All of that is a complete waste if you do not advertise.

If no one knows about your business, no one will visit your store or website. If no one visits, no one buys. If no one buys, you're out of business. It's up to you to make sure your company name is known.

You Have a Plan, Right?
Before you started your business, you made a business plan and budget, right?? If you haven't done this, stop reading and go write one immediately.

Build your marketing and advertising expenses into your monthly budget, along with electricity, web hosting, inventory, etc. Designate a percentage of your anticipated monthly sales for advertising. It doesn't have to be a lot. Maybe just 10%.

All Advertising is Not Created Equal
Don't waste your money on advertising that's not right for your type of business. If you run a web radio station, brochures and flyers are a waste of time, because your audience is worldwide. If you run a doggy bakery in Sacramento, nationwide web advertising may not be for you. Think about who your customers are, then research advertising options.

   
How Can I Get Free Publicity?

Interview With The Entrepreneur

The best publicity is free publicity. Or publicity that doesn't appear to be downright advertising. Offer yourself up to a local radio or cable show for an interview as the local entrepreneur. You can get exposure in your community without paying for a tv spot!

Don't forget these helpful hints for your interview:

  • Prepare yourself. You may be able to give the interviewer specific questions you want asked so that you can target parts of your business. For instance, if you're starting a new product line, request that the interviewer asks you about it. Come up with answers for any questions you might be asked, including your company's history, what your company does, what your personal background is, products you sell, and how people can get more information.
  • Make an impression. If you're being interviewed on television, dress your best. You want to come off as professional, so forsake the overalls for a suit. If you're doing a radio interview, be sure to clear the frogs in your throat before going live.
  • Sell subliminally. Whenever you can, give little business boosts, like mentioning that you're offering a special right now, or state your website address several times. Make it easy for viewers or listeners to get in touch with you.
  • Leave a forwarding address. Give the radio or television station your contact info in the event that a listener or viewer contacts them for more information on your company.

   
What's a Media Kit?

Making Media Kits

You know your business inside and out. But how do others see it? Do you provide enough information for someone to make an informed decision about whether to use your services or not?

A media kit is the perfect way to package up everything that's great about your business, and are usually for more high-end products and services (if you're selling fast food, you can skip it). A media kit gives you the opportunity to brag about your company. It typically includes:

  • Overview of the company
  • Bios of management (if you're more than a one-man operation)
  • Product/service descriptions
  • Benefits of services or products
  • Press releases or relevant news
  • Awards or certifications won
  • Contact information
You won't give everyone that walks through your door a media kit, just the people who are genuinely interested in what you do. You can go through the kit with them, using the material included as good sales points in a presentation.

Once a potential client walks away from your store or office, your media kit will follow them. It may sit on a desk, lost under piles of papers, but you can bet that when the time comes for that person to make a decision about what you sell, you will win out over competitors without media kits.

   
What Should My Business Card Contain?

Business Card Basics Tip #1: Keep It Simple

Keep your business card design simple. Include contact information such as name, title, phone number, fax number, email address, website and mailing address. If you have a free offer, you might include that on the back, as well.

   
Why Do I Need a Logo?

Got a Design in Mind?

Logos are a great way to express what your company does, and who your company is! You can make yours stately, zany, cute, catchy or sophisticated. Your logo is what will stand out to people on your business cards, letterhead, envelopes and signs, so you want to pick the best logo for the job.

Consider Your Image
What do you want to portray about your business? If you run a law firm, you'll probably want to show that your firm is professional and refined. A cutesy logo won't cut it. If, on the other hand, you run a doggie day care, you want a logo that expresses the fun side of your business.

Make a list of 5-10 characteristics that represent your company. Then come up with image ideas for each one. If “classy” is on your list for your bar/restaurant, maybe a martini glass can signify that.

Get to the Drawing Board
Whether you're designing the logo yourself or letting a professional do it, sketch out a few ideas that express the different facets of your business. Figure out how you want to incorporate your company name, or if you want to leave it out completely (think: the artist formerly known as Prince).

If you want your designer to do all the work, give her some concepts to get started and see what she comes up with.

Test Market
Get together three of your best logo samples and test them out on customers and friends. Make your final selection and start promoting your brand!

   
How Do I Get Great Flyers and Brochures?

Promotion is Material for Your Business

Do you have promotional material for your company? A brochure? Flyer? These are great resources in that they quickly tell a potential customer everything he needs to know about your company, and helps him instantly make a decision as to whether or not he is interested in your products or services.

That very instant quality of marketing collateral can be your downfall if you're not careful. If you don't properly highlight what makes your business great, then it will be a big waste of resources.

What's So Great About Your Company?
Make a list of wonderful qualities about your company. You can include:

  • Product Specs
  • Awards Won
  • How Much Lower Your Prices are Than Competitors'
  • Service Benefits
Choose the ones you really want to focus on for your brochure, flyer or postcard. Word them in an appealing way (or have a professional writer do it).

Tie It All Together
Design (or have a designer create) marketing material that includes professional graphics that reflect what you do. There are great templates available online that let you customize beautiful designs. Tie in your marketing copy and make sure everything flows together.

Don't forget to spellcheck!

Professional Printing
Don't get this far and then print the brochures on your inkjet! Send the files to a professional printer or copy shop to make high-quality copies with vibrant colors and a smooth finish on premium paper.

   
How Can I Get Traffic on my Website?

Make Your Website Work for You

Does your website stand out? Does it make visitors stay to learn more about what you do? Does your site generate business?

If the answer to these questions is no, listen up. Your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have. You have to make sure your site is well designed and searchable.

Hire a Professional
Chances are, you are not a web designer. So why would you try to design your own site? Hiring a professional designer will ensure you get a top-quality website that will impress visitors constantly.

A professional will have great style and know techniques to maximize your website's look. Usually a designer will present you with two or three different design options to choose from.

Optimize Your Searching
You've probably heard of Search Engine Optimization, but what is it?? It makes sure people can find your website when they don't even know it exists. SEO works with keywords. When someone searches for “Houston dog kennels,” your kennel site will appear, if you're using SEO.

Your designer should know how to effectively use SEO to increase traffic on your site. Ask what kind of traffic he's generated for other websites to get a feel for what he can do for your site.

Jump on the Bandwagon
Search engines don't automatically know you're out there. On Google and Yahoo!, you can submit your link into the database of websites so that everyone can find you. Look on these websites for instructions on how to get listed.

Additionally, Google offers a local business tool, where your business can appear on a map. If someone searches for bookstores in the Orlando area, you can get your website for Brenda's Books to appear!

   
How can I promote my business for free?

Support Your Expertise By Publishing Content Online

Publish articles online in your field to establish and support your expertise. You can do this through blogging, article marketing and becoming an columnist on sites such as LifeTips! ;-) People who read your articles and like what they read will visit your website. And, because they feel comfortable with you, they'll sign up to be on your list (you are collecting emails, right? And offering a compelling opt-in incentive in return, right?) Once they're on your list, they will eventually buy.

   
How can I use technology to promote my business?

Hit the Digital Airwaves

Podcasts are hot right now. Consider making a podcast about your industry that will establish you as a professional in your field. Listeners will want to know more about your company and visit your site, resulting in sales!

   
How Can I Make My Business Stand Out with Marketing?

"Lumpy" Mail Gets Attention

It's a busy and message-crowded world. In marketing your company, you have to come up with attention-grabbing ideas that will get your target market to notice you above the fracas. Here's an idea to get you brainstorming.

More Than Direct Mail

Everyone gets junk mail -- ahem -- direct mail every day. How often do we really read the postcard or letter from a business? Not often. But don’t give up on direct mail. What about sending a small gift to potential customers that includes a small note or letter promoting your company? If you have a targeted group of potential clients, you could send:

* Flowers

* A Gift basket

* A branded pen or notepad

* An office toy

* A branded, but fun, T-shirt

* A coupon

You’re more likely to get feedback if the mail makes the recipient stop and pay attention. These are called "lumpy" mail and due to natural human curiosity, lumpy mail tends to get opened.

   

Business Card Basics Tip #3: The Back Side

There is much debate about what should go on the back side of your business card. Some say keep it blank so people you hand it to can write notes. While others say put more information here. I say do both! Use some of the space to present your compelling free offer, but also allow some space for note-taking.

   
How can I use my blog to sell my business?

Sell Your Business with a Blog

Blogging has become very popular on the Internet, and it is a great way to sell your business. If you don't have a blog you need to get one now. A blog can be a very effective marketing tool to sell your business. In order to sell through your blog you must make it popular – advertise to generate a large number of hits – write in your blog at least once a day – don't be shy, freely share your opinions and information.

While communicating through your blog, share any promotions, giveaways and contests that you have going. You can also share information that will be beneficial to your readers. If you don't have any promotions, giveaways or contests create one to draw the potential customer to your site.

   
How can I use marketing during my leisure time?

Using Marketing During Your Leisure Time

Using marketing techniques to sell your business during your leisure time does not call for much effort or work. First off, before you begin using marketing techniques to sell your business gather the proper sales materials. You will need: business cards, flyers and brochures that have your business information on them.

Going on vacation? Take all the sales materials with you – put them on the dash of your car. Every time you visit a rest area grab a few business cards and take them in with you. When going into the restroom lay a business card in each vacant stall, and as you're leaving, place one on the sink. Though it may sound corny, it can be effective; you never know who may pick one up and take it with them.

While on the road you may get hungry and stop at a restaurant for a bite to eat. Before leaving the restaurant put one of your business cards between the salt and pepper shakers. You can also visit their restroom and place another business card in the stalls there.

Any time you stop at a gas station or convenient store take a flyer in with you and ask the clerk if he/she will hang the flyer up for you. Again, visit their restroom too.

Maybe your leisure time is not taking a vacation, maybe you're just going to your local grocery store, department store, or etc.. That's fine too, because all of these tips can be applied in your local area as well. As a matter of fact, while you're walking through the parking lot you can also place a few flyers onto the windshields of the cars.

   
How can I sell market my business on the World Wide Web for free?

Sell Your Business on the World Wide Web

The Internet provides you with many techniques to sell your business. Using marketing combined with the World Wide Web you can promote your business for free. Are you ready to get started? Here's how you can sell your business through the World Wide Web:

1. Look for Web sites that are similar to your business. Once you have found the Web sites, contact the Web site owner and politely ask him or her to do a link exchange with you.

2. Search the Internet for newsletters and e-zines that are similar in content to your newsletter or e-zine. Next, contact the Editor politely asking him/her if they would like to run a short advertisement of your business in their newsletter or e-zine, in exchange for a short advertisement of their business in your newsletter or e-zine.

3. The best way to gain exposure for your business is to join forums that are similar to your business. When you join be sure to re-visit and participate in the discussions so it doesn't look like you're just there to promote your business and run. And remember, when mentioning your business on the forums; don't spam them – only post in one board, and post on the board that allows advertising.

4. Create press releases for any giveaways, contests or etc. that you are having. There are many Web sites that will allow you to distribute your press release for free. To find these Web sites search the Internet for "free press release distribution." (Leave the quotes around free press release distribution.)

There are many other ways to sell your business and generate potential customers, but the trick is to keep them coming back. You can refer to the other tips mentioned on this site; they will help you with retaining those potential customers.

   
What are some way I can market my business?

How to Market Your Business

1. Create a product or service that is in high demand.

2. Make sure the prices that you set are reasonably priced – preferably beating your competitors' prices, if possible.

3. Don't be afraid to offer something for free.

4. Keep your customers coming back by offering sales.

5. Follow-up with your customers to make sure they're satisfied. If your customer is unhappy correct the problem and offer something as an apology.

6. When selling your business through direct mail include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

7. Don't hide things – always print or post the truth.

   
How can I make my pay-per-click campaign effective?

Marketing Your Business through Pay-Per-Click

Pay-Per-Click marketing is easier on your budget, and is a better way to market your business. However, in order for pay-per-click marketing to be effective for your business there are a few things you need to know. The main thing to do, before setting up your pay-per-click advertising, is create a marketing campaign. You need your marketing campaign to be effective, and this is how you can create an effective marketing campaign:

1. Decide who you want to market with. There are many search engines that offer pay-per-click services, but it's your job to find out which ones work best for others – this will be the one you want to use. Two good search engines are Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing.

2. Choose the right keywords. Don't just choose any keywords, study the keywords carefully to decide which ones are most popular, and choose the keywords that relate to your business.

3. Write a persuasive ad. Many pay-per-click search engine services will limit the characters and length of your ad – keep your ad as short as possible. When writing your ad include the keyword in the ad's headline and body.

4. Monitor this campaign. Every week monitor your campaign by checking which keywords are performing the best, and which ads are being clicked on the most. If you find that some of your advertisements are not performing very well, re-write them, and if it is the keyword, change it to a different keyword.

Stay within your budget, don't get into bidding wars, do your research, monitor your campaign and you should do well. Wishing you much success!

   
How can I use marketing to be different from my competitors?

Using Marketing to be Different from Your Competitors

Are you advertising to match your competitors' ads? Then stop! Offering the same thing over and over again usually results in little or no sales at all. Instead of telling the consumer about "you" try showing your consumer instead. For example, you're selling search engine optimization services to your consumer, but you are finding out that your current method of advertising is not paying off very well. Show the consumer that you know what you're doing by giving him/her free information. Write articles related to the type of service you're selling. Post these articles on your Web site and in your newsletter. You can also write a short e-book related to search engine optimization, and give it to the consumer for free. Using marketing by giving away information earns the consumer's trust. So instead of creating an advertisement that asks the consumer to contact you for more information, create the advertisement that tells them how to get your free information. Later (about a week), follow-up with the consumer and tell them more about your services.

   
What is a good technique to use when selling on the Internet?

Five Techniques for Better Sales Online

When selling online you need to know some of the best techniques that will covert visitors into buyers:

1. Give a good description of what you're selling – emphasize benefits over features, but include those, too.

2. Target the correct audience. For example, don't try to sell homeowners insurance to someone who is renting; you want to target homeowners.

3. Give them a reason to visit your website by offering them something for free, with no obligation to buy. This should be a "free taste" of your products or services, giving them a good example of what they can get when they purchase.

4. Use power words in your headlines – free, guarantee, save, act now, success, etc.

5. Offer your potential customers a free newsletter that includes content related to your products or services. This gives you the opportunity to continue to sell to them moving forward.

   

Use articles to market your book

Write short 300-500 word articles related to the topic of your book and post them on article directories such as EzineArticles.com. Then, in your resource box point readers to your book's website. This is a long term strategy that can help build backlinks to your site, introduce new people to your topic of expertise and even attract potential joint venture partners and affiliate marketers for your products and services. It can also lead to more sales of your book.

   

Tell the Truth

Don't run false promotions. If you say you're never going to run that sale again, don't. If you say the sale will last two weeks, end it when two weeks are over. When you fudge on your promotions, you lose credibility. And that, my friend, can destroy all the good work you've done in the past.

   

Follow Up

Your best future clients/customers are your past clients/customers. Show them some love. Keep in touch. Make them feel special and that they made a good choice to work with you.

   

Track Your Results

Each time you get a new client or customer, ask them why they chose to do business with you. How did they hear about you? That way, you'll discover which one or more of your efforts are most effective and you can fine-tune your marketing plan, concentrating on those techniques that are giving you the best return on investment.

   

Be Consistently Present

Marketing, advertising and public relations efforts have a cumulative effect. Therefore you need to get your name out in front of people as often as you can. This helps build brand and name awareness.

   

Ready, Aim, Target!

You must define your niche and focus your marketing and advertising efforts on that target market. Depending on your audience, this can be defined by geography, psychology, common interests, gender, industry or trade - possibly even a combination of these factors. Believe it or not, the more narrow your focus, the easier it is to create effective marketing messages.

   

Step 5 of 5 of Editing Your Copy: Proofread

O.K. Now you can proof read the copy. Make sure your grammar is correct, your spelling is right and your i's are all dotted!

   

Step 4 of 5 of Editing Your Copy: Let it Rest then Reread for Flow

You've just spent a lot of time working with the copy. It is highly likely that you've gotten so intimate with what is written that you'll see what should be there, than what is really there. Give it a rest ... at least 24 hours, more if you can swing it. That way you can re-read the copy with a fresh eye and make sure it still flow well. Read it out loud and you'll find things that reading silently to yourself won't find.

   

Step 3 of 5 of Editing Your Copy: Transitions

Now that you have your copy blocks in the right order, do you make logical transitions between them. It may be as simple as adding in a subhead or even a trite phrase like, "Better yet ..." or "Surprisingly ..."

   

Step 2 of 5 of Editing Your Copy: Logical Flow

Read through your copy. Does it flow logically from one point to another? Would it read better if your points were made in a different order? You can loose a reader if your points are made in a haphazard order or make you seem like you don't know what you're talking about.



Enter the conversation your readers is having in their head and address their concerns in the most likely order they will have them in.

   

Step 1 of 5 of Editing Your Copy: Evaluate the Opening

Is your opening the right opening. Sometimes, it is what you write after your initial opening that needs to be the true lead. Since this is where you'll hook or loose your reader, pay special attention to this part of your copy.

   

Don't Mess with the Language

A very wise writing teacher once said something to the effect that you should always follow the rules of grammar ... except when you shouldn't. The trick is knowing when you shouldn't. So, unless you have a very good reason to break the rules of grammar, don't. Poorly written copy can really effect your authoritative position - I know this first hand because I have dyslexia. If I'm not very careful ... and even sometimes when I am ... bad grammar and spelling mistakes get past me. And they have, on several occasions, cost me a job or promotion.

   

Back up your claims in your writing

You don't want to just stand on a hill and proclaim your superior knowledge. You want to back your expertise up with solid proof. Facts and figures can be used for this purpose, but case studies and testimonials also work well. Be detailed about your proof. Cite resources and references. Don't be shy. Associating yourself with experts, believe it or not, can lend you expert status, as well.

   

Use Facts and Figures in your writing

Including facts, figures and results of surveys can lend your copy an air of authority. Also, when used correctly, they can help you make a point or emphasize a message. Share your resources, too. Third party verification also gives you credibility.

   

State the Benefits and Advantages for more compelling copy

Again, this is more for sales copy writing, but can also be used to got effect in information articles, as well. What ever product, service or idea you are writing about will have benefits and drawbacks associated with it. Tell your readers about them and you'll come across as more honest and trust-worthy.

   

Use Your USP for More Compelling Copy

When you are writing copy to sell something, be sure to include its unique selling proposition or USP. This will help you hone your copy to the most important benefits or features you have to offer. Being this focused and on topic will help create the authority you're looking for. Make the statement clear so your readers will understand immediately the message you are trying to communicate.

   

Know Your Topic

This should go without saying, but there are plenty of people out there writing about topics they know nothing about and didn't even take the time to do a little research. When you write, you should know your topic well enough to be able to show your readers that you not only know what you're talking about, but that you have an idea of what they might want to know about the topic. Believe me, readers can tell if you are bluffing.

   

Use Local Language for Geo-Centric Target Markets

If your ideal client lives in a specific geographic region, be sure to reference this information in your web and marketing copy. It will not only help readers know they are in the right place, but it will also enhance local search ranking for your website.

   

Defining Your Website's Target Market

If your website is going to be effective, it needs to speak to your target market. In fact, to be truly effective, it needs to speak to your ideal client. Do you know who that is?



One way to define your market is to take a good look at your current clients and identify those characteristics and qualities that are common among those whom you enjoy working with.



Do your best clients:



* come from the same or similar industry or profession?

* have the same or similar type of business?

* share a particular personality trait or outlook on life?

* fall within a narrow age range, geographical location or income level?



Look for trends that you can find within your list of clients and you'll have a very good clue as to what your target market might be.

   

Business Card Basics Tip #2: Your Logo

If you've got a well designed logo, let it subtly dominate your business card. It is a visual representation of your brand and will catch the eye of members of your target market.

   

Article Marketing Tip #7: Use Facts & Figures to Support Your Statements

Using specific facts and figures can heighten the reading experience of your article because it makes it authoritative. But don't make it too formal. It should be light and easy in theme and flow. Like a friendly teacher having a little chat with an eager student.

   

Use Industry Specific Language for Specialized Target Markets

If your ideal client works in a specific industry or profession, use the "special language" of that group when writing copy for your website and marketing materials. Every industry or profession has it's own common terms that mean something specific to members of that group. Using this language will show that you understand them.

   

Call out your ideal prospect with your home page headline

The first thing someone will read when they land on your home page is the main headline. Does it give them a reason to stick around? Too many times, people use "Welcome to my website" as their main headline. But this is just a waste of virtual real estate.

You can attract your target my naming them in either your pre-headline or even the main headline. Here are some examples:


  • Advice to Wives Whose Husbands Don't Save Money - By A Wife

  • Who Ever Heard of a Woman Losing Weight -- And Enjoying 3 Delicious Meals at the Same Time?

  • To People Who Want to Write -- But Can't Get Started

Do you see the target markets named? Wives with spend-thrift husbands, women trying to loose weight and want-to-be writers. Naming your target market up front can help you efficiently "weed out" visitors who you don't (or don't want to) serve.

   

Improve home page headlines with your biggest promise or benefit

The first thing someone will read when they land on your home page is the main headline. Does it give them a reason to stick around? Too many times, people use "Welcome to my website" as their main headline. But this is just a waste of virtual real estate.

One way to go with your headline is to tell your visitors up front what's in it for them to stick around. Here are some examples:


  • Who Wants a Screen Star Figure?

  • Hands that Look Lovelier in 24 Hours -- Or Your Money Back

  • You Can Laugh at Money Worries - If You Follow This Simple Plan

Do you see the benefits proclaimed? The first promises a movie-star figure, the second, better looking hands and the third, freedom from financial stress.

When you make a big, bold promise you will instantly attract the attention of a visitor who is a member of your target market.

   

Make your research come to you

One way to find ongoing inspiration is to set up a Google Alert for your key words and key word phrases. Be sure to make it a comprehensive search so you'll receive inspiration from all over the web. This little tip brings inspiration directly to your email inbox on a regular basis. And you can decide if it comes in daily, weekly or even as it happens.

   

Get inspired with key word research

What key words are members of your target market using to search for information that you can provide? You should be using these key words to in your articles, in your domains, and in all aspects of your online marketing, But also when you find those longer keyword phrases, they can also inspire you with a topic of your articles, products and marketng messages.

Looking for a hungry target market that is ready to buy? Find key word phrases that include the following key words: "How to," "Review" or "Tips."

   

Make your resource box drive traffic to your website

At the end of every article your post to article directories, as well as some other places, there is a paragrah called either a "bio" or "resource" box. This valuable real estate is what will drive the reader to your chosen landing page. Write content for this area so that it does these two things:


  1. Transitions your readers seamlessly from the content of your article to your pitch or offer.

  2. Provides the reader with a compelling reason to click on your link.

These things are crucial. If you don't transition the reader to your offer, they will know it is separate content and may skip reading your resource box altogether. And, if you don't give the reader a compelling reason to click on your link, they won't.

   

Get found by using the right key word phrases

Whenever you post content to the Internet that is meant to promote your business or increase your visibility, be sure to optimize the content and its title for key word phrases your target market is actually entering into search engines to find products and services like yours. You do this by conducting key word research.

Basically, you go to a key word research tool and enter key words that you think are relevant. The tool will generate a list of related key words and phrases that are being entered into search engines within the past few days. Read through this list to see if you're right and to further fine tune your list key word phrases.

This sort of research often can suggest a good title and from the title, you can write a content-driven article.

   

Optimize your articles for your chosen key word phrases

To make sure that your article or blog post is found, you'll need to optimize it for the key word phrase. So, let's say you've chosen to write your article about "[your city] weather."

The first thing you need to do is include that phrase as early in your article title as possible. For example: "[Your City] Weather and Your Shoes" or "[Your City] Pet Sitting: How To Choose the Right Sitter for Your Pet."

Then you need to use the key word phrase in your article a few times. But don't over do it. About once for every 150 to 175 words is good.

Using these quick local article marketing tips, you can develop several articles to post to directories and start driving focused traffic to your website or offer.

   

Find Out What They're Searching For Locally

Is your target market local? One way to find out what they might be looking for online is to do some keyword research.

When doing your research, be sure to include your location. For example, if you offer allergy relieve, then you might research key words and phrases such as "[your city] allergies" and "[your state] allergy."

Keep an eye out for key words and phrases with decent search volumes of about 50 or more Google daily estimated searches). This will assure you that your article is more likely to have a good amount of traffic.

Once you know what the burning questions are, you can answer them in your article. Better yet, create an opt-in bonus that answers the question at a deeper level and use the article to tease them with part of the answer. Your resource box then points them to your more developed answer to their burning question. This will help you grow your list of local prospects.

   

Use sub-heads to make your articles more readable

I've used this technique in this article. Do you see how I've broken up the section using bolded sub-heads?

Sub-heads break each point in an article into clearly delineated sections, that are still part of the whole article.

It also makes it easy for the reader to move on from one point to another; the transition is smooth and easy. You are less likely to lose your readers attention (unless the sub-heads are not of interest), as well as the point and direction of where the article is going.

   

Numbers and bullets can make your articles more readable

There is something about lists that just look easier to read. Use this psychology to your advantage. When you can, list things using numbers or bullet points.

As each point, tip, guide or method is started with a bullet or point, readers will know that this is where the tips start. Format your bullets and numbers with indentations so that your article won't look like a single block of square paragraphs.

   

Make your article more readable: Use short paragraphs

Forget what your English teacher taught you about paragraphs.

Keep your paragraphs short and focused. Break up longer paragraphs so that they don't present your reader with a large chunk of text.

You see, when paragraphs are very long, the words get jumbled in the mind of the reader. Just looking at a large chunk of text - especially on the web - can get quite confusing and too much hard work to read. The reader will just quickly disregard the paragraph and move on to much easier reading articles that are easy to look at, as well as read.

   

Use Facts and Figures to Get Your Articles Read

Using specific facts and figures can heighten your article because it makes it authoritative. But don't make it too formal. It should be light and easy in theme and flow. Like a friendly teacher having a little chat with an eager student. Another benefit of using facts and figures, is that they are easily placed into lists, thus making your article more readable by breaking it up and adding in white space.

   

Get Your Articles Read by Providing Valuable and Readable Content

Make sure your content provides valuable and relevant information. Make that information easy to read and you've got them hooked. Stories are very good technique - people love stories. Make them have a universal theme... something that many people can relate to.

Use good descriptions and metaphors to drive home your points. Of course, do this tactfully... you don't want to overdo it. Using metaphors and similes can make it easy for readers to imagine what you are talking about. Making the experience of reading your article pleasurable and enjoyable.

   

Great Titles Get Your Articles Read

If your title can provoke a person's curiosity you're halfway to getting a person to read your article. Use statements and questions that use keywords people are looking for. For example, this article is about article marketing and used that phrase in my title.

Provide titles and sub-heads that describe your article's content but also are short and concise. Get rid of the fluffy adjectives and stick to active verbs.

You can arouse curiosity by using titles like, "5 Tips for _____", or "How to ______." You can also be more direct and use titles that command people, such as "Make Clients Open Their Wallets in Six Easy Steps." These types of titles reach out to a person's emotions and makes them interested.

   

Article Marketing Tip: Write a Compelling Resource Box

When you submit your article to article directories, you are allowed to include a special paragraph at the end of each article called a "resource box." Inside this box, you can include a link back to your website. But, if you don't present that link in a compelling way, you won't get the traffic you are looking for.

Don't make the common mistake of using the resource box for your bio. Readers don't really care who you are as much as they care what you can do for them. Tell them in the resource box!

Your resource box must grab the attention of the reader... just as the title and article did. To do this, you should make them a compelling free offer using key words that speak to why they read your article in the first place.

   

Business Card Basics Tip #4: Printing Options

Yes, you can go to the office supply store, buy some business card stock and print your business cards from your own printer. But this does not make professional impression. Especially since you can get a set of good quality business cards printed for less than $30 from vendors like VistaPrint.com. So invest in your business card and make a good first impression. If you won't invest in your business, why should a prospect?

   

Increase the popularity of popular blog posts with link clusters.

According to ProBlogger.com, a link cluster "is a group of links that you can point at a post or page to improve its search engine ranking." When you know which posts are more popular (look at your stats), you can increase their search engine ranking and popularity by linking to them from other posts on your blog. Choose popular posts that use key words you're trying to rank high for and this technique could be golden for your blog's traffic.

   

Personalized Email Gets Opened More Often

It's a busy and message-crowded world. In marketing your company, you have to come up with attention-grabbing ideas that will get your target market to notice you above the fracas. Here's an idea to get you brainstorming.

Personalized Email

Just like our mailboxes, our email inboxes can get flooded with advertisements. So as a business owner, how do you get your email to be read?

If you research a small group of people that may need your services, you can send a targeted message that won’t end up in their junk boxes. It will take longer than your typical mass email, but your results are guaranteed to be much better.

Open with an introduction of you and your company, as well as what benefit you can provide that particular person. If you know something about the reader, let it show.

   

Article Marketing Tip #6: Keep Them Interested from Start to Finish

From your opening paragraph, use real life situations that can be adopted by the reader. Stories are very good -- people love stories. Use good descriptions and metaphors to drive home your point -- just don't over do it. Using metaphors and similes can make it easy for readers to imagine what you are talking about. Making the experience of reading your article pleasurable and enjoyable.

   

Article Marketing Tip #5: Use An Attention-Getting Title

If your title can entice a person's curiosity you're already halfway to getting a person to read your article. Use statements and questions that use keywords people are looking for. Provide titles or headers that describe your articles content but also are short and concise.

Use titles like, "5 Tips for _____", or "How to ______." You could also use titles that command people, for example, "Make Clients Open Their Wallets in Six Easy Steps." These types of titles reach out to a person's emotions and makes them interested.

   

Article Marketing Tip #4: Use Subheads to Break Up the Page

Using subheads creates white space and breaks each point into sections. It also makes it easy for the reader to move on from one point to another; the transition is smooth and easy. You are less likely to lose your readers attention (unless the sub-heads are not of interest), as well as the point and direction of where the article is going.

   

Article Marketing Tip #3: Use Numbers and Bullets

As each point is stressed, numbers and bullets can quickly make the point easy to digest. As each point, tip, guide or method is started with a bullet point, readers will know that this is where the tips start. It also provides white space, which can increase reading comprehension. Format your bullets and numbers with indentations so that your article won't look like a single block of square paragraphs.

   

Article Marketing Tip #2: Use Short Paragraphs

When paragraphs are very long, the words get jumbled in the mind of the reader. Just looking at a large chunk of text -- especially on the web -- can get confusing and be too much work to read. The reader will quickly disregard the paragraph and move on to articles that are easy to look at, as well as read.

Paragraphs can be a single sentence, sometimes even a single word!

   

Article Marketing Tip #1: Know Your Stuff

In an ideal world, you should write articles about topics you know something about. When you write about it, you won't have a hard time because you already know your stuff! It's just a matter of making your articles creative, interesting and easy to read.

   
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Carma Spence-Pothitt