Creative Online Marketing | LIFE APOCALYPSE - Jim Kukral Speaker *Mindset *Lifestyle *Impact *Purpose - Part 4

Category Archives for "Creative Online Marketing"

You Have Ideas, Can You Spread Them?

Seth Godin has been a major influence on my marketing. The guy gets it, on many levels. I was just reading one of my favorite sites at Robin Good’s MasterNewMedia.org, where he features some advice from Seth.

Can you get your ideas to spread or not? He asks.

With people having less and less time available while products, services and choices keep increasing in number, the typical choice is to ignore ordinary stuff.

People want something special. Something that stands out. Something unique.

But even more important to understand is the fact that you can’t target your potential customers by making one size fits all type of product. You need to address and talk directly to those very individuals that are actively listening for exactly what you have to offer and go after them like a laser beam. But not by bombarding them but rather by lighting up the road they were seeking to find.

Here’s a talk Seth gave at the Ted show. Definitely worth a watch if you’re in the idea business.

Blogrush Proves A Brilliant Marketing Effort Will Always Win

This whole Blogrush situation just fascinates me, and I’m sorry to keep blogging about it, but I LOVE good marketing and buzz, and John Reese and Blogrush deliver.

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Case in point, what we’re seeing now is the sliding scale of backlash coming back about the product. Particularly, we’re seeing the guys who have had traffic exchanges for years come out of the woodwork saying stuff like “I did it already, and you just copied it, etc…” Check out this comment at Mashable from the guy who started Blogexplosion…

John

Your service is nothing revolutionary, new or even original for that matter …

I’m the original owner of BlogExplosion.com, the original traffic exchange for bloggers (which I ended up selling to LiveVideo.com some time ago)

Both BlogExplosion and Blogmad.net had text link exchanges (essentially what you do), where you can target by category etc.. But that was a couple of years ago.. You can talk up your technology to match content etc. but it’s mostly just that – talk

RELEVANT CONTENT, TARGETED – Bottom line this has been done before with exactly the same functionality (except we had a much larger userbase than you do)…

The point I’m trying to make is…

blogrush.jpgJOHN REESE MAY HAVE NOT CREATED SOMETHING TRULY ORIGINAL… BUT HE MARKETED IT AND POSITIONED IT BETTER!

This is going to sound crude, but here’s an example.

Two people could take a crap in a box and both try to sell it. But the guy who wraps it in the nicer package, the better marketer, is going to sell more boxes of crap.

Sorry dude who made Blogexplosion, and the other guys who are now feeling like they missed something. Guess what??

You did.


John Reese is a brilliant marketer. He positioned it perfectly. He got the sneezers in early to push it hard, and their minions followed suit. It was brilliant, and it worked, and even if it doesn’t last long term, he’s now sitting on probably a hundred thousand email addresses he can push income.com announcements and product to.

The summary…

Good marketing wins. I don’t care if your product is the same, or even better. The better marketing position will ALWAYS win short term. Now, personally, I refuse to market “crap in a box”. Not my style, even if I don’t get rich, I won’t do it. But you cannot argue my points above. John Reese did it again.

P.S. This does not mean you should focus on creating products that are not high-quality. In the long run, you will be able to create a long-term profitable business on the merits of a better product that solves problems… ALWAYS.

If Blogrush Proves Anything It’s That Bloggers Are Desperate

So now we’re starting to see results back from bloggers about how/if Blogrush is “working” for them. I have to admit, I’m hearing and reading that some are very happy with the return of “traffic” they’re getting, and not just the bigger bloggers, but it’s still early. Again, as I said before, I could be wrong. I just might be on this one. Note: The idea of Blogrush didn’t bite me, it was the marketing speak that did. Anyway…

Looking deeper, the real takeaway from this whole Blogrush explosion proves one HUGE point, and that is…

Bloggers are desperate for something that works. And they’re willing to try anything, even promoting something before testing and results, if they think it will send them on their way to blogging dreams.

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I don’t blame anyone for jumping on the bandwagon. Believe me, I get it. You want to be a pro blogger. You want to live the dream that so few have, of staying at home and writing your blog as a living. Or you just want to make a second income from your efforts. I DO get it.

So that’s why Blogrush blew up so fast. The promise of a “flood of traffic” was the EXACT marketing message that bloggers needed to hear. Then combine that with the critical X factor of “getting in early” to promote it to your friends so you could “earn credits from their signups”, and here we are. And as John Chow points out…

The key to doing well with BlogRush will be to use really enticing headlines and build up a lot of syndication credits. Just running the Widget should get you some referrals, but you will get much better results by blogging about it.

Marketing brilliance, and I told that to John Reese here on this blog and privately in an email.

Back to my point. Bloggers want it bad and they’re willing to try anything. That’s not a bad thing mind you, it’s simply an observation.

I’ll be releasing Scratchback.com in October (which is nothing like Blogrush), which I’m hoping will help bloggers with several problems they face. It’s obvious they are trying. Blogrush proves that.

How To Sell Ads On Your Blog Even With Hardly Any Traffic – A Step-By-Step Guide

I really don’t want to keep harping on Blogrush. I don’t hate it at all, and I’m not trying to scare anyone… I just think it won’t work for the majority of my low-traffic blogging brethren.

jfk_lowtraffic.jpgTime will tell. But rather than keeping bitching about my opinion of it, I’d rather help you, the low-traffic blogger who isn’t making any buck with your blog, with a few better ways/ideas to make some money with your blog.

Here’s my first idea, put to you in steps you can/should follow. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. In my opinion, this is a much better use of your prime real estate to generate profit for you down the road.

The problem for you? You have a low-traffic blog. You’re not a marketer, or do you wish to be one. You just know you like blogging and you wish that you could make a few extra bucks a month from your efforts. You’ve tried Adsense, didn’t work. You’ve tried Chitika, didn’t work. You’ve tried them all, they didn’t work. So you thought, “why don’t I sell some ads on my blog?” But you don’t know how to do that because you’re not a marketer. Plus, you have hardly any readers, so why would anyone want to buy an ad on your blog? So what do you do?

Step 1 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Make Some Room!
The first thing you have to do is make some space on your blog for some ads. I suggest you work 2-4 ad spots into the top of one of your sidebars. Pick a standard ad unit like 125×125 and reserve that space on your blog for those ads.

Step 2 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Explain Yourself!
Now build a page on your blog discussing ad rates. Make sure to include your monthly traffic stats (even if they are low) and also write a paragraph about what your blog is and why people like to read it, and who those people are. Advertisers want to know who they are reaching.

Step 3 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Track Advertisers Down!
The next step then is to identify some advertisers to pursue. Go to the more popular blogs in your niche and see who is advertising there. For example, if I wrote a tech blog, I would go over to Techcrunch.com and see who is buying ads there. Make a list of the top 10 companies to contact.

Step 4 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Pitch Them!
Send an email, or phone call if you can, to those companies telling them you’re giving away a free banner ad on your blog for 3 months. All they have to do is send you a 125×125 banner and you’ll post it up for free. Send them your ad rates page and explain to them that you’re simply trying to get noticed and that your blog is a good target for their potential customers. Be honest with them. Let them know that you’re giving them the free ad in hopes that in months time they’ll be interested in buying an ad from you, but will not be required.

Step 5 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Report & Track!
Now hopefully you’ve gotten some advertisers to take you up on your offer. Set their banner ads up and closely monitor how many clicks and impressions they are getting from your blog. At the end of every month, send a quick note to the advertiser letting them know how the free ad is doing. Make sure you’re using a tracking program if you can, like Openads.com which is free, but kinda complex to setup. Not totally necessary to use, but helpful.

Step 6 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Close Them!
At the end of the 3-month free ad, or right before the end, send your advertiser a summary report. Make your case. Ask them if they’d be interested in purchasing that spot now on your blog for a very low rate. Make it $100/month or something, whatever. Even if only one of them goes for it, you’re now making $1200 a year more than you were before.

Summary: This, in my opinion, is a much better use of your prime real estate than something like Blogrush, and is hardly any work really. Give it a try.

Cnet Misses The Point About Conversational Marketing

Cnet misses the point, completely.

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Who asked marketers to join readers online?… I’m suspicious when the “conversation” is initiated by the marketer and not the consumer.

I got news for you. The consumers asked for the marketers to do this. No, they demanded they do it. And it’s working for both parties.

I can’t help but view conversational marketing as a thinly veiled attempt by the ad industry to insinuate itself into the popular social media craze. Calling it a “conversation” makes it sound benign and implies that it is consensual.

What would you propose we continue on with then? Traditional one-way eat shit and like it advertising models?

You’re missing the point Elinor. This is a good thing, not a meaningless effort.

Everyone else is on board and is liking the results. Why aren’t you? Let go of the past and embrace progress.

Smart Opportunity Marketing – The Hillary Nutcracker

Let’s leave the politics out of this. My blog is mostly about online marketing. I’m going to assume this product is being sold by an entrepreneur, not a person who wants to diss Hillary. But who knows. Nevertheless…

Check out the Hillary Nut Cracker. Smart “opportunity” marketing in progress. Obviously with the 2008 election coming up… this should sell well.

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Plus, the video of course.

Best graphic on the page? See below.

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Bullet Proof Baby – Are You Taking Risks With Your Marketing?

Doesn’t your baby need a tazer? How about a bullet-proof stroller? Of course they don’t, hopefully, but that’s what makes this marketing great.

Check out this new campaign promoting the movie ‘Shoot em’ Up’. It’s called Bullet Proof Baby. It’s a fake ecommerce site full of insane “bullet-proof” baby products.

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What’s great about this as well is the subtle tie in to the movie. Look at the small graphic in the image above. I’ve pointed to it with arrows.

Another great thing is the use of video. Check out this “product test”.

Summary: Smart online marketers like this are beginning to show their skills more and more every day. This works because it’s funny, and it takes chances, and it integrates all of the right parts for attention-getting.

Notice how every item is “out of stock”? Pretty funny touch. Nicely done.

Are you thinking creatively to promote your business? Take a risk. Have some fun.

User Generated Video Is Going To Change Things

When I watched this video below of Barry Bond’s big home run, it occurred to me that devices like this little nifty pocket-size video camera are really going to change the face of citizen journalism.

How would a moment like this be captured normally? Your phone, as of today, isn’t going to take as good of video as this is. You’re not going to bring a big home cam around with you to sporting events, etc…

You’re going to have a device like this sitting in your pocket, ready to take video when you feel like it. In a year it’s probably going to be built right into your phone, and by then you’ll have enough bandwidth to upload the video directly to Youtube and other channels without even having to interface with your computer.

Things are changing… fast. I love it.

Would You Buy A Bag O’ Crap?

I don’t know about you, but I’m all over this promotion from Woot.com to buy a bag o’ crap. This kind of stuff just totally makes my day. It’s like my own site I made called: http://www.completeripoff.com/. Fun.

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Bag O’ Crap XXI

Wait, wait, why are you clicking that button? Don’t click! You don’t want this junk. Seriously, clicking that I WANT ONE button is a one-way ticket to disappointment and shame. You’ll cram a few useless clumps of consumer flotsam into your life, be out like eight bucks, and for what? For what? What is the sound of one hand crapping?

If you must proceed, CHECK THIS OUT. Somebody misunderstands this concept every time, so please READ THE BIG PRINT:

1. WHEN YOU ORDER THIS ITEM, YOU’RE ORDERING ONE (1) BAG WITH up to THREE (3) PIECES OF CRAP IN IT.

2. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SELECTING THE QUANTITY: THREE WHEN YOU ORDER.

3. YOU WILL WASTE FREIGHT IF YOU ORDER FEWER THAN THREE. And you’ll get less crap. Wait, why is that bad again? Do you people really need more crap?

You’re only getting one bag, no matter what. The order quantity you select is the number of crappy items we’ll put in your bag. Select THREE. Later, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of taunting the surprisingly large number of less observant Wooters who ordered less than THREE.

As usual, we promise nothing about the quality or the desirability of these bags or their contents, except to promise that their quality will be low and their desirability will be non-existent. The best quantity you could possibly order would be ZERO.

THE HOLY CRAP COMMANDMENTS v2.0:

I. Thou shalt expect nothing beyond one bag of some kind and your chosen quantity of crappy items (which should be THREE).

II. Thou shalt not whine and complain when some people’s crap turns out to be nicer than yours.

III. Thou shalt take a moment to consider whether you might be better off just not buying this crap.

IV. Thou shalt not order just one crap and blame it on anything but your own inattention.

V. To paraphrase Stephen Stills, shalt thou not get the crap you want, want the crap you get.

* The crap will be shipped via SmartPost, the crappiest shipping method available to us.