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Topic: buzz marketing

Buzz Marketing Speech

Wednesday I am doing a Buzz marketing presentation at the Cleveland AMA.  This is my second time speaking there, and it is an great, professional group to go talk to.

They are billing me as a buzz marketing speaker but I tend to think of myself as an Internet marketing speaker – or a lead generation speaker.  I am kind of tired of everyone jumping on the social media bandwagon and talking about the advantages of connecting with the audience with social networking sites.

Instead, I now talk about how to build sites and techniques to attract the right kind of people – potential buyers – and how to encourage them to take action.

The tricky thing about the AMA presentation is that I will be discussing Buzz marketing because that is how they promoted me.  The good news is that customer generation is all about building a content and sales funnel, and Buzz marketing still helps you attract more people into the beginning of your sales funnel.  So it is still relevant.

I just hope that people do not come expecting for more of a PR and Buzz spin.  They might be disappointed with the emphasis put on measuring and tracking ROI on content and Internet marketing strategies.

Buzz Marketing and Lead Generation

Measuring Buzz marketing results is all about proper lead generation strategies and having a sales process.

All too often, people want buzz marketing and they think that if there is a lot of buzz, things will just happen.

Sometimes that may be true – but more likely you willl generate some interest that will quickly fade and result in little actual ROI.  However, if you craft a lead generation technique and then use Buzz marketing to enhance the exposure of your lead capture tool, you can show a huge ROI.

What this means is that you are not doing a Buzz marketing Campaign unless it is part of a well crafted sales process.  Buzz marketing and Social Media are great for getting people to come to the top of your sales funnel and peer down.  But unless your sales funnel is good at generating leads and following the sales process through to a transaction, you are going to be spinning your wheels trying to grow your business on casual interest and no clear outcome.

To counter this probelm, work first on perfecting your lead capture and sales process.  You can use something like aWeber to capture information and build a list.  You can get a CRM and build a better sales process.  There are many, including SalesForce, Zoho, vTiger and SugarCRM.  I personally have used all of these and currently use SugarCRM on Bluehost and used oDesk to hire a programmer to set it up for me.

Set up was under $200 and monthly is less than $10.  Not bad to get a tool that is helping me grow my business very fast.

Lead Generation and Sales must be your first focus if you are looking for ways to increase revenue.  Get those processes well defined and proven, and then invest in Buzz marketing, Viral marketing or any other interest creating technique you want.

Buzz Marketing Campaigns

Over the last year, we have really taken our focus away from Buzz marketing and turned it towards lead generation with content marketing.  Why?  Because it is very measurable.  It is a clear lead acquisition strategy that works and it has a great ROI.

But what if you want to do a Buzz marketing Campaign?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing a buzz marketing campaign.  These types of marketing campaigns can be very effective.  The problem with trying to sell it is that people think that Buzz is the outcome.  Actually, just like content marketing, Buzz marketing must be the way that you drive prospects into the top of your sales funnel.  And that means that before you launch a Buzz marketing Campaign, make sure you have a great lead acquisition tool and proven sales process.

I know that buzz is way more sexy than talking about lead acquisition.

But proven results with great ROI are much better than lots of buzz and no money to show for it.

Honestly, I am just tired of all the different marketing terminology being created.  Inbound marketing, Content marketing, Buzz marketing, Viral marketing, Social Media marketing, Attraction marketing….

Don’t fall in love with the wrapper.  Build a sales funnel and find creative ways to help people find you and opt to become your lead because you are so nice and helpful.  The only thing hard about this is shutting out the noise and clutter and focusing on results.

Internet Marketing Results

More than 10 years ago I began doing internet marketing.  Not like those crazy guru internet marketers that blast you with affiliate links and offers all the time, although I would probably be more wealthy today had I went that route.  Instead, it was 10 years ago I started helping companies build websites, publish eMagazines, and built audiences on the internet.

I am telling you this for a couple of reasons.  I am going to tell you a secret that will change the way you think about internet marketing, whether you are selling internet marketing services or looking to get internet marketing results.

The internet marketing secret is: To do internet market right, you have to continually do it and add to it and keep up with technology.  And you need a lot of hours or money to do it well.

The good news is that you can start small and grow your internet marketing effort over time.  But you need to have realistic expectations.  Starting small probably means getting small results.  You have to be disciplined and keep doing it.

Now you may wonder why I am telling you it is expensive and time consuming.  I am not doing a very good job of selling internet marketing services, am I?

Well, ten years ago when we started doing Internet marketing, we were thrilled when we got our first client willing to spend $500 per month with us to do Internet marketing.  Of course, we were fairly new at it and we tried everything to see what worked.  Eventually, he saw he was not going to get the marketing cost back each month in sales – he was selling a book -  and we lost the account.

What I learned from that is that Internet marketing is hard if you are starting from scratch.  And while $500 may seem like a lot to some people, it is usually not nearly enough to make an impact.

How to get Internet marketing Results

I am going to list the ways that you can get real internet marketing results.  You have a lot of options, but if you are looking for a quick, easy and cheap fix, it is not in the list.

#1 DIY Internet marketing

You can do it all yourself.  However, there is a catch.  You have to have an automated business that is profitable and runs itself with little effort from you.  Why?  Because internet marketing is now your full time job.  You also should have some good money coming in, because to get good results you will need to do training courses, attend workshops and buy lots of books. Plus you will loose money experimenting with tool and advertising until you get your techniques down.

#2 Outsource Internet marketing Tasks

If you have the time and desire to do strategy and management, but do not want to spend your days writing blog posts, doing keyword research and hanging out in social media sites, then you need to craft your strategy, identify your high value tasks and hire a team of Virtual Assistants to help you.

The mistake someone makes here is thinking one person working ten hours a month is going to make a big fast difference.  Remember what I said earlier, Internet marketing gets results when you make a big effort.  I love the virtual assistant route, but you need a good plan, patience to find the right virtual assistants and to built a team that work on your behalf.

#3 Hire a Full Time Internet marketing Employee

Certainly hiring and training a full time internet marketing employee is a great option for some people.  Just be sure that you document everything (right, I have never seen this happen) and cross train people.  The problem with hiring a full time internet marketer is that as soon as they get good at their job, they have the skills to go out and make a lot of money for themselves.  So there is a good chance that once you get them where you want them, you will lose them.

#4 Hiring a Professional Internet Marketer

When you hire a professional internet marketer, you are paying a lot more.  But don’t feel like you are getting a bad deal because of the cost.  If they are any good at their profession, they have spent MANY hours researching, learning and experimenting with internet marketing.  Trust me, I spend most of my day doing non-billable internet marketing activities to learn and increase my own income.  When I am billable, you are paying for the experience, not just the hours.

Remember that internet marketing secret?

Remember that unfortunate internet marketing secret?  It is not fast and cheap, despite the hype you read from people trying to sell you things.  It is going to either be someone’s full time job or you are going to have to assemble a team or hire someone that can do the full time job in less time (but at a higher rate).

The good news about Internet marketing is that it grows and builds on itself and gets stronger when done well.  An advertisement starts at zero every month and you hope to get ROI.  An email list just keeps getting more powerful for you.  A blog will keep getting more search engine traffic if you work on it.  You can keep modifying your adwords and landing pages to increase profits until you get the perfect formula.

Internet marketing has the best long term ROI, but getting from here to there is no easy task.  And it is definitely not something you buy once and forget about.

Insane Buzz Marketing Deal

I am trying a little experiment with my email list and blog.

I like to do experiments with marketing to see what works. This week I am doing a special experiment to see what happens.

I am a parent, and we spend money and do fun things on our kids birthdays, but not really on our own. I am guessing I am not the only one like that out there.

So in about 1 week I turn 40-something.

I decided to package three things together and make them insanely low priced.

Then I would offer it for one day only and whatever I make will be what I spend on this unwelcome day.

If I sell a few things, maybe we will go to the movies.

If I sell 1,000, I will go to the beach. It could happen – I don’t know how many of you will want to take advantage of $20 off of a $29 3-pack of marketing eBooks.

The 3-pack includes:

- Buzzoodle Buzz marketing – a PDF of the published book.

- Buzzoodle Buzz marketing Strategy Guide – PDF worksheets to improve your buzz stories.

- How to Look Smart, Important and Attractive Online – PDF on personal branding.

Coupon Code: bday – $20 off of the $29 cost.

Click Here

The coupon expires at11:59 PM on Sept 23rd.


Keep an eye on the Buzzoodle Blog later in the week and I will let you know what happens. I am not sure I will ever offer those three things for $9 again, so if you have been on the fence, this is a good time to jump down and buy.

As always, thanks for reading.

Ron

Buzz Marketing Help

Secrets...I attended a local blog community meeting today and one thing that attending does is make me feel really good about the buzz marketing help I provide.

It gives me a chance to reflect on the things I have learned over the last month.  Things that may not be fantastic to me but really help others.

I was able to tell them about Amazon s3 and how to use the firefox extension to take advantage of it.  I was able to share some WordPress SEO secrets.  I talked about how I have adjusted my titles and writing style to get better visibility.

While I do not think of it as Buzz marketing Help, that is exactly what it is.  And I learn as much as I give.  My new Employee Evangelism Program is being launched soon and it targets bigger clients than I usually work with.   The other members that were there let me know which press release site to use and how to target the public companies better.

We talked for nearly 3 hours and would have kept going had several people not had meetings.  If you are not a part of a group like this, you need to be.  And if there are none in your area, start one.

Reflecting on the things I learned this month and giving general buzz marketing help to other bloggers is fun and makes me feel like the research I do really is appreciated.

Briz.com – Local Marketing

I had the good fortune to talk with the owner of Briz.com.

While I do not care about the “local market” around Kent, Ohio, I do care about great websites to do the following:

  1. Showcase my business
  2. Develop links to our sites
  3. Lock up search engine slots for our keywords
  4. Help us get to know more people

Here is my (uncomplete) profile on briz:  Buzz marketing Profile

As I spoke to Michael Librizzi I was impressed with his grasp of the needs for local businesses to have a way to promote themselves and network online.

What was a pleasant surprise for me is that it is not the usual social network with a few fields.  It is very comprehensive and I would wager that it is a better sales tool for some businesses than their static website.

Go give it a try.  For now it is free, but he is thinking about charging for it at some point.  If he does charge for it, I think the tools are worth paying for, but I am worried that the community would be much smaller.  So I hope he keeps a free version, maybe with less features.  But hey, I have been wrong once or twice.

According to Google – We are HOT for Buzz Marketing

I have been publishing this blog for years, trying to write good content at least a few times per week.

If it was not for the speaking and newsletter sign ups, I might have given up at some point.  Sometimes it seems like you are talking and no one is listening (probably because you are actually babbling, like I am doing now.)

So I felt a great deal of satisfaction today when I saw we are now the #2 expert site for the keyword “Buzz marketing.”

Buzz Marketing Expert Site

The fact is, I optimize the site for the keyword but I do not try to go out and solicit links and things.  I hope people link to the site because of the great content, and I put my effort into that.

This blog holds a very steady 2nd page ranking for Buzz Marketing, but getting to that first page has not happened in a while.  And I do not know how long it will be before we are knocked back down, but for today, we are the #2 highest authority for Buzz Marketing.  (I am taking out that #2 site that is just a definition of buzz marketing)

The take away, if you want to go after a term that is fairly broad and competitive, is that you have to create an expert site and keep writing.  And in the future, that is going to be even more true.  It is well known that Google has started factoring in content freshness and expert status of sites.

That is why we formed the Virtual Buzz Assistant Network – you have to be passionate about writing in your industry, or outsource content creators to help you develop your expert site.  Tomorrow my ranking might slip – but my goal is not any given day, but the long term strategy of creating content that matters.

Personal Email in Business

Un beau matinOver the weekend I sent out an experiment.  I have always kept my main email list very professional – with lots of useful free Internet marketing lessons.

But when I look at the people I read, they really do make you feel like you know them in the emails.  I get a lot of emails, and I open very few.  I get emails from companies that do marketing research, but the only emails I consistantly open are those by people I feel like I know.

So I realize a personal goal (weight loss) that I’d worked on for almost a year.  I still tied it into a marketing message but I was not selling anything and was just sharing my story.  I wanted to see the reaction.

Keep in mind that less than 1% of the people I sent the message to actually emailed me back (I did not ask them too) but still it was the largest response I’d ever gotten.

  • 1 Person said that I was sharing too much personal information
  • 1 Person asked if they could quote it in their upcoming book
  • 3 People shared their stories about weight loss, one asked some questions.
  • Many people congratulated me and expressed appreciation
  • One person so far wrote that it was inspiring on their blog. They talked about how it changes their approach to writing for their blog.
  • One person not on my list responded, saying it was being forwarded around.

I sent it out Saturday night (About the worst  time possible) and I am writing this Monday morning, so emails may still roll in.

Here are some important observations

  • People that feel like they know me really responded well to the message.
  • People that are in bigger companies that signed up for the free Buzz marketing course may not like it as well.
  • If my target audience is small business, the personal approach is very effective.  If my target is large organizations and busy professionals, it may be less effective and even alienate them – unless they have worked with me or seen me speak.

I wish I could get a thumbs up/down from everyone to give you more detail.  It is a perplexing issue as I would like to do more personal emails but I do not want to alienate some people.  If you read the email and did not reply to me, go ahead and comment on this post and let me know what you thought.

Virtual Marketing Assistant Expectations

Imagination I had the chance to meet with a prospective client for our VA Network last week.   Nice person, but very unrealistic expectations.  They did not even have a website but they wanted to generate a bunch of registrations for an event in one month.  I had to tell her we could not help her with that, but we could help with a long term internet marketing strategy.

Virtual Marketing Assistants are the best option for many small businesses. They are a perfect solution that is not as expensive as hiring a marketing agency, but not as difficult as a business owner doing all the internet marketing activities.

The top reason that a Virtual Marketing Assistant fails is that small business owners just want them to do too many things – and have unrealistic expectations for the outcome.

A Virtual Marketing Assistant can help execute your marketing plan. But your marketing plan better be better than “go out and create buzz for me”. If you do not have a clue of where you want to start, you need to hire a Internet & Buzz Marketing Agency to help you craft your marketing strategy. Then you can hire Virtual Marketing Assistants to help you keep your strategy going month after month.

And you can do it all yourself. Anyone can do Internet Marketing themselves, but it takes a lot of time and willingness to continually learn, test and create great information.  Often a good VA will be your best option to truly stick to your plan.

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