3 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Site

We all want more traffic to our site, but with so many websites on most categories out there, how do you win over similar sites with better traffic?  Here are some tips:

1) Go to these similar sites, preferably high traffic ones, and comment on posts there.  Don’t just comment anyhow, but give high quality, educational opinion or content.  This will attract readers of that other site to your site to find out more.

2) I have tried using offline advertising to bring more traffic to my online website.  I have tried online advertising too.  Guess which ones give better ROI?  Online ads of course!  There’s a huge, tremendous barrier and effort required to go from offline advertising compared to online advertising.  When you are reading newspapers, will you continue reading other articles or go to your computer to type in the url seen?  Most people will just continue reading, and will have all forgotten all about your website by the time they are done reading the papers.

3) On the internet, speed is everything.  Yesterday’s news is stale.  So do a twitter search to find real time comments about a particular matter, and either comment further on it, or leverage the comments on your own website, blog or social media.

7 Tips for Social Media Optimization

So, what's your social media language?

The biggest social media used today are Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channels.  Don’t forget blogs too.  Linked-in is great for professional and business to business connections, while Youtube is the second largest search engine after Google.  Facebook is explosive in membership growth, while Twitter allows you to share up to date short messages to your followers.  Blogs are diaries for regular entries on a certain subject, or many subjects.  Here are some tips on how to make full use of them:

1) There’s Google Reader, Twitter Search, Google Alerts and Google Blog Search that allow you to keep yourself updated on topics relevant to you.

2) Use facebook page not as just a ‘page’, but as a community portal to customers, potential customers and vendors.

3) How to get top ranked in Linked-in search: Make full use of the headline, work experience key words and summary key words too.

4) When you tweet, put your name after your tweet.  If it gets forwarded, your name, the source, gets forwarded to.

5) The biggest leverage for business in Youtube channels is to feature consumer testimonials.

6) If you get mental block in writing for your blogs, get yourself excited about a topic.  Then immediately write all your ideas down quickly.  I mean really quick, like as if you have a ferocious dog chasing you.  Don’t edit until you got it all down.

7) Model after good blogs.  A good one is Seth Godin’s.

Persuasion in Ads

The Annual Marketing Congress of Master Persuaders

As marketers, we need to be master persuaders.  Unlike Jedi Masters who can use their Jedi mind tricks, we have to use creativity and ingenuity to persuade others to part money for our products and services.  And I am sure the Jedi Masters will be forced to abandon their Jedi mind tricks, as it will never be legalized by governments.

First things first.  Attractive people can persuade better.  Again, attractiveness increases persuasiveness.  So if you are a salesmen or customer interface agent, get that haircut, facial and extreme makeover.  You have already increased your chances of winning someone over.  Another tip.  Dress like your clients.  They will feel a strange affinity to you, like they have known you for years.

Let’s review the master persuader, Robert Cialdini’s 6 factor of persuasion: reciprocity, social validation, commitment consistency, friendship/liking, scarcity and authority.  How do we apply that to ad writing?

First, the lowest level is to hit them with logic.  Tell them all the benefits and value they can get.  Compare with other competitive products and services.  Give them confidence that they are right to choose your products.

Next, give them the ability to impress others with your products.  Let your product exude coolness or be a status symbol.  Use a cool celebrity, or give your product an exclusive image of superiority.

Then, let consumers feel safe and certain by having an authority give their views on your products.  Let the experts endorse your products enthusiastically.  The consumers, who are swayed by authorities, will feel more comfortable buying your products.

Finally, use pain and pleasure.  Tell them of the potential pleasure they can get from your product.  Tell them how they can avoid pain and discomfort with your services.

The last thing I want to share with you is that after you have persuaded and motivated your target audience, tell them what to do next, clearly.  Consumers may be motivated emotionally, but if you don’t provide clear steps to follow, they may just let that feeling fade and not action on it.  That’s bad and wasteful of your efforts.

6 Ways to Make Banner Ads Better

Sometimes you wish that your online banner is as large as the real one.

Banner ads are still prevalent despite the upsurge of search and video ads marketing.  How do you make banner ads even better?  Here’s how:

1) Advertise to the right target audience.  Don’t waste money on those who are unlikely to buy your products, even after seeing your banner.

2) Ask questions.  This often gets interaction and some thinking going in the readers’ minds.  If it evokes curiosity, it is even better.  They will have to click on your banner to get to your site and find out more.

3) Use bright colors.  Green, blue, yellow and red all work well to get the eyeballs to take a second look.  Most web pages are cluttered, and if you don’t get the readers’ attention, you don’t get sales.

4) Have animations.  Get your banners’ contents moving.  Static banners are passe, and you need some motion to get the eyeballs looking there.

5) Call for action.  Get them to do something.  Say give a limited period promo, or give them a chance to win a trip to France.  Or have them buy directly from your website for a 30% off.

6) Change your banners often.  Try changing your banners at least once every 3 months.  Beyond that, it usually blends with the background and will not be given a second look by regular readers of that website.

How to Tell A Good Story

Spellbound your consumers with a good story.

The key to telling a good story is what the audience does after hearing it.  The audience hears your story, and they can choose to adopt it, or discard it.  When they adopt your story, they have become your advocates.

Every product or service that you market need to come with a great story.  That makes marketers story tellers.  We tell stories to certain kinds of audience that will bother to adopt our stories as their own.  These are the consumers that we can win with.

Frame your story according to how your target audience views the world.  Don’t change their world views, but rather build your story according to their world views.  If they think that mousetraps are better than rat poison, then design a better mousetrap.  Nobody wants to expend the energy to change their mind or worldviews.

If your competitors are already telling a good story, tell a different story.  Don’t tell consumers that the current story is wrong.  Remember consumers don’t like to be told that they are wrong.  Tell them a different story, and how it is more important than the current story.  Make the story stand out and unique.

Make it easy to spread to their friends and families.  The internet is a cost effective way today to spread your message quickly and effectively.

With growing affluence, most of today’s consumers have wants, not really needs.  They buy things that make them feel good.  Tell them how they can ease their lives with your products.  Or how your products can make them money, earn them status, and give them fun, miracles, safety, fun, pleasure or a sense of belonging to a group.

Consumers need more convincing if you have achieved awareness for your products already.  Give them testimonials and reviews, and let them convince themselves about your products’ efficacy.  They will then try it.  With a proven product, and an interesting story that can be spread easily, you will generate lots of word of mouth marketing for your products.  Success is then on its way to you.

Understanding Culture for Better Marketing

I just finished reading the book ‘The Culture Code’ by Clotaire Rapaille. A very interesting look at how our subconscious and social programming determine how we perceive things and events in life, and how whole cultures are shaped by these perceptions.

According to Clotaire, emotions are key to learning, and the keys to imprinting interpretations into our minds. We may not notice it, but a lot of our interpretations were shaped when we were young, on how our parents perceive certain matters, and how the society you live in shape your social programming.

In focus groups, there have been much controversy on whether consumers are really speaking the real truth, or do they answer based on what is expected of them. Do they even know why they like or dislike certain things and can articulate their opinions accurately?

According to the book, it’s not the content of what respondents say, it’s the relationship between respondents and the products. What role does the products play in their lives, and what is the relationship between the users and the products? How do the products make them feel, and how do the products affect their sense of identity?

Here are some findings that the author has discovered in the country of America. He found that sex = violence, health = movement/activities, doctors = hero, nurses = mothers, youth = mask (such as with lifting, botox, and anti-aging creams), money = proof of winning, shopping = reconnecting with life (material and social aspects), luxury = military stripes = money.

One brand that has made use of this finding is Pantene. As Pantene’s brand equity is ‘Giving You Healthy Hair’, it always depicts moving hair to denote hair health and wellness.

Sell stories or brands?

Consumers don’t buy brands, they buy stories. So create a good story behind your brand, such as country of origin, some special ingredients, celebrity association and special designs.

When you craft your ads nowadays, do think about engagement especially for online ads. Do you want consumers to just glance at your article for 3s after you have spent tens of thousands of dollars on it? Create content that engages, instead of simply persuading.

For each ad, have a point of view to your story. Catch the attention, cos’ good stories will not get read if you don’t catch the initial attention with good visuals and headlines. Of course, still incorporate selling messages and solve problems.

If you are having writer’s block, look at past verbatims you have obtained from your loyal consumers. Remind yourself why they love your brands. Use the keywords from their verbatims to write your ads.

I know this is controversial, but women make the world goes round. Sell to them all them time. Even for men’s products like cars and skincare, sell to the women as well. Look at P&G’s Old Spice ads in 2010 that sells men’s products directly to women. Women influences most purchases.

6 Tips to Earth Shattering Ads

1) Make large promises and once in a lifetime opportunities: This tactic I learned from Barnum’s circus, where Barnum will often sell the hype and big curiosity with big promises to reveal the bizarre things in life. This gets all the attention of the people, and most of them wanted to satisfy their curiosity.

2) Ingest the hype, not the product: A lot of health products in the past deals with selling the hype as well. I remembered a man who said he obtained special powers and strength by applying a secret ointment. And he demonstrated his powers in front of live audiences! Does it really work? I don’t know, but it sure attracted a large crowd.

3) Tell others of the pain you took to excel. Tell them commonplace things: We often take lots of pain to manufacture the products we made. Why not tell the pain to the consumers? Let them appreciate your products more.

4) We judge things by other people’s impressions. Go with the crowd: Tell them how your products have wowed many people.

5) Keep your USP consistent for a long time: If you got a fantastic tagline, keep it forever, till it stops working. M&M melts in your mouth, not in your hands!

6) Advertorial is like infomercial. Informercial often works better than ordinary 30s ads, as mentioned by Ogilvy. So Advertorials should likewise work well.

Word of Mouth Marketing Engine

Trying to outdo competition, especially bigger ones, with more ad spend is foolish. You will dry up your cash faster than you can say ‘Success!’. Think of guerrilla ways to beat them. Try to do things that are opposite to what they do. If they do more activities and events, underdo them with simplicity and clarity.

Use online marketing as a cost effective means of marketing. Have good contents for your online social media, blog and websites. Check what consumers dig with xrank in bing, oneriot and smartbriefs subscription.

For comprehensive content, try audio, video, blog, articles, expert interviews and newsletters. You can always translate the same content from one medium to another, so that you cross educate audiences who only access one type of media. Video, with today’s technology, is really easy to create. Use it to record testimonies from consumers, and the many ways to use your products optimally.

Subscribe to Wired inc, Entrepreneur, Businessweek and Fast Company. You can learn faster with up to date case studies and what similar businesses are doing.

You should also constantly update yourselves with what consumers are saying. Listen well, and the internet is a gift for modern marketers with its many discussion and comments from consumers. Use Google alerts, search.twitter.com, tweetbeep.com, boardtracker.com, backtype.com and socialmention.com to search for consumers’ discussions on your brands, products, services and company.

Elevate Your Self Esteem Through Brand Consumption

Marketers have since long past used images of happy, attractive people to associate with their brands. Skincare brands, pimple cream brands and hair care brands have used them. So have liquor, tobacco and car brands. In car exhibitions, you often find young and sexy models that are scantily dressed standing next to the new car models. Men have been found to find the car more attractive that way.

When women see pretty, sexy models on ads, they tend to feel themselves less attractive as they aspire to look as good as the models. Self esteem may see a drop, and the women wants to fix that. How? By consuming the brand that offers to remedy the situation. Be they slimming pills or ab exercisers, women will look for the panacea to revive their self esteem, and make themselves satisfied with their own looks again.

Do these kinds of marketing work? Seeing how many marketing images and messages still use this tactic today, you bet.