Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of MedPilot. I also advise a major Interscope rapper/actor and the non profit Blue Star Families on Politics and Tech. Previously, I’ve worked at Digitas and the premier marketing firm Bully Pulpit Interactive, which was created by the digital marketers of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Before we took in our recent round of funding, I was responsible for getting our name out there with virtually zero marketing budget. This was a much different experience then when I had millions of dollars at my disposal back in my ad agency days.
I was forced to get scrappy. Most of the things we did that are outlined below were completely free, which is always the right price.
Here are some of the things that worked:
Matt Buder Shapiro
I’ve generated leads a number of ways over the past 5 years an online fitness coach- referrals (a great free tool that’s within reach just with an ask), offering free challenges, short meal plans, crockpot dinner ideas but one of my favorite and most impactful has been through hosting giveaways. If you do it right by offering something up that your ideal clients would appreciate AND use a platform that requires social media shares for entry, chances are you won’t even need to spend a dime on advertising. It will go a lot of traction based on virtual word of mouth.
To keep it as low cost as possible, you could limit it to a service you provide or inventory you have on stock. There are a number of options out there to set one up. I’ve tried several and my favorite is gleam.io. There is a small cost involved ($39 USD per month to be precise) if you’d like to gather email as part of the entry process – which you absolutely should do if your point is to generate leads. If you simply want to increase social media likes/comments/shares, you can get by with free version. The paid version is IMHO worth the money.
It’s super easy to set one up and you can embed it within your blog or website (marketers who use FB pixels for advertising will find this a nifty feature for follow-up ad campaigns).
Online Fitness Coach
Tailored customer journeys using autopilothq.com
There are no shortage tools and tactics and platforms meant to drive traffic to your website, but a lot of business owners overlook a far more important question: How do you keep the quality visitors engaged?
The answer, in my opinion, is to create tailored customer journeys. By that I mean; dynamic messaging that changes depending on the individual visitor’s prior interactions with your brand.
In the example of a car dealership, a first time website visitor should receive a completely different set of messaging than a visitor who has applied online for financing. This can obviously be done at the level of automated email replies, but the right tools can take it much further than that.
For example; returning visitors can be greeted by name with a chat box, be offered discount codes, be put on drip email campaigns based on their clicks and opens of previous emails, and even be sent physical mail of sms messages.
There are a number of tools available to streamline this process, but autopilothq.com is our tool of choice.
**** We are not affiliated with this product at all. This is a genuine endorsement. ****
“Use social media and your email newsletter to give your social media followers and current customers fun deals they can get excited about. We connect with our current customer base by offering our e-newsletter subscribers exclusive JUST4ME discounts. Every week, we put one of our pieces on a special JUST4ME discount and advertise it in our newsletter and to our social media followers. Not only has this resulted in new purchases from existing customers, but it has also helped us really grow our social media and newsletter followings!” – Claudia Montez, founder of IsabelleGraceJewelry.com
Claudia Montez is the founder of the Isabelle Grace Jewelry line that offers elegant, simple, unique, and customizable pieces inspired by the most important things in life: family, children, and love.
“At Isabelle Grace Jewelry we believe in the beauty and integrity of all of our handmade pieces. All Isabelle Grace Jewelry pieces are made in the USA by local artisans using recycled metals whenever possible. There is no assembly line; no mass production. We are proud to be a part of your story- all jewelry is personalized to you; made consciously by us.” – Claudia Montez, founder Isabelle Grace Jewelry
Summary: Tips on how to market- creative strategies
We are in the era of the customer; it is a consumer world and companies have to gear up in order to stay visible. Marketing strategies for your business can be financially costly and if not executed properly, can also have a negative effect on your company’s branding. So what can you do to be customer-centric without breaking the bank? Here is a guide to marketing strategies that work, some classics and some new perspectives:
1. Define your target market – This may be obvious to some, but many companies aren’t familiar with their client “personas”. Know who the people able and interested in buying your products or services are. This can be found through general market research of your industry, surveys or analytics pulled from your site visits. Once you know your demographic you will be able to concentrate on targeting just them. Correct usage of this information may put your marketing dollars to work more efficiently.
2. Have a logo – Sounds like a no brainer, right? Many of our clients come to us to help push sales, but have never had a logo. Your logo should be relevant to the type of business you are and the business name. It should also contain colors that speak to your demographic. Either have your designer or yourself research the psychology of color and discuss how it can be integrated into the logo design. Lastly, be sure the design is clear and high quality as this is the image you will use for marketing collateral, website and all of the company’s branding.
3. Social Media – Posting to your company’s Facebook page isn’t enough anymore. Invest in ad buying on platforms relevant to your clients. An underutilized platform is Pinterest; more and more people are purchasing items right from Pinterest with the help of rich pins and buyable pins. Rich pins works with a code that you add to your site, when someone pins the item it automatically displays price and where to purchase item. But better yet Pinterest also has buyable pins, this adds the “buy now” button right to the item on Pinterest. Pinterest also offer ad buys and analytics. Regardless of which platform your company uses, it is important you interact with consumers. We recommend a social media monitoring tool so you don’t miss an opportunity to engage.
4. Google Adwords – This is a great way to get your ad to relevant customers. What’s more is that you can start with any budget and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Adwords purchases are based on bids which can be capped to a specific daily budget or monitored and changed as needed depending on your goals. Companies can also advertise locally or globally, can track ads to see what ads/adwords are working and can change ads or try new adwords as needed. I strongly recommend working with an agency who can design ad, landing page(s) and beta test all ads to see what is yielding the best results. It is also important that you know your sales goals to better select your campaign type(s).
4. Landing pages and Websites – The most important thing is to be mobile responsive. How many people are waiting to get home or to the office to wait to check out a site or make a purchase? Make sure your website is mobile ready or responsive. Also, when consumers visit your website as a result of e-mail marketing or a social media ad, they want to see an extension of the marketing piece that brought them to your website. Ideally, all ads should lead to a landing page that contains only information relevant to the ads they clicked on. However, if your budget is limited to ad design and ad buys, focus on ensuring your website message correlates to your ads. All of these steps will make it easy and inviting for the consumer to purchase your products or services, and remember to keep your shoppers safe.
5. Email campaign – Email campaigns are the most effective way to get your company and product in front of existing and new customers. One vital component to an email campaign is segmentation. Be strategic about who to send your campaign to; age, location and buying habits should be considered. Also, don’t be afraid to make the unsubscribe button more visible, this helps to only email those who are truly interested. Once you’ve established who to email, develop relevant content that is geared to your clients interests. Keep your message easy, short , direct and remember to always adhere to government marketing guidelines.
6. Start blogging – Blogging is a great marketing tool for business, it is also another opportunity to engage your customers and generate interests. Gone are the days when blogging was just used to chronicle personal journeys. So have fun with your blogs, create an interactive experience by providing relevant trainings, sharable content, quizzes and maybe even games. It will drive traffic to your website, which can turn into leads, it is also very important for Search Engine Optimization. Finally, it will build your reputation as a field expert in your industry. Remember to spread the word by posting links to each of your blog entry on all your Social Media accounts.
Written by: Veronica Cintron, CEO, V+R Digital Branding Agency, A Branding, Marketing and Web Agency.
“We help your business thrive in a digital world.”
One great trick is to think of current websites that your users use to conduct their business. For example, when AirBnB was getting started, they needed a ton of listings. They would visit Craigslist posts for rental homes and contact the poster asking if they wanted to also share their listing for free on AirBnB. They were able to add thousands of properties using this strategy.
I hope you are well. I am responding to the HARO request that you sent out earlier relative to creative social media, lead generation marketing strategies that are low budget, yet work.
Just in the event you were curious, I have been featured in numerous publications including AdAge, CIO, AMEX Open, Duct Tape Marketing, and others. I also have the pleasure of managing almost 20 search marketers who utilize many of these tactics to achieve success in the face of high budget competitors.
There are dozens of low cost tactics a business owner (or marketing department) can employ to reach target consumers online, but most require creativity, time, and subject matter expertise.
Think like your consumer. What sites do your consumers visit and what types of questions are they asking? Are you in HVAC? Then your consumers might be looking for helpful information related to the amount of money they could save by using Geo-Thermal heating vs. Electric heating. Consumers might turn to sites like Yahoo! Answers, Quora, or even the comments section of your local news outlets for expertise and providing them with that helpful information put your name/brand in front of them, as well as showcases your subject matter expertise.
You can replicate the same on your own website, by providing a piece of helpful content. The word blog is thrown around way too much online, but you basically need to create content that is helpful to your consumer base. Increasingly, consumers are typing questions vs. keywords into search engines and given the localized nature of search today, consumers in your area stand a potentially higher chance of seeing your content, thus making you more likely to obtain this upper funnel query.
Additional tactics that business owners (and marketers) could utilize to attract consumers are tactics like creating a checklist for consumers to follow. This includes items such as a budget checklist, buying guide, flooring calculator, etc..) These summarized lists make it easy for the non-expert to follow and when they experience something outside of their expertise, they already have heard of you and more likely to look to you to satisfy their needs.
I work with some of the countries top real estate agents and founders of Los Angeles #1 firm, The Agency, MAURICIO UMANSKY and BILLY ROSE. In just 4 years, they have caught the attention of some of America’s most recognizable properties, closing over $6.2 billion in transactions to date.
Mauricio and Billy set out to disrupt the traditional mold of selling homes by doing something no other real estate firm had ever done successfully- they built an in-house creative team that provides custom tailored marketing and sales strategies for buyers, sellers, developers and investors across the globe calling it THE AGENCY CREATIVE.
THIS video marketing their Playboy Mansion listing (the most expensive listing in America) was paired with a movie trailer, and marketing campaign.
The SOCIETY Group
Corinne and I’m a full time marketing freelancer based in San Francisco. I work with a lot of smaller, start-up brands such as 24 East and Chrome Industries who are of course extra mindful of budget and ROI.
My #1 cost effective tip? Partnerships! Building mutually beneficial relationships with complimentary brands amplifies awareness of all parties, providing each brand with unique content to publish through various outlets (social media, newsletters, blogs, etc.), eventually resulting in organic, loyal lead generation.
Please let me know if you’d be interested in further discussing, or if I can help any questions at all.
• Company: JVM Design
Creative Director at a small design and marketing agency, JV Media Design (JVM).
Here’s a couple strategies we’ve used with our own clients. If you need any more input or information, just let me know.
Strategy 1 (works if you’ve got a physical product: The first step is to target the social channel where your audience is most likely to be. Next, engage your audience with a campaign that, on the surface, is all about them. For instance, create a “hack our product”. Yes, your product is in there, but it’s how the customer has found a creative way to use it. Take it a step further and allow interactive voting on the best hack with a price package at the end of the campaign.
Strategy 2 (works for any company): Tell your story. This is not something that will get you immediate leads, but it’s a sure fire way to infuse personality into your brand. Content you would create for this on-going campaign would be in the form of personal images (company culture, trips, volunteering, interacting with customers, etc.) and short stories (“That time when we did _______”). This is one of the more creative strategies we’ve used because it spills over into real life. It takes a brand, and makes it human, and fans react.
Creative Director http://www.jvmediadesign.com
• Company: Walrus
Sarah Hrusovsky and I work at Walrus (http://www.walrusnyc.com/), a NYC-based creative advertising agency that works with national brands including General Mills, Emergen-C (Pfizer), AMC, HBO, Pret a Manger, and Conde Nast, among others. I saw your post in HARO and wanted to share the following tips for creative marketing strategies from Deacon Webster, co-founder and chief creative officer at Walrus.
Deacon specializes in helping clients – who are under mounting pressure to deliver ongoing content to consumers in the face of shrinking budgets – maximize their marketing dollars without sacrificing creative integrity. He recently gave a presentation on this very topic at Dig South, a tech and marketing festival in Charleston. Here’s a link to more info on his talk: http://bit.ly/1WGFXFH.
Deacon’s tips and bio are provided below. Please let me know if you can use his commentary or if you have any follow up questions.
Thanks in advance for considering! Look forward to your thoughts.
Tips from Deacon Webster, co-founder and chief creative officer, Walrus:
• Owned assets are a low budget’s best friend. Even if you don’t have any money, you still have your website, your emails, your packaging, and these can be powerful tools to get people talking, sharing and engaging with your brand. Think about how much love Snapple engendered simply by putting a clever message on the underside of their caps. Is your website the type of thing people might tell a friend about? Why couldn’t it be? What if your mission was to be send people emails so good, useful, entertaining, that everyone wanted to be on your mailing list lest they miss something amazing? If you have a store, even better, you have windows, napkins, signs, employees that all can be used to make the world fall in love with your brand, use them.
Deacon Webster Bio: Deacon co-founded Walrus in 2005 with his wife, Frances, based on a mission to change the way the world feels about advertising by filling it with ideas that are smart, funny, and respect people’s time and intelligence. Under his leadership, Walrus has had triple digit growth and was named the 2012 “Northeast Small Agency of the Year” by Advertising Age. The agency’s work has been recognized by top industry awards including the One Show, D&AD, Cannes Lions, Art Directors Club, Communication Arts, Clios and Effies, and Advertising Age called Walrus’ “Expense-a-Steak” campaign for New York steakhouse Maloney & Porcelli “one of the cleverest ideas we have seen in 24 years of ad reviewing.” Prior to Walrus, Deacon was the Chief Creative Officer at New York City-based advertising agency Mad Dogs & Englishmen, the same agency at which he began his career as a junior copywriter in 1995. He quickly moved up the ranks and opened the agency’s San Francisco office, where he oversaw the creative department, before moving back to run the New York office. Deacon graduated from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.
• Company: The A Group
Pitch Title: Creative Marketing Tips for Tight Budgets
CEO and founder of Nashville-based marketing agency, The A Group‘s, Maurilio Amorim.
Since the agency provides marketing services for many nonprofit clients (who frequently work on tight marketing budgets!), Maurilio is always looking for cost-effective alternatives to traditional marketing strategies. Here are some of his tips for thinking outside of the standard marketing tool box and getting results through cost-effective strategies. If you have any questions or need anything else, don’t hesitate to ask. Happy to help!
Lead generation • Develop Premium Content: Premium content is great because it’s acquisition without hard costs — it does take time and energy from team members, but if you have that in house, you can do it for basically free.. Some great premium content ideas include video resources, white papers, articles, worksheets and downloads. Create a few solid pieces of premium content (it doesn’t have to be a lot; even four to five pieces can be enough to get you started). ◦ Promote each relevant premium pieces at the bottom of your blog posts with a designed call-to-action and link the call-to-action to a landing page where you require an email to download the content.
Please attribute all commentary from Holly Pavlika, SVP of Marketing & Content at Collective Bias:
“Incentivized learning is a great way to engage employees in marketing efforts, whether it involves selling products externally or increasing participation in internal trainings. Who would have thought puzzles and games would work as an incentive for professional development, but in our experience, employees will time out of their days to read and take the quizzes. At Collective Bias, we incentivized Grovo video trainings by creating a contest between our internal teams. Team with the highest video view count won a catered breakfast, and the individual with the highest accuracy quiz score (which you complete post-video training) received points towards company swag. This effort ensured that staff was not only educated on our latest initiatives, but it also served a fun alternative to the traditional marketing channels we use when deploying messaging.”
Here’s an interview I recently gave for Huffington Post: The Creative Genius Behind Ridiculously Viral Marketing Stunts
A couple viral stunts I did this past year:
Sometimes the best marketing strategy is when you can rally your peers to share your message. For my business, an independent record label, we wanted to increase the number of Facebook likes from 400 to 2,000 in a month. To encourage my team as well as our artists to reach this goal I made a friendly bet, if we could reach 2,000 within a month that I would dye my hair blue! To give some background I’ve never dyed my hair any color before let alone blue.
We started the contest with fairly promising results however the overall increase wasn’t reaching the necessary milestones. To help I’ve invested $200 in Facebook ads spread throughout the month. This resulted in 400 additional likes however it was enough of a bump to keep the team motivated. Sure enough at midnight on the final day we reached just over 2,000 likes.
Not only was the goal met, but keeping my word I did dye my hair completely blue and filmed the entire process with images. This made great content for our social media in the upcoming month!
Michael Zimmerlich, President of 80/20 Records
Persado goes way beyond A/B testing by using machine learning to find the best combination of words, emotions formatting and more to inspire customers to act—whether that’s through a display ad or an email subject line. (To see Persado in action, you can see a great Black Friday interactive example here.)
Persado marketing inspires action with language created by machine learning technology, eliminating the random process behind traditional message creation. Persado arms organizations and individuals with “smart content” that maximizes the efficacy of communication with any audience at scale, while delivering unique insight into the specific triggers that drive action.
Persado is making waves in data science and marketing technology. To date, cognitive content has helped deliver $1 billion of incremental revenue for more than 200 of the world’s leading brands, including Microsoft, Verizon and Citi. Persado recently closed a $30 million Series C funding round and appointed Greg Dale, formerly of comScore, as Chief Operating Officer.
Whether you are on Facebook Live, Blab, Periscope or Snapchat, video allows your audience to have a behind the scenes, intimate experience with you. As Cision already has a big following on Facebook, we decided to give Facebook Live a try. What’s more? Facebook controls the reach of Live broadcasts through the news feed ranking algorithm, as with all organic posts. Translation: the reach is unreal.
Cision’s first Facebook Live video had 20 (yes, 20!) times more reach than our regular posts. Because of Facebook’s new algorithm, Facebook Live videos get more reach.. More reach = more brand awareness! Since our first live video on Facebook, our live video reach is now 40 times more than our regular posts.
Live video is free. It’s easy to use, and your fans will love it. Not sure what to live stream? Take a look at what you’re already doing and see how you can use live video to amplify it. Our VP of Product, Heidi Sullivan, is a host on a podcast called Influence Pros. I decided to interview her and ask her all about the podcast as a way to a) teach our audience about influencer marketing and b) promote her podcast. We have also live streamed a presentation in our Chicago HQ, gave a tour of our Chicago HQ and did another live stream about a recent tipsheet that our content team produced. Pro tip: Create a calendar of events that you will be live streaming, and then post across your owned social channels to let your fans know when and where you’ll be live. It will help boost your audience numbers!
Live video is a great way to amplify things that your team is already working on. Not sure if it’s for you? Test, test, test! In our most recent Facebook Live, we talked all about our tipsheet that went out earlier this month. I created a custom URL for the tipsheet to see if people clicked on it from the post. Give it a go! You’ll be blown away by the engagement and reach.
Power Your Story.
Favorite Marketing Strategies
Andrew Reeves and I am the founder and CEO of Luxe Translation Services. My favorite marketing strategy is “refer a friend” programs. The beauty of such programs is that they are risk-free. Many marketing programs cost the business owner an upfront fee, and the marketing may or may not pay off. With “refer a friend” programs, there are no upfront costs. Here is how it works: The business offers anyone who refers a friend a reward. The reward could be anything, it could be a 10% discount or a cash reward or something of intrinsic value. The reward is given only if the friend signs up, so the business is shielded from financial risk. I market my business this way and it has been successful. I have approached local businesses and offered them 8% of every order that I receive through their referrals, and this has been highly successful. It is a win-win situation for everybody, and it requires zero budget. Another low-budget marketing strategy is having a app for your business. This is something I learned from coffee shops. Apps are really hot not and everyone who has a smart phone wants to try a new app. If your business offers a point for every dollar spent, you can encourage people to keep coming back. You can also capture people’s email addresses through such apps and send them promotional offers. – My name: Andrew Reeves – My Company: Luxe Translation Services – My website: http://www.luxetranslation.com