Are You Smarter than a Highway?
Ever hear the phrase “Dumb as a post?” Or “Dumb as a box of rocks?”
How smart is the typical roadway? Right. Not very. And that may be about to change.
Here’s a video I saw this morning on a Rotary e-Club site:
Nice video, yes? And how, you may be wondering, does it fit in with my mission of transforming advertising from an expense to an investment? It doesn’t even mention social media!
Well, aren’t I lucky you asked… 🙂
It was my good fortune to find this video while researching e-clubs for my Rotary District. They’ve asked me to take the lead in forming e-Clubs, and I found this video while visiting the site for the Rotary E-Club of the Southwest USA.
This video fits perfectly into the 4 R’s of Marketing and Advertising:
- Right Message
- Right Person
- Right Time
- Right Way
The Right Message
But this video doesn’t advertise Rotary at all, right? How can it be the right message?
It’s the right message because it meets the needs and wants of the audience. Rotarians are business owners and leaders. They’re as concerned as anyone about the issues addressed, and they’re accustomed to taking action for solving problems.
Providing this message starts conversations. Those conversations lead to new ideas, and wider conversations with friends and associates. You can see how this is a textbook example of starting a grass roots interest.
Content Tip #1
All the messages you send are marketing your business and must contain useful content.
You may have heard the advice that your messages should be 60% content and 40% marketing. It’s interesting advice.
The truth is that 100% of your messages are marketing content.
Every message you send is marketing your business – even when all you send is useful content. When someone reads a blog post, opens an e-mail, or reads a direct mail piece, they’re thinking of your business. They’re forming an opinion about whether they like you.
When you read a “marketing piece” from Early to Rise or Strategic Profits, you always find useful, relevant content in that marketing piece. It has to be there because people feel cheated if they invest the time to read your material and all they get is the call to action.
Your Brand is the opinion people form based on every interaction they have with you and your company.
The Right Person
You already have this down pat. Your audience are the right people, and they’ll help you find more people for your audience.
The Right Time
One of the reasons Rotary is putting e-clubs into place is to help members manage their time commitments. An e-club allows you to participate and stay up-to-date without always having to make the in-person weekly meeting.
This is why audio and video are hugely useful tools for business owners. Here’s just one example: Because I live in the country, all the “big city” stuff is at least 45 minutes away. A lot of it is 60 to 90 minutes away. That gives me a lot of time in the car.
Naturally I can’t watch a video while I’m driving, but I can listen to it. And I listen to audio CDs all the time while I’m driving. Audio and video are a great way to get new information without having to be focused in the same way reading requires.
Content Tip #2
Make your content available On Demand with multiple media forms.
The success – and their available time – increases sharply when they start using video. This is because a video easily gives you the foundation for multiple information products.
For example, you shoot the video of a workshop you give. Now you have a video. Use an audio extractor program (A0A Media has a free one) to pull the sound off the video. Now you have what you need for a CD, podcast, or streaming audio.
You can also send the audio file off to be transcribed. This gives you the material for blog posts, articles, and packaging the transcript with either the audio or video.
The point here is that you’re providing the same content in multiple formats. I can watch the video on my computer. Then I listen to the audio while I’m driving because your content catches my interest.
Then I can “go deeper” with the transcript by making notes on it. It also becomes a stepping off point for other research and more notes.
Putting your content into multiple formats lets your audience consume it When and How it fits into their time.
The Right Way
You can already see how this fits with making content suit your audiences available time. But there’s another element I want to cover here.
What I’m aiming at here is whether your content moves people to take action.
You’ve probably come across material that you looked at and wondered “Why did they bother printing this?” The material is there, and it’s sort of useful, but somehow you feel no help or motivation by having it.
To be honest, one of the reasons I picked the video that’s with this post is because it really borders on that line. It has good information, but there’s no call to action and a small opportunity for action right at the end.
They do list their URL right at the end of the video. www.yert.org
A good addition to the video is to tell the audience where to find out more about solar highways. Another good addition is putting “Visit YERT.org today” instead of just the URL. It’s a small change, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Content Tip #3
Encourage your audience to take action with the content you provide.
MaryEllen Tribby, Bob Bly, Loral Langemeier, Armand Morin – all of them readily admit their biggest task is getting people to use the material they provide. A lot of clients are amazed when I tell them 50% of people who purchase an information product (book, CD, course) will never use it.
Come on, we’re all guilty of it. I just walked over to my book shelves and found 3 books I haven’t read yet.
So give your audience a helping hand to put your knowledge and experience to use.
This is why there are sub-heads in this post, and each tip is given in one sentence. Then there’s extra material to help explain the tip. Anyone can scan this article and get the tips. Then they can come back later to read more.
What we’re working on now is integrating this blog with the radio show. That’s going to give us the audio and text formats. We’re also putting together workshops based on this material that will give us the video, more audio and more text from the transcripts. (Sometimes I feel like a cobbler’s kid – so busy doing for others that I can’t get my own stuff done.)
The most important thing to remember about marketing and advertising is that you can change it. There’s always room to improve, expand and change.
Start with whatever you have in place now. Make changes to your local business marketing that incorporate what you’re learning. The small changes you make each week, or each month, are what add up to being a powerful investment.
There really isn’t a magical marketing solution. Think of your marketing strategy, your marketing mix, as a train set.
When you start with trains (or business), you usually have a small, single train set. Then you start adding to it. When you add a second train, you might change where the track runs for the first train. Then you add a third train (marketing technique), and a fourth, fifth and sixth.
Think of your business marketing plan as something that you’ll play with, experiment on and test for as long as you’re in business. You’ll serve your audience better, discover new audiences, and develop new products.
And this is one place where you can ask questions and get answers. Leave a comment and share your question. I promise you’ll get an answer.