Spot On! Special Edition of Marketing Advice

Here are some of the week’s best small business marketing blog posts. They are categorized by the four spots of The Marketing Circle of Life. We took last week off and will take next week off. So today it’s triple the links at no additional charge! Enjoy and be educated.

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Photo credit: foolfillment

Promotion:
Stand out from the crowd and boost sales. by Jim Connolly on Jim’s Marketing Blog. Find a way to market your services, which is NOT already being used by your competitors. Businesses in the same industry, advertise in the same places, to the same potential clients, using the same kind of marketing messages. If you want your business to ’stand out from the crowd,’ stop marketing it where all the competition is!

The Power of Smart Copywriting by Seth Godin on Seth’s Blog. Is your advertising unlike any other advertising ever experienced? Probably not if you are using copy like that. Check out Seth’s mini copywriting case study.

Myths About Marketing to Women by Stephanie Holland at She-conomy. 85 percent of all brand purchases are made by women. You should know this stuff.

Branding:
A Brand Called You podcast with Anna Farmery on The Engaging Brand Blog. Excellent interview with Peter Montoya, author of A Brand Called You. Within the 25 minute interview Anna and Peter discuss the difference between personal branding and the brand of a small business and how closely personal brands and small business brands are linked to their owners or leaders. It’s a good listen.

SEO is Branding by Ben McKay on SEO, Social Media, & Marketing. Search engine optimization is no longer an exercise of matching keywords, it’s a game of inferred meaning. SEO communicates your brand to search engines. Taking SEO projects on like a re-branding exercise can be very helpful.

Every SMB should Have Video by Greg Sterling at Screenwerk. Online video is an important medium that has tremendous SEO value as well as “local branding” impact. The bottom line is that video is increasingly affordable for small businesses and can convey a lot more information and value. Every small business should be utilizing video online.

Experience:
Don’t Forget The Basics – A Visual Reminder by Brad Kay at Third Place It’s short, sweet and to the point.

Reducing Friction in the Sales Process by Linda Bustos at Get Elastic if you’re trying to sell stuff on a website, you want to make it as easy as possible to buy. While impossible to eliminate resistance, your goal is to minimize it as much as possible. Read Linda’s advice and tune up your website.

Engage Emotion and Shape the Customer Experience by Eric Brown on Small Business Answers. To create value, perhaps a solid strategy is to tap into your customers emotion by placing focus on the customers experience. This goes beyond basic services. Focus on touch points and create a favorable experience.

Conversation:
Why did we stop talking about Saturn? by Andy Sernovitz at Damn! I Wish I’d Thought of That! Saturn was an amazing company: innovative, loved, and a plentiful source of effusive word of mouth. Now Saturn is just another GM division … and no one cares. The Lesson: People need a reason to talk about you.

Don’t Rush Into Social Media by Mack Collier on Search Engine Guide. Even if your business can benefit from using social media, make sure you ease into the waters slowly. The point is, don’t think that social media is something that you need to immediately rush into. The key is to start learning before using.

Our Personal Brands Control the Conversation Not Companies by Dan Schawbel on the Personal Branding Blog. Dan interviews Tom Asacker, well-known branding expert and author. Fundamental outcomes of “branding” are, obviously, behavior, but also conversations; the ones within an organization, between the brand and its audience, amongst audience members, and, most importantly, the ones people have with themselves. Great information including 3 strategies you can use to break through the clutter.

Coming in January on The Marketing Spot: Back to the Basics – A month full of articles on the basics of small business marketing. Kick start a successful 2009 by going back to the basics.

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