Join Ian Lurie for an in-depth discussion in this video Providing value in your marketing, part of Internet Marketing Basics.
So you've established your audience of the weird. You know who you're going to talk to first and you know that, you're pretty confident that they're going to reach out to other people pfor you. But weird only gets you so far. You also have to be useful. And useful means in some way providing definite value. This is the easiest way to make yourself and your marketing and your message useful. My favorite way is to answer questions. Again, because it's very straightforward. And there's some great research tools. If you take a look at Google. And you type in a phase as a question like is a wedding dress.
Or I can type in a question about rhubarb. And when I type that in, I can find out what people are asking. And then I can go answer that question either in a blog post or in a video or in a printed ad or whatever. I can go to a site like quora.com which is purely built for question and answer. That's all it does and people are asking questions on there on a whole range of topics from marketing to sports to celebrities. Find the questions that the most people are following and that have the biggest discussions and then you can take that and use that.
As the questions that you want to answer elsewhere. You can also use a tool like Ubersuggest. Ubersuggest taps Google suggest. And automatically searches many many different forms of whatever you type in. And so you can type in a question, like, is rhubarb the beginning of a question? And Ubersuggest won't just find you 10 questions. It'll find you 100, 1000, something like that. And that'll give you things like why is rhubarb good for you? Or ten ways to cook rhubarb, whatever. It gives you lots of different ways to reach out and make that work.
Now you can also simply entertain. This is much, much harder, but when it works it works big. The reason it's much harder is because you have to go well outside the comfort zone of your brand. For example, I might have a client come to me and say well I sell forks. How interesting are forks going to be, how entertaining can I make them? Well these guys sell deodorant, how exciting is that? They found a way to make it really interesting and you can bet that some of the people in their advertising department, some of the people on their board were not happy about this particular campaign because it made them uncomfortable.
But they pushed through anyway and it was very successful. You can find ideas again by going to a tool like Google suggest. If you do a search on Google suggest for are forks, you'll find some ones that have some comedic potential, some entertainment potential like, are forks evolved from spoons or are forks or chopsticks better? They can be better in different situations. You can compare those situations and get a pretty entertaining piece. This guy sells razors. Would a typical ad executive do the same kind of ad that he did? This is a company called dollar shave club? No, absolutely not! Cause it might offend people.
That's okay, sometimes, to entertain, you want to do something that runs the risk of offending some people. It's okay. Useful can also just mean making waves, stopping people in their tracks. When JFK gave a talk about the moon shot, no political adviser would have gone to him and say, you should tell people how hard it's going to be. No politician would do that today. He went and did that. And by doing that, he stopped people in their tracks, completely changed the message around the moon shot, totally disarmed one of the big arguments about it and turned it into a mission for the country.
Useful also gets heard. And what I mean by this is you can't passively sit back and wait for people necessarily to hear you. You have to find some folks who are going to be part of that weird audience and then find people within there that you can possibly even reach out to specifically. For example you can use this tool called follower wonk. Which let's you search through people on Twitter and do a lot of data mining with different twitter biographies and twitter accounts. And you can just search for everyone who mentions puppies for example on twitter. And when you do that, you find everyone who has written the word puppies in their bio and then you can take a few of those people and look at the overlap between them.
And find the people that they have in common. So, if I'm selling a product for puppies, I might take those people in common, and either reach out to them very politely. Or wait for one of them to ask a question, if you remember from the being useful part, and then when I can, when I answer that question, I can make sure. I can be sure that they're really going to come back and know that I'm useful to them, right? I'm going to make myself super useful because I'm going to get heard and if they're influential, they'll reach out to other people as well.
And influential may mean they only know three other people that they'll reach out to. If they reach out to those three and each of those people reach out to another two. You're still growing your market, it's still worth doing. You can get heard by taking content you create, and posting it to third party sites, like slideshare.net. Which has an enormous audience, and if you think again about looking for the weird, there's an overlap here, it's people who like to look at presentations, and then are interested by whatever topic it is that you've written your presentation about. So when you post to slideshare, you have a good chance of getting in front of all of those people, because you're accessing Slideshare's entire audience.
The same is true of video hosting sites like Vimeo and YouTube. Right? When you post a video to those sites, if you leave them publicly available on the site, then people don't just find the video on your website or blog. They find the video when they're wandering around this site that has millions and millions and millions of users per day, per week, per month. Another way to try to reach this audience to be heard is to look for things that people monitor and I'll explain what this means in a minute. But just as an example, say you put together a free eBook explaining or answering some set of questions that you found a lot of people are really interested in.
Maybe you went on Quora, and there's 20,000 people following one specific question, and you decide you know what I could do a whole eBook. I could write 20 pages about this. So you put together a Kindle eBook, and then there are lots of people who use tools like if this then that which automatically monitor the free eBook list. And send them a notification when a new book gets into the top 100. There's over 20,000 people monitoring that. So if you put together an eBook that makes it into that top 100, you can get pushed out to a lot of folks.
It's not easy. It's a little bit of a long shot. But it's a great example of being heard. You can also pay. You can just do paid advertising. There's tools like outbrain.com, which let's you promote your content by having it show up on other websites like slate.com. And it shows up as related articles that are off that particular site. So that's a great way to get high context, really high value advertising. You can use a tool like StumbleUpon. To get just lots and lots of views. Lots of eyeballs on your content.
Or you can use things like Facebook Sponsored Stories. And if you remember how good the targeting tools are in Facebook. When I showed you how I was mining for different kinds of interests and overlaps between interests. You can use those tools to push ads and stories to specific people. And specific groups of people. It's immensely powerful. It's very inexpensive. It's a great way to give. Some of your message that initial boost that it needs. So you've done all this work. You're on your way to significance. You've found the weird, you've found the overlap and you've made sure you're useful.
Well now you need to deliberately reap the rewards and what I mean by that is you can't necessarily just kind of hang around and wait. Now I talked a little bit about being heard and that's almost. To the point of reaping the rewards. But when I talk about reaping the rewards I mean what happens when people get to you. They've gotten to your site now. They're reading your content. They're doing whatever it is you want them to do. At that point you need to make sure that you get shared. And there's some basic best practices here. For example there are tools like share this, where if you click it you're gona get 20, 30, 40 little buttons of all the different possible sharing services.
It's very useful and very helpful. But if you want to get more shares, you want to have the three or four most used social networks for your audience front and center showing actual statistics for the number of people who have already shared. That combines social proof with a very easy way to share that content. You want to, if you're putting information on your website, have a way for people to embed that information on other sites. So I can take this graph, click embed. Get a little code embedded in my website. It'll include a credit to them. And it'll let you use their data.
That's really really useful. You can also just ask. And this is another good one. if you're sharing your content yourself. If you just add the phrase please Retweet, there's some research that shows you'll get four times the Retweets than if you leave off please Retweet.