You know who’s really good at marketing?
I expected nothing but skinny models, overly dressed hipsters, and wanna-be bourgeoisie fashion people who would laugh at people like me who shop not at the latest trendy stores but at stores that are closest and have the shortest waiting line.
But nope, they were really cool.
What’s even more surprising was that some of these fashion people were great at online marketing.
For example, did you know that an Instagram of Coke ($150 avg) costs more than gram of coke ($80-100 nyc street cocaine price)?
Of course, it made sense. Fashion industry is just like the movie or the game industry – hit driven, very trend oriented, and media intensive. These guys probably have the most intensive competition of ALL industries because by default, they are all content marketers.
Most of the online marketing talk was about driving sales and/or traffic to your website…. which is ok, but here’s the problem.
Driving traffic is just ONE side of the equation.
Pay per click, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, partnership marketing, APIs, etc etc etc..
That’s all GREAT and all, but doing that without mastering conversion rate optimization, engagement, landing page optimization, and all that fun stuff is like clapping with ONE hand.
If your funnel looks more like a barrel, then everything you pour on top comes out on bottom and you get nothing.
If you squeeze the bottom of your barrel, then it looks more like a funnel and you’re able to retain the value.
So no matter what you online marketing & growth hacking strategy you do, you MUST master the following (or at least hire someone who can do them).
Copywriting is selling on print. Print can be online or offline, but it’s the basis for selling with words.
When I first came across this idea that you can actually have “words” sell.. I was like “PFFFFFFFFFFFFT”.
Then I looked at Amazon and eBay’s income statement.
Yes.. HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars made without one single salesman. (When was the last time someone from those two companies called you to ask you to buy their stuff?)
But they do invest heavily into copywriting.
If you cannot do copywriting, you cannot get your ideas. Period. (Heck, you can even use copywriting to get more/better dates.)
Unless you’re Professor Xavier from X-Men, you probably have no idea what messaging is working.
Suppose you’re doing dental marketing and want to know whether “Get Your Teeth Fixed for Only $XYZ. Call Now!” or “Do You Have Sharp Pains in Your Mouth? Call us Today”… how would you do it?
Yeap. You’d test it out. Show your message to different people and see what gets them to take action in the most cost effective way.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a banker selling $2 million dollar mortgages or a ecommerce website selling $15 t-shirts. If you do not test, you will never know what works.
For example, which one of these won?
Doesn’t seem like much right?
Except the red button BEAT the green button by 21%.
Do you sell to men? Believe it or not, sometimes using hot girls doesn’t work as much as using men.
Remember: men lie, women lie, politicians lie… but numbers tell the truth.
So make sure you A/B test the heck out everything.
But.. MOST importantly..
3) Story telling
If you’re selling commodities (i.e. stuff you can buy from a retailer), you probably think you don’t have a huge need to do this. Unfortunately, if that were the case, then everyone can just rely on Google to give them sales 24×7.
Here’s the problem.
If you’re an ecommerce website selling expensive designer sunglasses, how are you any different than the next Joe Schmoe who opens up an ecommerce site and sells the same stuff you do, doing the same marketing that you do?
And what prevents from that designer opening up his OWN ecommerce store and competing with all their distributors?
That’s right, there isn’t.
You have no competitive advantage if you look like everyone else. If you pay for your buyers, you’re fighting a margin war that you can’t possibly win against deep entrenched companies that have more history with ad networks and more ad budget.
Sure, people still buy “commodities” at Walmart/Target/Amazon and they are doing ok even if they fight on margins. Yes, but the problem is.. you’re not Walmart/Target/Amazon. They have best locations, best supply chain management, best buying volume, best.
So how on earth do you compete with them?
Simple: Build trust. Build a brand. Tell a story.
Why do you go your dentist when you can get cheaper dental service at one of those national dental franchises? Because you have a relationship with your dentist.
Why does your mom get her clothes at the local dress shop when she can get the same at Target for 30% less? Because they give her a service and know her by her name.
Why does your cousin get his car fixed at that run down car shop next to the train tracks even though he can probably go to Midas/Jiffy Lube with that 50% coupon? Because that crazy car mechanic Joe has built up his reputation online and tells you crazy his crazy drunk Vegas stories when you’re waiting for your car.
If you build trust.. if your story/service stands apart from the crowd.. if people can relate to you, they WILL buy from you.
In fact, they might even become your champion.
For example, a dentist I used to go to when I lived (shortly) in LA was so awesome that I left him this awesome Yelp review:
He gives you a mirror to see what he’s doing. He explains everything… for example, this crappy dentist I used to go to when I was in junior high for my braces left the cement bracket. Dr. Cho told me it was still there and removed it. Awesome. He even showed the back of the lower front teeth and how plaque build up looked. (Yes, it was nasty brown color.)
He tells you EVERYTHING. Almost like a narration. I felt like I was in Bob Ross’ TV show.. and my mouth was the painting canvas. I can imagine Dr. Cho (in soothing voice) something like this:
“Ah yes. What a beautiful landscape that is. Maybe a little tooth lives over here, so why don’t we pay him a visit. Ah, yes, his friend, Mr.Gum is over having a lovely afternoon tea with him. Perhaps there’s a divine background tonsil hanging by the mountains. Uh oh. There’s trouble in the neighborhood. The evil doer Cavity-meister doesn’t look very nice. So why don’t we just evict him since he doesn’t pay rent in the Mouthville. *picks off cavity with tool* Ah yes, there.. much better.”
Just by going the extra mile, you have social media influencers doing the selling FOR you.
Now, imagine how much more imperative this is if you sell NON-commodities (like software, real estate, insurance, etc) where your products/services are either personalized or you have lots (if not infinite) to sell.
Remember, anyone can copy you.. but will they be YOU? Probably not. And THAT is your competitive advantage.
Work is Not Sexy
But why don’t experts and conference speakers talk about these skills?
Simply put: they’re BORING.
It’s like working out: no one wants to see you wake up at 6 AM, hit the gym, lift weights, drink protein juice.. everyday. No, the public wants to see your awesome abs or the physical transformation of before and after in one shot.
Marketing is no different. You don’t go from 0.1% to 11%+ conversion rate overnight.
It’s a daily grind – writing blog posts (i.e. content marketing), creating sales pages, working with vendors & suppliers, trying, failing, and repeating that every day.. until you get your goal.
No one wants to see the daily grind. But remember what Edison said? Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
No one wants to see you sweat. Sweat is not sexy. It’s the glory, the homerun, the trophy, and the money people want to see. Unfortunately, you can’t get there without the right tools and your ability to harness those tools.
So suck it up, and keep at it, until you’re successful.
3 Marketing Skills You Need to Develop RIGHT Now