Peppering your writing with incomplete sentences will keep readers of your marketing materials more engaged. In other words, they’ll pay more attention to what you have to say. Seriously. (That last statement was an incomplete sentence.)
Good writing needs drama
Too many marketing materials are downright boring, because the writer doesn’t want to embarrass himself by making any grammatical mistakes. If you want people to read what you have to say, you have to challenge the norms and keep your readers on their toes. And that calls for mixing long and short sentences together in the same paragraph. Even incomplete short sentences. (That was another one.)
Yes, your teachers always taught you that was a no-no – and you have the papers with red marks to prove it. But if you’d taken creative writing classes in college, your professor would have most likely encouraged the practice. If you worked in an advertising agency, they would demand it.
It’s like music or painting. First, you’re taught the rules. Then, you’re taught how to take things to the next level by breaking some of those rules.
Thanks to social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), it only takes a couple clicks for someone to share something special with their friends. And if those friends share it with their friends, who share it with their friends, who share it with their friends, you suddenly have a “viral” campaign.
But getting hundreds or thousands of people to turn your advertisement, video or publicity stunt into a viral marketing campaign is extremely difficult. The idea is very attractive to most small businesses (free advertising on a large scale), but making it happen requires real skill and savvy. Five secrets to success are included below.
#1 It has to be unique
If you want your ad, video or publicity stunt to go viral, it has to be unusual, different, new, unique. The “content” (the video, photo, message) and the idea have to be things people haven’t seen before. Simply copying another viral campaign won’t work.
For example, in a very unusual YouTube video campaign promoting the kitchen blender Blendtec, the company’s chief executive put random items into the blender. The blender reduced an iPhone to dust in one of the videos. More than 12 million people watched the videos – leading to a 700 percent increase in Blentec sales. See the Blendtec YouTube video.
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Many real estate agents take a break from marketing during the end-of-year holidays. Business is slow. There are so many activities outside of work to keep you busy. And there’s all that holiday shopping, cooking and preparation to do.
But make no mistake: Home buyers are out there; sellers, too. In fact, this is the time of year when the people who are active in the marketplace are serious about doing a deal. So if you aren’t marketing your services at this time of year, you’re missing out on sales – quick sales with motivated clients.
Sending marketing and public relations materials at holiday time is also a great way to sow the seeds for next year’s success: Make a name for yourself now, and people will think of you first when they (or their friends) need an agent for the spring selling season.
Hold a photo contest
Want to get your Facebook, Twitter and other social media followers excited (and talking about your business)? Hold an online contest for the local home with the best holiday decorations: people can submit their own photos of decorated homes and/or vote for their favorite.
You’ve sent press releases and made follow-up phone calls, but your ideas for featuring your company in news articles aren’t getting any attention. Sound familiar? Included below are the most likely reasons:
You’re targeting the wrong reporter
Reporters typically work “beats” – which means each of them covers a specific type of news issue. If you’re targeting the wrong reporter, chances are very slim that person will forward your idea to the right reporter. Sending your story idea to an editor or the general “news tips” email account means it will have to clear a number of gatekeepers before reaching the right reporter.
You could call the front office and ask which reporter covers your issue. Or, sometimes the information is listed on the news outlet’s website. But, even then, the details can be vague.
By far your best option is to monitor the publication/broadcast and see for yourself which reporter tends to cover issues/businesses like yours.
College marketing professors spend their days researching which promotional techniques and strategies work, and which don’t. They’re unbiased sources of information with a deep understanding of what drives sales, referrals and bottom-line profits. So we searched out some of the collegiate world’s most respected marketing experts and gathered their best advice below:
Tip #1 – from Philip Kotler (Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management):
Stop soliciting everyone and anyone and instead identify a specific category of clients you want to acquire. Figure out what that target audience really wants, then build a reputation for doing that better than anyone else. Write articles, give speeches and send marketing materials that all position you as the best of the best in those key areas.
Tip #2 – from Jeffrey Pfeffer (Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford):
Too often, sales people view networking as something uncomfortable and inauthentic; a marketing effort cloaked in personal friendship. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Before trying to network with someone, use social media to learn as much as you can about them. Once you find something(s) you both have in common, it will be far easier to strike up an honest, heartfelt conversation that could lead to a long-lasting and productive working relationship for the both of you.
Even if you don’t think you have much writing talent, you can always become a better writer. And even the best writers can always learn to write faster. Included below is a process that will improve anyone’s writing skills.
Give the subject some thought
Many people think a good writer can simply sit down and start typing out scintillating sentences. Not true. And if you try to do the same, you’ll most likely end up with a nasty case of writer’s block (nothing to say).
Instead, let the subject matter knock around in your head a bit. A day or two is good. Consider different ways to present the content. Focus your thoughts. Think about real-life examples. Read what others have written about the same subject.
Consider your audience
Think carefully about who’s going to be reading what you write. How much do they already know about the subject? Do they have some preconceived notions that you need to address head-on? What’s the one learning you really want them to take away? Are they naturally interested in the subject, or will you have to draw the reader in with a hook in the first sentence? How much time will they be willing to spend reading what you write?
Try to picture someone you know who personifies the reader you really want to influence. Then write with that person in mind. It’s okay if some readers aren’t going to relate to what you write. If the writing is going to be good, you need to single out those you want to really engage.
Have you decided on your marketing plan for the fall season? Xpressdocs seasonal marketing is a great way to connect with customers and clients because it applies to everyone in your sphere and can be done year-round. To see the full collection, log in to your Xpressdocs account and click on the Seasonal tab.
Cozy up to fall with these marketing ideas:
1. Fall Postcards – Celebrate the fall season by sending your customers a postcard from our cozy fall collection. And with so many beautiful designs to choose from, our fall themed postcards are sure to catch the eye of your clients and customers.
2. Fall Back Postcards – November 2nd is Daylight Savings Time. Now is the time to send out a thoughtful reminder to your current and prospective clients to turn their clocks back. Your customers will not only appreciate it, but they will think of you next time they need a service like yours.
3. 2015 Magnet and Wall Calendars – Calendars are a great way to stay up front with your customers for a full year! Choose from a mail able strip magnet postcard or a hanging wall calendar. And we have lots of beautiful designs to choose from!
4. Halloween Postcards – Did you know that we design cards for Halloween? These are a fun and different way to connect with your sphere and are sure to delight your customers.
5. Thanksgiving Day Postcards –We know you love the Thanksgiving holiday as much as we do. Say thank you to your customers on a holiday that is all about giving thanks for the good things in life.
To find out more about our online and print marketing tools or to help with your personal marketing strategy, visit http://www.xpressdocs.com. Be sure to join our Facebook Community and follow us on Twitter for real estate marketing tips.
Facebook and Twitter are great tools for engaging your clients, past clients and potential clients online. But when it comes to finding referral resources and gaining their trust, that’s where LinkedIn excels. In fact, with 300 million people currently using the service, you could spend years getting to know them all.
If you haven’t already, open a LinkedIn account today (it’s free).
If you already have an account, but you’re struggling to grow your network of connections, try these tips:
Sign up for the premium version
LinkedIn is a free service. But if you pay for the premium version (it’s cheaper than you might think), you’ll gain access to the functions and features that make this a truly powerful networking tool.
Use the Find Friends feature
If you’re new to LinkedIn, the first thing you’ll want to do is click the Find Friends button in the upper right corner of the LinkedIn screen to search for old clients, friends and coworkers, current clients, friends, family members and coworkers, and accept the invitations of other LinkedIn users.
Xpessdocs makes it super simple – and cheap – to promote your business and real estate services via email. But it’s up to you to make the content of those marketing emails interesting for your target audience.
Someone searching for a house to buy today can easily find hundreds of listings online with just a few clicks of their computer mouse. Neighborhood information, school-rankings, agent reviews, mortgage rates and buying tips are just a few more clicks away. So if you want those folks to read your marketing emails, you’ve got to provide them with something they can’t easily find elsewhere, in an engaging format.
To make your emails must-read marketing, you should …
Get the reader’s attention right away
The best way to grab your reader’s attention is to state a question, a fact, or a truly compelling benefit right off the bat. Imagine how much more interesting your marketing email would be if it started with a sentence like, “Prices for new homes are down 16% from last year!” or “Are you wondering when’s the best time to sell?” or “My client didn’t think there was any way she could sell her home for a whopping $600,000. I proved her wrong.”
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