Archive for Marketing Ideas – Page 2

Get Free Directory Assistance For Your Home, Cell Phone, Biz

… with Free411.

They’ve got an online search, or you can call their toll-free number: 1-800-FREE411 (1-800-373-3411).

Be sure to check your businesses listing and report wrong information it here.

Using Email Newsletters & Free Offers on Your Business Blog or Website

Now that we know the central strategy to a great business blog is dynamic content … let me talk briefly about two tools I think every small business blog should have as part of its core strategy: email newsletters and free offers.

Let me talk generally about their role in your blogging strategy.

First, email newsletters …

The key to most small business marketing efforts are a list of current and/or prospective customers.

The idea here is to create (if you don’t have one already) an email newsletter for your business and blog that your readers can subscribe to.

Think about it: qualified customers. Ones who have “opted in” to your company’s newsletter through your blog.

In fact, one of the first things I do when starting a new blog is planning the email newsletter that will accompany it.

Every good business blog will have an email newsletter sidekick.

Let me repeat it, because it’s worth repeating: Every good business blog will have an opt-in email newsletter.

So, as you’re thinking about your business blog … also be thinking and planning on using an email newsletter.

Second, free offers …

Free offers tie in directly with email newsletters.

In fact, free offers (in the form of a PDF downloadable report on my subject) are the primary way I use to generate subscribers for my email newsletter.

Here’s how this works … you offer a free report of some kind prominently on your blog (mine is 7 Steps to Starting a Business Blog). Your customers can download this free report by subscribing to your email newsletter.

This is how you can give value to your blog/website guest … and also help populate your email newsletter.

I’ll talk more later about how to go about producing this free offer … but this free offer can be a simple checklist on “picking the right home insurance” or “7 steps to eating healthy.”

It’s one of the most affordable ways I know to demonstrate your expertise while marketing to your customers!

So get on the bandwagon … create a value-packed, free downloable report … and offer it through your value-package, pro-customer email newsletter. 

How Specialty Grocery Stores, Niche Food Outlets Could Be Using Blogs

… by posting free recipes like Smoothie Recipes does.

I could see how a grocery store or food outlet, like a nutrition store or “organic” shop, could also post cooking and health food tips based on their products …

… but the principle is simple: Find ways to promote your products or services in innovative, creative ways.

Use a blog to do it … set a regular and realistic post schedule … and have your employees brainstorm (or even remember) useful tips that your customers would love to have …

Do you have a little organic shop? Give me 10 ways to discern real and “fake” organic products.

Do you have a specialty grocery store? Give me free savory recipes stuff … you might even look at the calendar and have “themed recipes” for Halloween, Christmas, Fourth of July, etc.


All this talk about smoothies makes me think about good ole Duct Tape here.

I couldn’t find it immediately but I remember a while back there was a big stir about 101 ways to use duct tape or something like that.

It was the work of a marketing genuis.

Take a product — a rather boring one, in fact — see how many different ways you could use it.

A simple search netted these sites: Duct Tape Fashion and Make It Yourself with Duct Tape.

OK, remember … we’re talking about duct tape, not smoothies!

Some keys to doing this successfully for food products is to:

  • avoid marketing talk (it’s not a brochure)
  • make it useful, practical, helpful (think in terms of benefits for your customers)
  • create something that could ultimately be printed and taped to the fridge (lists are always great posts, but for food products, think recipes, like the Smoothies did!)

Case Study: Digital Photography School Blog

Darren at Problogger has posted a case study on his blog site Digital Photography School — which I might add is an incredible resource as well as a great blogging example. In this post, he really details his strategy for the blog, which is only 9 months old!

You’ll want to print this post off and read it … then reread it … and of course, imitate it as I think the concepts he’s implementing are reproducible across industries and topics. It’s that good.

By the way, almost everything I’ve learned about blogging has come from Darren. In fact, if you’re even considering blogging for business, you need to be a daily or weekly reader of his ProBlogger blog.

iPods Being Sold in Vending Machines?

Michael at Monkey Bites tell us about “vending machines having upgraded from candy bars to iPods.”

Yes, iPods are being sold in vending machines! (I got my video iPod from Wal-Mart.)

According to the article (drawn from this Atlanta Journal Constitution article), customers are willing to plunk down $300 in a vending machine!

Marketing Lesson: Where else could your products or services be marketed? What other options have you explored for them?