How do I know where to target my efforts online?

When I fist started blogging just about two years ago on www.joshwhitford.com I had no real idea on what I was going to talk about. I love business and I love marketing and eventually that became the theme of the posts I continued to write.

In the beginning I figured I would learn how to rank for keywords and then continue to do so. One of the first keywords I targeted was the term Unconventional Marketing. I thought the term was just what I was looking for as my starting point and target audience.

I eventually ranked for the term after trying for a couple of months and now I continue to hold the first spot in Google roughly two years later. For the record, I got most of my link love by changing the title on my site to the Unconventional Marketing Blog and then people continually linking to my site with that description. Pretty easy huh?

I recall when I showed up #1 for the first time. I wrote a post talking about being #1 for the term and how proud I was. Then a thoughtful commenter showed up and told me how my term sucked because according to all major sites, the term gets little or no traffic to speak of. Way to rain on my parade, right?

So I shuck it off and continued without much thought.

A few months later someone emailed through my site asking for me to develop a marketing plan and help them execute it for them. The deal turned out being a solid 5 figures and low and behold they found me through the term Unconventional Marketing. Crazy.

Not only was that one deal a success, but I have had 3 Online Pokies deals in the 5 figures result from that one search term… So much for no search traffic, huh?

What is the point of all of this rambling? Simple. Just because someone comes and rains on your parade about something you worked hard to get doesn’t mean that you should take what they say as fact or the law.

It also means keywords and search terms that get “little” or “no” traffic to speak of can result in large deals.

So many people get hung up on the numbers, how many people visit, how many page views, how many this, how many that and so on. Really the numbers are deceiving and can be manipulated pretty easily to give people what they want… more numbers. Instead, focus on what will help you reach your goal. Will 5 buyers get you closer to your goal? You bet. Can you find 5 buyers out of 10 visitors? You bet.

Before you think about keywords and how “little” traffic they get according to whatever source, realize that until you actually rank for the term, you’ll never know. I can tell you that people search and click on Unconventional Marketing about 3-4 times a day or 1,200 times a year. But out of those 1,200 visitors I’ve made a fair chunk of change. Get the point?

Try whatever you can and see the results for yourself. What if I had given up on the idea of unconventional marketing because some naysayers analyzed and determined I was wrong? What have you given up on because of others’ opinions? What do you think would be fun to try just for the sake of trying?

What is Unconventional Marketing?

Doing what the majority doesn’t and getting results…

Marketing Tactic: Scarcity and Reward

The past year or so has seen it fair share of ups and down with the economy, and with that we see some interesting marketing ideas. I love coffee and occasionally visit the local Starbucks or Dunn Bros. A recent idea someone at Starbucks dreamed up was to reward your receipt with a stamp that will discount your next coffee if you return the same day. If you cant tell I love coffee.

I admire Starbucks for trying, but I don’t see anyone talking about the new marketing scheme. At least they are rewarding the people who visit their stores multiple times a day, which can be up to 3 times before 10 a.m., according to one Starbucks worker.

Within a week, Dunn Bros. Coffee offered me the same deal as Starbucks. Do they really think giving someone a $1 off their next drink will stir up buzz and bring people flocking in? It won’t. The reason is simple. Nobody cares about saving $1 with the condition of having to return within a few hours. And most of us are probably going to be annoyed that we were even told about this lame deal.

If I were in the decision-making process of one of these two companies, I would reward the faithful customers by going over the top. Working the early morning shift at a coffee shop, you would learn quickly who are the talkers and frequent customers. I would then greet those customers with a limited edition card (like the Black Centurion Card). The card would be worth a month’s worth of free regular coffee if they return it at the end of the month. I would maybe make about 20 of these, depending on how much business is done at that particular store.

I would then create a couple more cards (different colors) like that in greater number that would be worth between 25-50% off for the month. Now you have a product that people will talk about. Plus you have just placed that into the hands of the talkers. It won’t take long for that to be passed around and a month is just long enough to get it into the hands of another talker as the first gets less excited.

Then I would run a campaign in the store showing the picture and posters of “Have you seen this card?” Let everyone know who comes to the store they could potentially get one of those cards. Now that is an idea worth sharing. Scarcity and Reward. Scarcity to create a desire and a reward to the talkers and return customers.

Custom Twitter Window Decal For Your Car, Truck or SUV

@TheRealJosh

the real joshI have set out to start a new trend in social media / networking. I want people around me to be able to find me socially online as well as offline by merging the two. On the Internet I have been branding myself as The Real Josh and now I am taking that to the next level by allowing those outside of the Internet to see and know my brand as well. Here are a couple of pictures I took of the vinyl sticker I purchased from a site called Custom-Vinyl-Lettering.net. After all this is the Unconventional Marketing Blog. I have to implement some of my ideas from time to time and test them out. What did you expect?

Twitter Window Decal

As far as I know, I am the first person to post their Twitter handle on their car. I spent about 10 minutes on their custom vinyl page picking the letter type and size I wanted for the back window on my Tahoe. I clicked pay via PayPal and was one step closer to have a custom Twitter Window Decal.

the real josh 2A couple days later I received my box with the Twitter Decal and lengthy set of installation instructions. The whole process took about 45 minutes and some patience while cleaning the back window of my car and determining where best to place @TheRealJosh. I opted for the lower left side of my window so that the back windshield wipers only hit just a little part of the ‘h’ in my name. I figured the less that it was touched the longer it would stay preserved and in place.

All in all I paid about $15 including shipping for the whole Vinyl Twitter Window Decal and about an hour of my time. I have had people tweet they have seen me while out and about town. I’d say my Twitter window decal turned out pretty sharp in the end.

Why Window Decal?

I figured that since I am hitting the social media side of online business along with my branding, the Twitter window decal is a perfect fit. In most states if you do business and use your vehicle you are required by your insurance company to include your business name and contact on the vehicle somewhere. My decal has nothing to do with business but like those business decals on other vehicles, it fits right in.

How many times while you are stopped at a light do you spend that 30 seconds reading what is written on the car in front of you? In Fargo, traffic is not a huge deal and I don’t have to commute miles and hours every time I want to go somewhere, so my Twitter decal is mostly for novelty purposes. Plus, I figured no one is Fargo or North Dakota for that matter probably has a Twitter window decal so I should be the first. Because I am trend setter like that. :)

If you want to be cool and get your own cheap Twitter window decal and be a trend setter online as well as offline, you know where you can go to do it. Until then, if you see me around town don’t hesitate to Follow Me!

Here are my social Links: