We hit just about every continent from around the globe with reader questions on this edition of the Mad Marketing Podcast with The Sales Lion. Along with some further thoughts on the blogging vs. content marketing debate, here are this week’s questions from you, the reader. As always, I hope you enjoy the podcast and if you’ve never listened to a podcast before, it’s a great way to make your morning drive much quicker as you get in “marketing mode.” So check it out on iTunes or download at the top of this post as an MP3 and start listening today!
Love the blog and the newsletter. I’ve been fighting a similar fight ever since I opened my bakery and started having to pay for everything (rent, employees, ingredients, etc.) That is, sticking to my guns and Standing Out as a baker and a bakery.
In a city where everyone takes bread for granted and either doesn’t care about quality or assumes all bakeries are the same, we’re taking a different path. Local and organic flour. Everything made fresh, every day. All bread made by hand using traditional techniques. Emphasis on flavour without additives or preservatives.
It’s hard though. Our fans are very loyal but there are days where there just aren’t enough loyal fans. It’s tough making payroll and sticking to our guns. Lots of temptation to do wholesale orders (at much lower prices) or “regular bread” (again, at much lower prices.)
Marketing, even the good kind via blogs, email, etc. is really hard after you’ve been up early baking every day. I tend to fall asleep when I should be writing. If I get a newsletter out once a month I’m happy. Twice and I’m thrilled.
The radio stations, newspapers, so-called lifestyle magazines, online directories, etc. keep beating down my door but I’m holding out in the name of connecting 1-1 with my customers. But every day that goes by without me writing a blog post / email newsletter makes me fear we’re being forgotten. Not to the point where I’m buying ads on bus stops, but still…
Anyway, to answer your question: I’m going to stand out in my industry in two ways:
- by opening up the mysteries of excellent bread to my customers, home bakers and the like. I’m going to make it crystal clear that the best bread really only needs flour, water, salt and yeast, and time and attention.
- by running a business that has incredibly deep connections with our customers. Make our regulars the stars of the show.
That’s been the plan since the beginning. Most days I think the execution is what’s sorely lacking. Weariness is winning.
As I said, love the blog and I love the River Pool story. I try to use you as an example of strong local online marketing.
Which begs the question — what (if anything) do you do to get your pool company ranking high on your local searches? Given that none of the other bakeries in town spend much time at all online, I’m distressed that I’m not the #1 result for “[my town] Bakery” or Bakeries in [my town], etc.
I came across your story in the book Content Marketing.
I found your site via a Google search.
I’m in the preliminary phase of starting a business designed to help small-to-medium sized businesses get found online.
I’ve been reading from a variety of sources, trying to map out how all the different parts fit together (if at all?).
So far, I’m aware of the importance of
1. Matching keywords to real problems
2. Paying special attention to long-tail keywords
3. Crafting content that seeks to address those problems
But I’m unsure where Facebook, and Twitter and local mobile advertising fit into the realm.
So I guess my question is:
If you were going to devise an online marketing strategy for a bricks and mortar business, in what order would you approach it?
Neil Mattingley (Perth, Australia)
I am in a small-town Texas Ford dealership that has never (really) done any social media, blogging, etc. There was a Facebook profile before I got here (an actual “profile” not “page”). I have since added the page and I am going to be transitioning off of the profile very soon.
I just really don’t know what to do. There are so many “voices” out there all saying you MUST do this or that. I can’t do all of them and I spend a lot of time each week trying to figure out the best way to go. I would love to do a blog content marketing business blog (what are we calling it this week?!) but what about? That’s my biggest hang-up: subject matter. What in the world do I write about that will make people interested? What about Facebook/Google +/Twitter? I am reading “write about your customers/fans/followers, don’t make it about yourself.” Then I read “Talk about the services and things you have to offer and what you do in the community.”
It’s mind-numbing and it’s leading me to “Paralysis by Analysis!” I have to build-up our website traffic, period. I am in between two larger markets (Austin & San Antonio) so I have to be able to tap into both.
Thanks for letting me vent…
Signed: Frustrated in Texas
My biggest challenge is having zero budget or support. The history of the company, and my role within it, is a bit of a long story but in 2010 I found myself with zero experience and the task of running our social media. Through friends and reading everything I could possibly find I was able to have a decent amount of success. I began to receive more sites to manage but strangely my budget at each site decreased. Now I am trying to develop content and execute strategy with a budget of $0.00 and while being micromanaged and essentially castrated at every turn.
Thoughts? Further questions you’d like answered on the podcast? Don’t hesitate to leave them below!