Customer Acquisition Systems in a Marketing Ecosystem

You may have heard of “marketing platforms“, but I’d like to introduce what I’d like to call “marketing ecosystems”.

What is a Marketing Ecosystem?

While a marketing platform contains a ‘home base’ such as a web site and its corresponding marketing channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Books – a Marketing Ecosystem takes a slightly broader view and encompasses:

  • The Marketing Platform
  • The People Doing the Marketing
  • The Processes of the Platform & the People
  • The Technology used by the People
  • A/B Testing, Events, Analytics, SEO, Twofers

Customer Acquisition Systems in a Marketing EcosystemA Marketing Ecosystem is a Customer Acquisition System that funnels traffic and buyers from the Marketing Platform into a trusted Onboarding System that has feedback loops to the Marketing Platform.

The outputs are blog posts, videos, social shares, books, events, products, and services. The inputs are traffic, phone calls, email, email sign-ups, new clients, and revenue. I’ve written before about how books are the new business cards, but now books can be your advertising too.

Licensing & Commercialization of Intellectual Property (Twofers)

In marketing terms, this is referred to as “repurposing content“. Content is the energy that keeps this Marketing Ecosystem running. Content creates traffic. Traffic leads to revenue.

The most effort should be spent on making the best content possible. Marketers will say “make it share-worthy” or “remarkable“, but let’s get back to basics. It needs to be quality. Quality attracts quantity. This is the core of Content Marketing.

An Example of Content Flow Through the Marketing Ecosystem

A trusted, knowledgeable person is mined for their insight. This insight is edited into a series of blog posts, a book, and several videos. In each of these marketing channels, backlinks are placed to buy a product or service and sign up for an email list. The same content is then sent to this email list with more links to buy products or services, but everything should be tested.

Test Everything (Beta Title for this Section Until Further Tests Completed)

Test Everything is a Marketing Ecosystem tenet. In SEO, conversions, and sales, the single most important element is the TITLE of the page, post, book, or sales brochure. In books, the cover is the second most important element. But how do you test? Using Facebook, Twitter, and Google Ads, test titles and covers until a significant improvement in sales is discovered.

Don’t Forget About the People or the Products and Services

Remember that this Marketing Ecosystem is made up of people talking to people who have problems that the products or services solve. People are messy, emotional, and rarely rational. They make decisions based on copy, design, urgency, FAQs, or personal referrals. And keep in mind that the people who answer the phone or emails also have emotions – so they need properly trained, but all of this cannot happen without quality products and/or services.

The marketing ecosystem can be perfect, but it will implode if the product or service is awful. A Marketing Ecosystem Engineer must ascertain whether or not a product or service is worth supporting or whether the product or service first needs further developed.

On Building a Customer Acquisition System using a Marketing Ecosystem

Once a marketing ecosystem is fully understood and the product or service has been fully vetted, a Customer Acquisition System can be built. This system would provide the editing and implementation of the web and social design, content creation, distribution, events, referral connections, email marketing, onboarding training, and do A/B testing and analytics. This system could be offered as a service.

An Example of a Customer Acquisition System at Work

A dentist is interviewed for his dental knowledge. This is turned into a series of blog posts and videos. Each of these have the opportunity to directly sell or add to an email list. The blog posts are turned into a book, which is sold on Amazon. This book also has links back to his products and services + the ability to sign up for his email list. The dentist can now claim that he is a published author. Each title and cover is A/B split tested to ensure the highest ranking and payout – and ultimately increased conversions.

How I Have Applied This System in the Past

I have attempted to create and use a system like this by taking some of my most popular blog posts on Erich Stauffer figurines (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) into an ebook on Amazon. However, I did not test the cover and feel that its design has hampered it’s sales. My Youtube channel is called “TheBlogReader” because it was meant to record me reading my blog posts as a form of repurposing content. I only did that a couple of times though, however I still recommend it to my clients, but they hardly ever want to do it. Maybe they are expecting me to do it for them. Video is one of the things I am going to be working on more this year.

How to Create a Customer Acquisition System

I’d like to say I have this all figured out, but I’m still learning and trying new things. I’m going to apply some of these principles to a new project I’m working on – one that I can’t share yet – but if you run a business in the Indianapolis area and want to talk about it, please let me know.

Content Marketing

5 Ways to Create Great Content Marketing:

  • Write What Matters to the Customer – Write from your customer’s point of view. Take the time to figure out what they care about – not just the features of your product. In other words, think like a salesman and do your homework. Go where your customers are hanging out online and see what issues they are having with your product or products like it. Write the answers to these problems. Be the answer to there problems.
  • Be Human – Computers have evolved. They can now write articles (1,2, 3), but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about bleeding on the page. Share your mistakes along with your triumphs – like how I wrote over a year ago that my new focus was on content marketing yet I’m just now writing this post. I’m human and I run a small business. This means I am not a machine and can adapt on the fly and relate to humans.
  • Provide Evidence – While you wouldn’t know it from reading this article, pictures and video are the best evidence and it’s what people look for most when they are shopping for a new product or service. If you can’t throw up a gallery or make a short video then at least offer some case studies to show that your product works and some real, believable testimonials from clients who have used your products or services.
  • Tell Stories – Ever notice how great speakers start off by telling a story? It pulls you in and causes you to listen in for the rest of the presentation. Stories are how our brains remember things. That’s probably why Jesus used parables to answer questions. He knew that if he simply answered the questions the answers wouldn’t have had the same effect. Stories stick and to learn more, read Made to Stick by the Heath brothers.
  • Do Something Worth Sharing – This is one of the hardest and most profound steps to content marketing. Why? Because it means you have to actually be good at something, which requires work. Or you have to get out of your chair, go out into the world, and do something worth writing about. That’s not easy to do. That’s because it’s rare – and rare things are valuable. That’s why when people find them they want to share.

Developing a Content/Market Fit

Last year I adapted the customer development process for content marketing and developed a way to create content that achieves what I called content/market fit. This content development process allowed our content to be the answer to other people’s problems. When someone would search for the problem they’re having, my client’s solutions are displayed as the answer. This is how I am able to work in sync with Google’s goal of wanting to deliver the most relevant content to users seeking out answers to their problems.

Content marketing is about writing solutions for your customer’s problems instead of just writing about your products. In 2012 I wrote, “It’s not enough to write content, you have to write what matters to people. Be impactful or risk irrelevance.” Today that’s more true than ever before. Even though I recently wrote on Twitter that content marketing hasn’t worked for this blog, I still believe that content marketing is the best way to attract customers when marketing online.

Blog Posts about Content Marketing

In 12 Ways to Make Money Online I wrote about how good content helps attract good ads, adds value to affiliate marketing posts, helps with direct sales, and can even be converted into a book, magazine, or television show. In Write What Matters to Your Customer I wrote about how content is more important than SEO. “Don’t get me wrong, SEO is not useless,” it’s just that good content will beat SEO hands-down every time. This is because Google wants to deliver the best results to it’s customers every time. In my 2012 trends report I wrote about how, “It’s not enough to be creating great content, you also have to temper when you share it.” In other words, don’t be noisy.

When I wrote about how I started my web design business I wrote, “what mattered more [than SEO] was the creation of content…My business shifted away from SEO and web marketing (although still very important) and into content marketing, management, and analysis. Google is constantly changing it’s algorithm, but content will always remain king. The problem is that as content grows, it starts to need managed.” Later I wrote, “Managing larger back archives of web data used in content marketing. Over the course of time, things you might have wanted to happen in the past to every web post in WordPress may not always apply in the present or the future.”

Indianapolis-Area Content Marketing

I help business owners in the Indianapolis area write content for their websites, blogs, or email marketing newsletters that answers their customer’s problems leading to more organic traffic and less customer service issues. By spending more time finding out what problems your customers are having, you’ll spend less time in the customer creation process and more time making money in the company building process. How can I help you build your company? Contact me for a free one-hour consultation or business strategy session. I’ll even type up all of your ideas and send them to you in an email so you have them for posterity. Sound like fun?

How to Effectively Deliver a Press Release

This is a guest post by Leslie Bailey, a freelance writer in Indianapolis.

As a blogger and freelance writer, I receive dozens and dozens of press releases a week. About 98% of those are deleted…and that’s on a good day.

Despite what old-school public relations professionals might say, press releases are no longer the only way to get the attention of the media. Social media and modern marketing are far too strong of a driving force in this sector to ignore.

That’s not to say however, that press releases are a lost cause – if you handle them correctly.

Here are a few tips from my personal experience that will help you get the most out of your press release. Note: these tips may not apply in every situation; consider each case on an individual basis.

The easiest way to do this is by checking of the ‘Five Ws’ – Who, What, Where, When, W…and I don’t mean within the copy of your press release.

WHO

If you’re targeting a specific audience – what’s that? You’re just sending out mass emails? Let’s start over.

To get the most value out of a press release, consider reaching out to your subject in a personalized manner. No one wants to feel like they’re part of a cattle call. Unless a publicity email addresses me by name, I don’t read it.

Blogger, Madam, “Hi there” or my favorite yesterday, “Hi lovey!,” don’t count. Find out the person’s name and address them by such (be sure to spell it correctly!)

WHAT

What does the person who you’re contacting cover? If you are trying to pitch the latest and greatest diaper, you should probably note that I don’t have children and have never written anything related to babies. Look at media contact’s previous or recent work to see what topics they usually write about.

WHERE

Where are you sending this press release? Make sure it’s the subjects preferred method of communication. I’ve had people contact me through Facebook, Twitter, and other various platforms to ask for my email address. If they’d take a few minutes, they’d see it’s listed very clearly in several places.

WHEN

Timing is everything. If your media blast is concerning something Christmas related, it’s as effective to send it in July, as it would be to send it on Christmas Eve. As a blogger, I like a six-week lead but when it comes to print publications, the time varies. For a newspaper story, I need about four-weeks notice while something pointed for magazine, two and a half months. Each publication is different though so be sure to consider the timing of your release.

WHY

This is key not only within your content but also when considering your recipient. Why does this person care what you have to say? Referring back to the matter of ‘what’, a food writer isn’t going to care about the latest in fall fashions just as a fashion writer doesn’t care about the best place to create a Fantasy Sports Team.

IN CONCLUSION…

You’ll notice that all of these suggestions take TIME. Sure, you’re a busy person and you’re trying to get a message out to the greatest number of people possible but if you can’t take a moment to find out someone’s name, why do they want to spend hours covering your news? They won’t.

Do your research, make a friendly and personalized introduction and see how much further it takes you.

You can follow Leslie @Lesalina.