Content Marketing

Small Business Marketing: More Science than Magic

I’m here to shatter an illusion for some of you; especially those of you who are quite new to the world of small business marketing.  Many people seem to think that marketing is some kind of magic.  Perhaps you put your website up, interested webtraffic flows to it, and sales are made in your sleep.  I’m sorry, but there is a lot more going on between the website going up, and the right webtraffic landing on your sales pages.

Wait!  Don’t be disheartened.  Let me explain…  One day you will be able to make sales in your sleep, but only if you get the first steps right. And that takes a lot more work than people realise.

But the big myth I really want to bust today – it’s not luck!  Nor is it serendipity, or anything else unmeasurable.  It’s all based in science.

The definition of a true scientific experiment is that is can be replicated time and again with the same variables causing the same results.  And I like that a lot!  I like that science makes things measurable, and therefore predictable.

When you apply the same idea to marketing it is all about variables and results too.  Your job, when marketing your small business, is to find out which variables cause the right results for you.  Then repeat, over and over.

One day, further down the track, you will be ready to scale your business, giving you more free time to pursue other things.  When you are in the scaling phase, you will be able to semi-automate (or even automate) those marketing funnels of yours that have the right variables and produce the right results.  That is when you start ‘making sales in your sleep’ – the magic that you have heard about.

So there is something ‘magical’ there if you like, but it’s born of science.

A Simple Example

This very blog post is a simple example of using variables that have been tried and tested.  This post has a ‘call to action’ at the end – basically, I’m asking you to sign up and take my free Social Media for Small Business course.  Since there is an action I want you to take at the end of this post, it is a piece of content marketing.

Content marketing is a gentle way to show value to prospective customers by demonstrating your knowledge, then asking them to sign up for more content from you, or perhaps to purchase something from you.  So in order for content marketing to be effective, you want lots of people to read your content – it’s a numbers game.

The variables I’m relying on here are:
1.  Striking image of an attractive female to encourage clicks
2.  Title that appeals to the ego to encourage shares (I will explain!)

So let’s talk about the image first.  It’s on the theme of magic, so it is relevant to the content.  But the attractive female face also makes it grab our attention at the subconscious level.  There is a lot of psychological and neuroscientific research that goes into marketing, and we know that our brains are wired to be drawn to attractive faces.

Take a look at some popular articles getting a lot of shares, and pay attention to the images used with them.  You may spot a pattern!

Okay, so to explain about titles that appeal to our ego.  Let me start by saying that we all have an ego.  I know the word has negative connotations, but let’s be scientific here too, the ego exists in all of us.  As marketers, we can play to others’ egos.

I titled this blog post ‘Small Business Marketing: More Science than Magic’, with the ego in mind.  In fact, even though this post is about marketing, that’s the least important word  in the title from the ego’s point of view.  The important words here are ‘small business’ and ‘science’.  From my experience and training, I believe that these are words that my readers would be proud to be associated with, so are more likely to share this content publicly.

When somebody shares content on social media, they are effectively saying that they approve of the content, and that they identify with it.  Somebody sharing this blog post would effectively be saying “I own a small business and I believe in science over magical thinking”.

So there you have it!

I hope you found this post helpful.  If you would like more training from me, then here is the FREE access to my Small Business Marketing Made Simple lessons for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Get started here.



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