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Social Media

5 Free Marketing Tools & Apps for any Small Business

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5 Free Marketing Tools & Apps for any Small Business

Marketing is easier than ever, but it is also confusing as ever. So many tools exist and hundreds of companies have created marketing solutions to make your marketing campaign easier to track and more effective. It's hard to know which one is right for your team and your business.

Every business and its team will have its own preferences on tools, but the best way to figure out which is best for you is to use free tools to give you an introduction and sometimes these tools are all you need! I created a list of free tools that can introduce and power your marketing campaign.

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All Marketing Boils Down to Outreach

All Marketing Boils Down to Outreach - Jason  Khoo

I had a thought today while working on some client work. I've spent the last two years helping my clients create materials and content. However, I realized that what often is not emphasized enough is outreach.

Outreach? The hec is that.

What I mean by outreach is the concept of sending emails, interacting with other businesses and blogs to gain connections. I think we often forget that marketing is for people. It is not sticking a piece of paper on a cork board and hoping that people will come running to you. (Yes this works, but only for a limited time)

Marketing encompasses some cold calling and sales. Find those who are your industry leaders, those who are your community leaders, and connect with them. Interact in order to gain an opportunity to expose your business to new customers and new businesses.

How Do You Do This Outreach?

Outreach is vital, but one of the most time consuming and meticulous tasks for marketing. The best way to reach out and connect with people is to look on the internet, especially social media. Social Media makes it insanely easy to connect with people.

Find those who are the leaders of your industry. For example, find the best food bloggers or the best parenting newsletters. If you find the best, you will find a multitude of other people following them as well.

So it's often hard to connect and communicate with the best because they are bombarded with thousands of people trying to get a hold of them. If your starting out too, it's not likely you'll be able to get their attention. Don't worry though, there is more.

Look through those who are following and see if any of them are mid level leaders or better yet, local leaders. It's easier to connect with those that are in proximity or those that are not so famous yet. These people are much more willing to connect because they have the time.

Though I am a believer in go big or go home, you got to start somewhere and sometimes the best is to start building small.

How Do You Connect?

This is one where you shouldn't over think it. This is where you send that email, private message, or comment asking for some sort of connection. Remember though, know what you are asking for, whether it be a link, product review, or a coffee.

Just make sure you don't sound like spam or too generic. Remember people always love new opportunities, but these opportunities need to sound real and from a person. So sound real, and like a person :)

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3 Thoughts to Jostle the Marketing Mind

Jason Khoo: 3 Thoughts to Jostle the Marketing Mind

This summer I devoted myself to honing my skills and learning the vast unknown of marketing. I decided to not pursue any internships or jobs. I thought it more beneficial to learn marketing by studying and applying what I learned on my own.

It was a gamble and a little hard, especially when all my peers went off to their internships or jobs with Google, Deloitte, EY, and other big companies. It has been almost 2 months and the following documents what I have learned during that time.

This is made especially for those who are just entering into the world of marketing and don’t really know what is going on.

1. Social Media can be all the schooling you need.

I use to think that in the online sphere, there was only so much you could learn. Why would anyone teach other people how to do their job?

I figured out during finals week of the Spring semester that I was completely wrong. When it came to study for my Market Research class, I found myself a little screwed. We had no textbook and also a complicated software, SPSS, that we were going to be tested on.

Beyond the software intricacies, there were algorithms, formulas, and processes that you had to understand in order to properly manipulate the data. Of course, like any college student, I could not for the life of me remember anything the professor talked about all semester.

Thus I decided to see if YouTube might have any videos. I was happily surprised. There were hundreds! Within 3 days I learned more than we did in the entire semester and when the final came around I was good to go.

After this experience, I told myself, if there were videos online teaching topics even about high powered, expensive software then I definitely can expand my knowledge of marketing on my own. So for the last two months, with the help of Twitter, YouTube, and tons of books I have exponentially grown my comfort ability and confidence in Marketing.

If you want any recommendations for people to follow, message me and I can give you a list.

2. Marketing is too Inter-Connected to just know One section

I am a huge basketball junkie. I watch, play, read, and train basketball. So for this section I am going to use Basketball as a comparison.

Throughout my educational career, especially my college years, my peers have continually explained to me it is pointless to know everything, just know one thing. With that being said, I disagree with that statement.

Marketing is a vast network of many trades that are extremely different and intricate. There is the coding side of Web Design and SEO, the analytics side of Market Research, and creative side of Campaign Creation. However, they are not so different that they should be taken in isolation. [Here is where the basketball analogy starts] There is a saying in the NBA, that the minimum to get into the NBA is to be a shooter. Every team needs a shooter.

I thought about that statement and I've realized that it holds true if you want to reach the bare minimum. If your a shooter, you have to rely on other players to get you open, to get you the ball, to get the rebound, and to play defense. If all you can do is shoot, pretty much you won’t be playing much. The best players and even just the role players have AT LEAST 2 — 3 skills.

When we take a look at players like Kobe and LeBron, they are widely seen as the top two players in our generation. These two can shoot, dribble, rebound, command teammates, pass the ball, and play defense. Though it might seem unfair to compare to the two most iconic players in the league, they are the most recognizable and appropriate for the comparison. However, the hundreds of other players who make it to the NBA are required to have all these talents as well. To think you can make it to the highest stage by only knowing one skill, you won’t make it. So if you want to be great at what you do, you better start learning multiple marketing disciplines.*

That being said though, what you will be happy to know, once you learn more and more of the different areas of marketing, it becomes easier and easier to learn. Everything is so interrelated that the time it takes to grasp concepts is much quicker.

*In a future post I will explain the inter-connectedness in further detail

3. Social Media isn't the future, it’s Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a concept that really is not new, it just finally has a term associated with it. Content Marketing is essentially publishing and marketing information, facts, stories, and anything people generally find interesting.

Every business does it, but how effective a certain business varies widely.

My favorite example, is the LEGO Company. LEGO’s lost their patent in the late 80's and yet many companies have tried to jump in on the success of these building blocks, but none have really gained any ground. Why is this?

The reason is because LEGOs does an amazing job with its content marketing. Each LEGO set has a story, a contextual connection with other LEGO sets. The company enhances the experience by immersing the user with the exciting content that is associated with it’s products. This includes the LEGO movie, Star Wars and other partnerships, and the overall theme that each LEGO is made in conjunction with.

This is where many businesses go wrong. They feel that Social Media is the future and though it does have a lot of upside, if you don’t properly create a content strategy, you might as well ditch the Facebook/Social Media strategy. Businesses must first create interesting content that pertains to their business, THEN they can start posting.

Social Media is simply a channel, Content Marketing is the actual message. Make sure you have your message before you start talking.

If you want to know more about Content Marketing, I recommend looking up CopyBlogger, NewsCred, and to buy the book Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi.

In Conclusion…

I've really been at this marketing game for about 2 years now, but I am obsessed with it. I have not had this much obsession since I first started playing basketball 8 years ago.

I hope that this post and the ones after can help those who are just like me and just trying to learn about marketing and it’s craziness.

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Why Your Social Media Isn't Working

Jason Khoo - The Secret to Social Media Success

Social Media this, Facebook that, Instagram there! Social Media is the new cool kids in town and like any cool kids, we're all tired of hearing about it. Often you hear, "It's so easy to start.", "The potential is unmatched", and my favorite, "All the successful (cool) businesses are doing it." Now don't get me wrong, Social Media is an extremely important channel of marketing, but it isn't everything. After two years of managing social media campaigns one thing has become apparent. We are all focusing on the wrong thing, or most of us. Social Media is not the answer. It's content! 

What is This Content Marketing

The world of marketing is starting to jump on this buzzword and if you haven't jumped on, you should. Content Marketing is the general concept of marketing centered on the idea that you publish information and value to consumers.

Example: Nike

Nike does this exceptionally. (Quick Fun Fact: For the last 10 years I have ONLY purchased Nike shoes ---- Talk about being a lifetime customer!) 

Anyways back on point, Nike conducts marketing based on hiring superstar athletes to made beautiful ads and commercials. Beyond that though, Nike publishes great content. On YouTube they hire their athletes to create videos on how to play better basketball, how to run faster, what to wear to optimize your play. Nike takes it upon themselves to educate and immerse the customer in the sporting world. They hold marathons, create communities of runners, and even support Nike Fanboys who collect shoes. (I'm not one of them I promise!!! I actually buy shoes for walking and sports.)

Jason Khoo: Content Marketing - Nike

So the reason why I am bringing up Nike is because it is relevant and a great example. Social Media, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and other channels are USELESS if you don't have anything to say. If all you can talk about is your specials and that your store is on the corner of this avenue and that street, nobody cares. Be a dinner guest or a date that has class, a story to tell.

Have To Conduct Content Marketing

I've tried doing marketing for companies that would NOT commit to content and let me tell you, it gets pretty difficult. You have nothing to talk about, no one wants to listen, and its pretty much Social Media silence. It's just as awkward and frustrating as having nothing to talk about with your date.  To truly market and engage your customers you need to add value to their life.

If you are saying to yourself, "What do I even talk about?" Think back to those childhood cartoons and remember, everyone has a story, everyone has something to say. If your client or business sells stuffed animals talk about how to properly take care of them or create stories for each model. If your client likes to paint, talk about the creative process, the story of the artist, or even talk about the power of colors.

Have Something to Say

Everyone has something to say, it's up to you as the marketer or business owner to look inside and find your story.

To end this talk about Content Marketing, I want to say, "Stop talking if you have nothing to say." Stop the constant Social Media Marketing if you don't have anything to talk about, PLEASE!

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