Emotional Marketing for Successful Sales

I came across this website today: ChangingMinds.org. As an online marketer who’s ultimate job it is to develop and execute marketing initiatives that help drive revenue, I found the website quite valuable in helping me understand the aspects of how we can change what others think, what they believe, how they feel, and what they do. In a world where social media is a driving force that significantly influences and shapes people’s opinions, beliefs, and decisions, I think it’s important to remember that when it comes to getting people to buy what you are selling, the way we market and sell needs to change.

It’s no longer about you, your product, or your message. In order to be successful, it all needs to be about the customer. Long gone are the days when someone would buy your product because you said so. Today, buyers rely on transparent, two-way collaboration, reviews, ratings, and specific examples that highlight experiences and emotions – not products.

So where should you start? The first step is to become more aware of your customers’ feelings. Empathize with them and let them know that you understand their pain and genuinely want to solve their problem. ChangingMinds.org offers several sections of information that may be helpful in understanding how to leverage empathy to drive sales. The section that focuses specifically on empathy is particularly interesting. Here’s a quick excerpt:

The value of empathy comes not from understanding the other person’s feelings, but what you do as a result of this.

Empathy connects people together

When you empathize with me, my sense of identity is connected to yours. As a result, I feel greater in some way and less alone. I may well, as a result, also start to empathize more with you. In a therapeutic situation, having someone else really understand how you feel can be a blessed relief, as people with emotional problems often feel very much alone in their different-ness from other people. The non-judgmental quality can also be very welcome.

Empathy heals

Therapeutically, it can be a very healing experience for someone to empathize with you. When someone effectively says ‘I care for you’, it also says ‘I can do that, I can care for myself.’

Empathy builds trust

Empathy displayed can be surprising and confusing. When not expected, it can initially cause suspicion, but when sustained it is difficult not to appreciate the concern. Empathy thus quickly leads to trust.

Empathy closes the loop

Consider what would happens if you had no idea what the other person felt about your communications to them. You might say something, they hated it, and you continued as if they understood and agreed. Not much persuasion happening there! The more you can empathize, the more you can get  immediate feedback on what they are experiencing of your communications with them. And as a consequence, you can change what you are saying and doing to get them to feel what you want them to feel.

See what I mean? Quite insightful and thought provoking.

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Website Redesign & Content Creation

As I often mention, I’m the Online Marketing Manager at Binary Tree. We’re currently in the process of redesigning our website and we’rehoping to go live in the next 6-8 weeks (fingers crossed tightly). The project is very near and dear to the hearts of the entire company, including the Executive team, who are more than eager to see the new design along with the recreated messaging. It’s a project that will redefine the company’s message and position us as THE go-to partner for everything encompassing migrations to Microsoft.

Anyway, I have to say that the most difficult aspect of the project hasn’t been the design, the sitemap, or the navigation, but rather the CONTENT. Populating the CMS with current and newly created content is not easy. Silly me …I thought entering content into the new CMS would be a piece of cake, a no-brainer. But, alas, I was wrong. It’s not that it’s difficult to actually copy-n-paste into the new CMS …it’s not that at all. Rather, it’s the TIME it’s taking to repurpose our existing content, create new content with refreshed messaging, and populate the new CMS with our existing website’s archived content.

So the lesson learned is this …if you’re embarking on a website redesign project, you may want to include in the project’s budget a placeholder for a web content consultant or strategist. Two that I recently came across that you may want to consider (in no particular order) are:

  1. Pybop
  2. Predicate

Well, that’s all for now. Back to work!

Top 5 Things I Learned About Social Media This Week

Ok, so I missed posting last week. I have a good reason though. I won’t get into it but just know, it wasn’t fun. Anyway, here are the top 5 interesting facts,stats, ideas, and miscellaneous news items that I found valuable this week  as a social media and online marketing professional and enthusiast:

  1. Facebook recently announced their geo-location/check-in tool called Places. Social Media B2B wrote an excellent blog post titled, 5 Ways B2B Companies Can Use Facebook Places. I’m an avid Social Media B2B fan/reader and I find their perspective, ideas, and insight on how to leverage Places in the B2B space quite valuable. Read more here.
  2. There’s an excellent post on Social Media Examiner titled, How to Use Your Blog to Drive Social Sales. The post offers great insight on how to leverage your blog to drive sales. Read more here.
  3. I stumbled upon the website, Reel SEO Video Marketing, and was instantly intrigued. The site focuses exclusively on video marketing and video SEO. It’s full of interesting and valuable posts and a great asset to anyone looking to improve their video SEO. Read more here.
  4. I also stumbled upon a great content marketing blog called the PR 20/20 blog. Their 3-part series titled How to Optimize Video for the Web helps answer the question, “so how do search engines index and rank video?”. If you’re interested in finding out, read more here.
  5. Junta42‘s new Content Marketing Institute is full of resources for content marketing training and education. One particular post that I found very valuable is titled Checklist: The 4 Key Qualities of Effective Content. Although the post is simple a reminder of what you must keep in mind when creating and publishing compelling and nurturing content, it’s still worth a read. So, if you need a refresher, read more here.

So here are my top 5. I hope you find them as useful and as valuable as I do. Please feel free to share what you learned this week. I’m eager to hear.

Top 5 Things I Learned About Social Media This Week

As I continue to develop and execute the social media strategy at Binary Tree, I continue to learn more and more everyday about online and social media marketing. Here’s a list of the top 5 things I learned this week:

1.) That Foursquare can be an effective B2B Marketing tool. Read more here.
2.) That video is 52 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results. Read more here.
3.) That “Influence Mining” will emerge as the next generation of marketing and customer service. Read more here.
4.) That the book, Content Rules, will be available in December 2010 (can’t wait to read it!) Read more here.
5.) That Facebook continues to make branding B2B pages even more challenging. Read more here.

I’ve decided to make “Top 5 Things I Learned This Week …” a regular SwellCrowd Friday feature. If you’re interested in learning what I’m learning, please drop by next Friday to read and learn more. Also, I’d love to learn from you as well, so please leave your comments with things you learned about social media, online marketing, content, B2B marketing, etc. I look forward to reading your comments!

Recap: Online Marketing Summit – NYC

I had the opportunity to attend the Online Marketing Summit in New York last Friday. If you’re not familiar with OMS, it’s an online marketing tour that ” …offers its attendees the opportunity to learn actionable best practices, strategies and tactics from leading authors, academics, brand marketers and online pioneers.” The sessions were led by some very influential speakers including Maria Pergolino, Director of Marketing at MarketoJeanne Hopkins, Director of Marketing at HubSpot, and Dylan Boyd, VP of Sales & Strategy at  eROI. The sessions covered a wide range of online marketing topics like social media, search, email, demand generation, analytics, usability, and integrated marketing.

Although the sessions were very valuable and encompassed all of the online marketing topics that are important to me, I was even more impressed with the Social Media & Content Marketing Workshop and Breakfast that took place before the main event. The Workshop and Breakfast was hosted by the Online Marketing Institute in association with Wharton Interactive Media Initiative and the workshop was led by Brad Kleinman, founder of eMarketing Techniques. Here are some key topics discussed at the breakfast:

• Purpose: Why Content Marketing?
• 9 Steps to Content Marketing Strategy
• Social Media Tips and Tricks
• Content Strategy Goals
Although optional and at an additional cost, the OMS Breakfast is definitely something to consider if you plan on attending the Online Marketing Summit. For more information, click HERE.

3 Steps to High Quality Blog Content

When it comes to producing a quality blog post, less is more, relevance is critical, and credibility is king. With all of the information that’s readily available to us, we must ensure that our blog post will stand out above the rest. Below are 3 characteristics that high-quality blog posts possess:

1.) Relevance: is the blog post content relevant to your reader’s needs? Does it provide the reader with actionable substance? Does it compel the reader to dig deeper within your blog to find relative information?
2.) Authenticity: Is you blog post credible? Does it provide topic-related facts that support your argument? Can the reader count on your blog post to support their cause or project?
3.) Clarity: Is your blog post succinct and clear? Is it written in a simple style and language? Is the information laid out directly with the main conclusion easy to decipher?

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