How would you like to have the same marketing power that major cash-rich corporations have enjoyed for most of the past century?
How would you like to be able to appeal to people in your market for a fraction of the cost of “big league” radio, television and even newspaper advertising?
How would you like to see “David” level good ol’ “Goliath’s” marketing playing field so you can play on it too?
It’s called the democratizing of marketingTM, and it’s time has arrived.
The Internet and its advancing technology are significantly changing the way marketers reach consumers. In most cases, the cost to use these newer tools and tactics is within range for most independent innovators and entrepreneurs. The hardest part may be choosing which method to use.
Your first step is to familiarize yourself with the possibilities. Next, you will need to become more techno savvy or find a talented computer consultant. While the consultant can cost a fair amount, consider creative ways of working with such a person: Bartering or offering a percent of your profits for a limited amount of time are just two options. You also may need to consider enlisting the help of other professionals or talented amateurs looking for opportunities. Photographers, writers and videographers are a few that come to mind. Again, before you protest the potential cost, look for low-budget options in your area. Local community colleges are full of eager, talented students who are trained in the latest technologies and looking for ways to add some experience to their otherwise limited resumes.
To get you started, here are the key techniques you need to understand:
BLOGS: Since the first blog appeared on the internet in 1999, more than 4,000,000 are now on-line. The term blog is short for web log. A log, of course, is a ship captain’s “diary” or journal. Unlike the captain’s log, a blog is an interactive journal open for all to read. * Currently, politicians and journalists dominate the “blogosphere”, but as the use of blogs increases, marketers are embracing the advantages of reaching niche markets using this tool. Establishing a blog before you get your product to market can have several advantages for the independent innovator. You can:
If you do decide to start a blog, be sure you have a clear offensive and defensive blog marketing strategy in place. One word of caution: protect your intellectual property by clearly copyrighting your blog. And, if you are an inventor, do not reveal your product concept or drawings until you have a provisional or full patent.
VLOGS: Add video to your blog and you’ve created a vlog (video blog). Vlogs offer some distinct advantages. You can upload videos of yourself speaking directly to your audience or videos which demonstrate how your product or service works. On the downside, vlogs can be more difficult to update regularly, may have a limited audience until more webcams find their way into homes, and if you’re the “star” of the video, you’ll need to do your hair and change from PJs to street clothes.
AUTOCASTING: This is a speech-synthesized version of a regular text blog. With the right technology, autocasts can be turned into podcasts (see next item).
PODCASTING: Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) defines podcasting as “a method of publishing sound files to the internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new audio files automatically. ” The term “podcast” was first used in 2004 and combines two concepts: iPods and broadcasting. Originally, this technology was most often used to sync its content to listeners’ portable music players like iPods. And, since this type of audio feed has the characteristics of radio broadcasting, a new term borrowed from each to describe this venue. A key thing to know is that you don’t need an iPod to listen to a podcast. Your computer or any digital audio player that has the necessary software can be used. Among the advantages of podcasting, programs are “time shifted” similar to what TiVo technology does for television viewers. Your target market can choose when, where and how they hear your message. In addition, you can transmit your messages worldwide without the need for expensive equipment.
NARROWCASTING: Narrowcasting is to television what podcasting is to radio. For a very small fraction of the cost it takes to produce a traditional broadcast or cable TV program, the increasing availability of high-speed internet connections is making it possible for the “little guy” to reach niche markets with free or fee-based programming. If an infomercial is part of your marketing strategy but not your current budget, narrowcasting may be the answer. You might also consider narrowcasting if your specialty program doesn’t interest the cable TV media.
To learn more about these options, log onto the net and do a Google search. Be sure to also visit on-line book sellers like Amazon (www.amazon.com) and Barnes and Nobel (www.barnesandnoble.com).
*It is possible to restrict access to a blog to only a specific group of people or to no one else other than the author.
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Rosemary Hauschild is an innovation and creativity business coach serving individuals developing intellectual property. Impact Coaching International™ offers a year-long program showing creative individuals how to protect, promote and profit from their innovative ideas in less time and with more profits. Individual coaching services are also available. To learn more about how to protect and promote your intellectual property, you are invited to subscribe to the free e-zine, Creations Of The Mind™, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following phrase in the subject line of your e-mail: subscribe creations list. To contact Rosemary directly, please email email@example.com .