Jason Khoo - Marketing, It Takes A While

Marketing – It Takes A While

I had a rewarding conversation with my client this morning. We talked about how events and emails we sent out months ago were starting to show results now. I must say learning this was a sigh of relief, but also breathed life into the high quality work I try putting in.

Whether it be link building, search engine optimization, blogging, or just outreach, Marketing takes time. My client would visit farmer markets in the Fall of 2013 and he started to see a steady stream of customer returning back in the Spring and Summer of 2014. Emails I sent out to bloggers were done in early Summer and bloggers were starting to roll in the Fall Time.

It takes time. Building leads, getting links, and finding customers. My advice is to use a strategy of short term gains with long term high quality contacts. Run quick campaigns that will bring a shot of consumers flying in, but make sure to take time out of every month to find the best events or leads.

Leads can be in the form of conventions, events, bloggers, journals, publishers, networking organizations, pretty much anything. However, this requires research, what you need to do is identify and reach out. It’ll take a while, but once you get one things will start snowballing.

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All Marketing Boils Down to Outreach

All Marketing Boils Down to Outreach

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 🙂

3 Easy Tips to Link Building - Jason Khoo

3 Easy Tips to Linkbuilding

I’ve just spent the last two hours writing about SEO for my company’s blog so I’m in the mood for more SEO talk. Link building is one of those areas of online marketing that seems to get the least attention, however, it probably is one of the most important and effective.

Link building is often seen as a science, and it rightfully is. However its application is far from being “scientific”. I only say this not because I don’t think those who are link builders don’t do a legitimate job, trust me it is totally legit, I just think link building scares a lot of people away because the jargon used is so technical.

Here are some Laymen’s tips on Link Building

1. Find local directories like Yellow Pages, Dineries, and Foursquare.

There are a surprising number of directories that exist in the world. Why does there need to be so many? I’m the wrong person to ask and I often myself that question when I work on SEO.

It is what it is though. It’s a great opportunity for you to build links so whenever you have an hour I would suggest filling out some online forms for these directories.

Quick Tip: Create a Word Doc that has all of the info prior so you can just copy and paste every time. It’s the worst to have to re type everything.

2. Reach out to blogs

Blogs are starting to take over the internet. Actually, they probably already have.

Use these blogs to your advantage. Send emails out to these bloggers and ask them if they would like to write a feature about your product or your business. You can offer them free trials, free products, free food in exchange for an honest review. Note the emphasis on honest.

ABE = Always be Ethical

If you can’t seem to find any bloggers to help you, ask your friends to help you on social media. Tell them to link your website and review your product. It’s small, but it’s something and can get you started.

3. Talk to Local Businesses or your Friends who have Businesses

We all are just trying to make it in the online sphere. You can ask your friends or local businesses to help you by providing a link to your website. The best way is to make it organic. What I mean by this is to just write an organic blog post talking about your friend’s product and how you want to support them and so on.

It doesn’t take a ton of commitment for a link.

 

Jason Khoo: How to Gain Loyal Customers (Community Wallpaper)

How to Make Fans Fanatical: Case Study on Community (NBC)

Today the craze is about finding your niche and optimizing your niche. With internet it’s possible and probably the best strategy to market small rather than big. I don’t think enough conversation is discussed when it comes to retaining this niche. So today I’ve decided to take a look at how to properly market and retain your niche so that hopefully they become fanatical fans.

I’ve decided to pick a show that I was once insanely crazy for, hoping one day that there would be six seasons and a movie. This show pretty much built my high school days and was probably my first love when it came to TV shows. If you couldn’t guess by the little hint I dropped earlier, the show I am talking about is NBC’s, or I think now Yahoo’s, sit com, Community.

Quick note, sadly I am not an avid fan or viewer of the show anymore. After about halfway through the fourth season I stopped watching.  I felt like the show’s direction moved on from what I was looking for. I’m not hating, just acknowledging the show went in a different direction. However, I think this makes it even more perfect for the case study. I’m far enough removed from my insane loyalty to the show that I can now look back and do a partially unbiased look.

So let’s begin.

1. The Pilot provided great laughs, a good product, and a promise for more fun to come!

Jason Khoo: How to Create Loyal Fans

This one is pretty simple. Create a good product for the first impression. I’ll come back for more later.

2. They Knew their Target Audience

 

Community was a highly niche, specific show. The whole premise of the show revolved around satire, comedy and pop culture references. If you didn’t enjoy quit wit or subtle humor, you had a hard time following the show.

Jokes were poignant and required background knowledge of other TV shows and the nation’s current political and social environment. The show was geared more toward younger informed millennials in the upper teens to early 30’s, where people had enough experience watching other TV shows, but were still young enough to be a part of mainstream culture.

Sexual acts were made, racist topics were joked about, yet the show never had to worry because it resonated with the audience. Community knew who they were targeting and did not bother trying to please everyone.

3. Start Creating an Emotional Connection between your Customer and the Product.

If you have a good product the only thing keeping  your customer coming back is that good product. However, if any inconvenience occurs or there is a change in their life, it’s quite possible your product will be lost because it might be a hassle to still interact.

If you can make an emotional connection, where the customer starts to feel like they have a relationship with the product they will be more reluctant to leave. For example, in high school whenever I had a test, which was quite often, I made sure I knew that there was a way I could watch the show the day after. (Hulu!) Fridays became my Community day even though the show aired Thursdays. Why did I go out of my way to keep up? Because I felt the connection with the characters and the show.

4. Listen and Interact with your Audience. 

Community is by far one of the most successful shows at accomplishing this. After about half of the first season ended for Community, a fan created the following video. It featured clips, with Sara Bareilles’s Gravity as the theme music, portraying a love between two characters who so far had NO signs of romance or love.

After this video came back. Dan Harmon, director of the show, created an episode that featured the same songs and format of the video into the actual show.

Note the same music, the same style of clips. When this episode aired, community fans raved and fell deeper in love. The show’s director paid actual homage to this original fan made video and even made the two characters fall into a romance! This was just one of many things that Community noticed from their fans and incorporated into the show.

5. Inside Jokes, Create Features or Aspects that Die Hard Fans can share and create a community around.

This goes hand in hand with the prior section. After an episode where Abed, the aspergers’ afflicted son of a falafel cook falls in love with a show, he screams “Six Seasons and A Movie!” declaring his faith in his new favorite t.v show.

After the episode aired, fans started to tweet and hashtag that saying. Summarily Community started featuring it in the show. Those who were die hard fans took notice and loved the continual inside jokes as the show continued to play more and more on these quips. There are PLENTY of instances where this occurs and just watch past the first season and you will see the multitude of references.

6. Swag it Out!

Jason Khoo: How to Create Loyal Customers (Troy & Abed Cup)Jason Khoo: How to Gain Loyal Customers (Greendale Shirt)

Community did a great job of bringing it’s community a step closer by having awesome promotional items. All items were props you could see on the show. Having these items allowed fans to feel that much closer and proclaim their love for their tv show.

I do want to note that most TV shows create swag, however, where Community excelled was that many of their swag was built off of inside jokes and things that their community, no pun intended, seemed to talk about the most.

Note: I have that cup above. I Love it!

In Conclusion…

Community may not be considered the greatest show ever nor will it attain the popularity it once had, but one thing is for certain. Community had one of the strongest and most fanatical following of any T.V show. Their following continually petitions and fights for the show to find a place to broadcast.

So though I’m not a die hard any more, the show will forever have a place in my heart and I continually use it as a guide for when I create marketing campaigns for clients.

 

 

Jason Khoo: Shout out to Seth Godin's New Book - It's Your Turn

It’s Your Turn: Shout out to Seth Godin

Today I wanted to spend a minute and give a quick shout out to one of my Marketing role models, Seth Godin. This was the man who was one of the first men to really get me started on my Marketing career.

I watched YouTube videos wide eyed with dreams and aspirations. I would go to sleep thinking about what this great man said. All this from a YouTube video! I follow his blog and even when I have almost no time to do leisure reading because of school, I still am subscribed to one blog! Of course this is Seth’s! (Hope he doesn’t mind if I call him that)

Well he has got a new book and it’s one that I can’t wait to get my hands on. There’s a twist though! The book will not be available by retail just yet. He wants to change the game of publishing and test the waters of horizontal exchange. We know this works because of things like Social Media and Virality. I haven’t even looked at the book but the daring concept itself is cool enough to be a part of.

I highly suggest everyone go to the site http://www.yourturn.link/ and check it out yourself!

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.

Jason Khoo: Stop Thinking You Need to be An Expert

Stop thinking you need to be an Expert

For years I waited to write this blog because I thought I was a noob. Why would anyone want to read or listen to anything that I had to say. So I decided to wait to get more experience before really committing to blogging. However, I was mistaken. You do not have to be an expert to be followed and listened to. Just look at who you talk to when you talk about workouts for your abs. The friend you know who goes to the gym. Where do you go look for food recommendations? Yelp.

Your friend who happens to go to the gym or the millions of Yelp users are FAR from experts. They are just people who are similar to us trying to achieve a common goal. We give these people our complete attention though when it comes to product reviews online and Yelp ratings.

So stop thinking you need to be an expert. As long as you are honestly trying to reach a certain goal you have every right to share information.