How to Get the Most Out of Your Marketing

Eight Tips to Help You Market in the Age of Master New Media

I’ve had numerous conversations with authors that I either met at conferences or’m coaching asking me nothing they are doing is working out. Have you ever felt like that? If you have, you aren’t alone. There appears to be an outbreak of “black hole marketing” going around. What is black hole marketing? Simple. It’s when you really feel like all your marketing efforts are going down a black hole and evaporating into the ether.

So it looks like when you got a deal on the previous rules of websites, the rules keep changing. It is true. The electronic era has brought with it a tsunami of advice. Let us face it, with so much information, news, and emails coming at us many of us feel as if we are attempting to drink out of a water hose. I’ve seen a lot of change in the ten (plus) years we have been marketing books but nothing like what’s transpired in the previous 18 months. The old marketing rule of 7 is now 70 and your 15 minutes of fame has shrunk to 15 seconds. Can you recall the shootings in upstate New York where 14 people were killed? How much time did the media spend it, do you remember any of the details? See what I mean? Fifteen seconds. We flit through tales like we zip through email.

What’s this? Well first off, you can find many ways to make news nowadays. You can be on Twitter and start a rampage on some subject and abruptly Katie Couric is reporting you about the evening news. You can compose something on a blog that gets everyone’s interest. So many new ways to induce media mean the media window is decreasing. All you have to do is run a search on Twitter using #teaparty or #amazonfail and see exactly what I mean. Rapid and furious conversation about both these topics, all of them creating a buzz in under an hour of posting.

With all of these increased ways to get our news, it also implies that the advertising “Rule of 7″ is now around 70. An old marketing adage suggested that it takes 7 exposures to your book, message, or product to hook a new consumer. Now, with all of the things that we consume on a daily basis, the rule is considerably larger. Is it 70 exactly? I don’t know. But it’s certainly well beyond the seven exposures.

1.) Sure, marketing has always been built on relationships but it’s more important than ever especially when it comes to bloggers.

3.) Do a lot of the right thing: when we talk about the rule of 70, you know that means you need to do more of what you’re already doing. So focus in on 3-4 key areas and saturate those. Get on Twitter, start blogging, do whatever you have to in a concentrated, focused fashion.

4.) Pay to play, it’s here: more and more TV stations are turning to a paid format, meaning that if you have enough cash, you can get on the air. I’m not kidding. This is a frightening turn of events, but it’s reality. When I was in the Phoenix area I found out that many of the shows there are already doing this. Phoenix is considered a Top 10 market so if you’re not in a big market it may not have hit you, but likely it will and probably before the end of this year. Why is this important? Because if you’re ever asked to spend some dough on a show, you’ll know why. Also, that’s what makes the Internet so great: it’s free. If you’re ready to have your own TV show, why not turn to YouTube? You’ll get a much farther reach!

5.) Real voices: be real or be gone. Save the sales talk and jargon for your ad copy and be real when you’re blogging, pitching yourself or on an interview. The world is gravitating to real, genuine voices. You won’t impress anyone but mom with your $5 words.

6.) Everyone is a journalist: as we saw with the Amazon mess, everyone is a journalist. If you have a blog that you’re dedicated to and that’s getting traffic and ranking, you could report on something that others pick up and, in some cases, you could end up being on the evening news. The reins of the media have now been dispersed to anyone who has access to Twitter and a blog. Why is this important? Because when you get yourself out there never assume that just because whomever you’re pitching or has featured you isn’t tied to the Wall Street Journal that they don’t bear significant weight in their market. Get to know your community, respect them, pitch to them, and treat them no differently than if you were pitching major media.

7.) Sources don’t matter: when a story first breaks on a site like Twitter, sources are often misquoted and inaccurate. This is just the nature of instant news, it takes a while to catch up. What’s the point? The point is if you can be a source and jump on a story that’s being discussed online, you can get coverage.

8.) Get your story out there quickly: remember that 15 seconds of fame? It’s very true and very much why you need to get out there quickly. In fact with all the news coming at us, I’ve seen stories dissipate in an afternoon. If you have an angle, don’t wait till it’s “perfect” – get it out as soon as possible.

9.) Don’t spread yourself too thin: if you’re thinking back to point #3 and going “Wow, I guess I want to have a few more social networking websites,” hold that thought. When I talk about doing more I don’t mean getting more, I mean doing more with what you already have. Don’t fragment yourself. Focus is so key now, especially with so much stuff coming at us at one time. Stay crisp, focused, and on message, and don’t just grab onto everything because it feels like you’re “doing something.”

10.) Focus, focus, focus: I said in point #9 but it bears repeating. Keep your message focused and on stage. It’s OK to have a whole great deal of angles but keep them clear and sharp. People (and especially the media) have much less time than they did, in case you can not capture their attention quickly you’ll lose them, possibly forever.

The media is changing on an almost daily basis. Today’s lone blogger could be tomorrow’s Huffington Post and tomorrow’s local printing newspaper could be turned into an internet subscription format (as most papers have). It is not more difficult to get press; in actuality, with all these stories and so many ways to receive your news, the options can seem unlimited. That is why aside from abiding by some of the rules I’ve outlined here, you want to have a plan as well. Planning your plan and then realizing a few core regions of focus are crucial to success will turn a so-so effort into a wow-’em program.