Branding Strategy of Netflix

Branding Strategy of Netflix

A look into the Branding Strategy used by Netflix

Before we look into the branding strategy used by Netflix, let us understand the brief history of Netflix. Netflix was found in 1997 by Reed Hasting and Marc Randolph. Initially, the company started off as a DVD rental company which later grew to a 29 Million subscriber company in 2016. By late 1997 Netflix launched it’s website and made the service available online( This was the first best thing Netflix did. They were on the market at the correct time. At the time there weren’t many selling the same service offered by Netflix that made them unique in the market.

Competitors of Netflix

Eventually like all business, even Netflix soon met the enemy. Amazon Prime TV and HBO were doing very well along with other companies like Hulu and At&t’s Uverse. Netflix soon became a thing. they were doing so good that they so close to 46% hike in users over the years. How did they do it? Branding. Netflix had one of the best branding campaigns ever done.

Branding strategies used by Netflix

The internet of things

Like previously discussed, Netflix was able to get into one of the fastest growing market, i.e the internet. The brand made its way into the market way back when the internet was gaining attention. This really helped them a lot in the later stage. They had a huge set of audience to sell to when they actually set off online.

Cross-Device Compatibility and HD

Cross-device compatibility and HD streaming blew people’s mind. 2010 was the time when smartphones and tabs started filling people’s hand and Netflix saw this opportunity. Netflix was available everywhere and in HD too. It was easily accessible from your home, office and some even took it to the washroom. There was no competitor who did the same at the time giving them a sustainable competitive advantage.

Netflix leveraged Digital Marketing

Netflix is there everywhere, let it be facebook, YouTube, twitter and you name it. Not many use the internet as their prime strategy. Take the case of HBO’s Game Of Thrones yes, it did really well. But they were not everywhere and it took a while to reach that huge set of audience they have now. Regardless of the current standing of the show, if it was a Netflix production I bet you would have seen it 10 times before it had launched. Netflix’s ad campaigns were adrenaline pumping, meaning no matter what age or race you are from Netflix managed to capture your attention with their 30 sec, 15 sec, and 6-second ads. Yes, all their video adverts were 30, 15 sec and 6 seconds. And they kept all their trailers under 2:55 second.

Netflix Logo and Interface- Brand Personification of Netflix

Netflix always had a thing about the logo and that thing got put Netflix more like a mysterious person. Look at the UI used in Netflix. Though Netflix streams a lot of fun and Drama, the interface is sleek, minimalist and dark in appearance. Mysterious well interface

Netflix’s brand personification as a mysterious person is quite fascinating even when it comes to the logo. Watch the video

‘Netflix And Chill’ – Confused branding? Well, it paid off!

Netflix and chill became a thing by early 2015. It was not clear though what it meant. The internet was over it and yes “Netflix and chill” were abused should I say. It became a verb, credits to marketers but not in a good way it was a thing for “Wanna have sex tonight?”. Either way, Netflix saw a boost in subscribers. It worked!

Even though Netflix history as a very successful brand, did have a bad day once in 2011.

Netflix had close to 16 million subscribers in 2o11. Reed Hasting made a very bad decision that was later described as the disastrous after Coca-Cola. From 16 Million, by the end of the month, the subscription plunged to 4 million. That was something Netflix never expected.

What went wrong with Netflix in 2011

Netflix rebranded the DVD mail service to Qwikster. Netflix by then had a lot of subscribers on the online platform and was considerably grown a lot big after coming online but the people always remembered Netflix as a very reliable and good DVD-Rental service. Later Reed hasting apologized. Netflix’s subscription grew back to a massive 29 million in 2016.

Brand Experience

Netflix is valued to have a very good brand experience even though there have been setbacks. Netflix always maintained standards in quality of the content that are streamed and also made sure the compatibility to use Netflix was made minimum. These made the audience happy. This also allowed Netflix to reach out to more audience and deliver content. The subscription cost was hiked in 2016 by $1 to $2 on each level of subscription. Since Netflix has made their service available in HD and 4K resolution this hike was justified. All in all, the viewer’s experience and perception towards the brand is good.

NETFLIX Brand Elements

Name: Why the ‘Netflix’

Netflix’s name is derived from ‘Internet’ and the synonym for movie ‘flicks’, putting them together we get ‘Netflix’.

Logo:  The logo was evolved throughout the ages since the foundation of the company. Initially, the logo was basic one with a film role and the text written in Blue ‘Universe Ultra Condensed’.

Later this was evolved to a full white text on Red background initially and later on developed to Red ‘Graphique’ font Text on White background.


The Tagline is more than just a three worded sentence. The keywords ‘See’ and ‘Next’ is to be noted. The word ‘See’ can be attributed to a lot of things such as

  • Connecting people
  • Looking forward
  • Exploring
  • Streaming

Similarly, the word ‘Next’ can be attributed to

  • Creating an anticipation on what Netflix will do next
  • Innovation
  • Curiosity
  • The next episode


Netflix Logo, Sound and Color

There is a reason why these three elements are taken into consideration together.

The logo as mentioned before is a red text on a white background. The logo and the animation sound is basically a combination of few of the best streamed shows in Netflix. The logo sound is from one of the best of Netflix ‘The House of Cards’ and the color format take from the all-time anticipated and viewed tv series ‘Blacklist’.

Frank Underwood. Red. The perfect quip. It’s a three-part system for Netflix’s new brand, and while it sounds almost stupid-simple, the system is a clever, scalable gradient to promote stars like Kevin Spacey or the business of Netflix itself. – Gretel

Brand Identity Trap

Netflix, when rebranded with Gretel in 2014, wanted the Netflix to be in a premium entertaining position though they succeeded in achieving the same the brand also got the ‘Netflix and chill’ identity that they never anticipated would come in. This perception of the brand is still carried on.


Psychological advertising strategies in Digital Marketing and Content Marketing

Psychological advertising strategies in Digital Marketing and Content Marketing

Psychological advertising strategies in Digital Marketing and Content Marketing

Psychological advertising strategies in Digital Marketing

How Psychology Affects Ad Copy

Do apes window shop? Do pigeons not choose a product because of a bad review? Do camels need to see a brand’s logo? If not, why do we? Why do people make the purchasing decisions they do? The relatively new field of marketing psychology has arisen out of questions like these, the purchasing ones not the camel, and seeks to give marketers insights into not only how are decision made, but how people differentiate between competing products and how much information they actually need. Not convinced that psychology actually plays a role in marketing strategy? Well, are you more likely to buy food when you’re full or hungry? Think back to the last time you went to Ikea.

Where did you see the ad for cheap hotdogs? It was about three-quarters of the way through the store, when you’ve expended enough energy walking around to be hungry again and just need a little psychological push to finish your journey. Consumer behavior is a wide-ranging discipline seeking to understand everything from the mindset of early tech adopters to how items on a shelf can best be positioned for maximum exposure. So how do we find out what makes people tick?Research, research, research. For several decades, countless studies, of varying degrees of morality, have been launched to help explain what the heck are we thinking when we read an ad?Do people respond better to larger fonts or smaller fonts? At what point do people simply tune out what you’re trying to sell them? There are literally thousands of questions whose answers should matter to you.

Yet, the field of consumer behavior is still in its awkward teenage years. Every successful company has at some point used psychological marketing concepts in their ad copy. If you’re not trying to understand how people think and act they way they do, you’re basically just hoping your ads will work because you’re a better writer than Mark Twain. In the next few videos, we’ll discuss a few psychological triggers that you can introduce into your own copy to help influence a reader’s decision-making process.

Psychological advertising strategies in Digital Marketing

Psychological Triggers: Priming

– Even people unfamiliar with marketing psychology, have probably heard of the concept of priming. In a nutshell, it’s using a stimulus to affect a later stimulus. Now what does that mean and what the heck does it have to do with writing effective ad copy? The best way to think of priming is the process of planting a seed for later action. In the most famous experiment involving priming psychologists found that people were faster to recognize words when similar or related words were given first. For example, subjects who saw the word nurse recognized the word doctor faster than an unrelated term like, bread.

As you can probably tell by this far in the article, I’m not a brain specialist. Heck, you give me a Rubix cube, five minutes later I’ll hand you back a broken Rubix cube. But priming kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? It taps into our memories, our sensory perception, and allows your brain to group things together. Now how does this relate to ad copy? For you, there’re two ways you can use priming to your advantage. The first way, is by priming readers with conditions or a situation. Say you’re selling sunscreen, If I’m reading your ad in the Pacific North West during winter, when it’s rainy every single day, it probably won’t appeal to me, right? Well, what if I use this sunny day as a background image? What if I introduce my ad with, right now in Costa Rica, Jim is getting burned.

Even mentioning this sunny place, helps prime the reader to receive my message. With the use of a sunny image, and the words Costa Rica, you’ve already helped them picture a situation where they would need sunscreen. Sure you might not be Jim, but in the right situation, you could be. You can also prime readers for your ads by using what’s called, homophone priming. It’s related to stimulus priming, but you’re actually using the sound of words to set up the reader for action. Using our sunscreen example, if I have a call to action that says buy now, I can use homophone priming earlier on by using a phrase like, bye, bye, rainy days.

Bye, as in goodbye, sounds the same as buy now. So you’ll actually influence the reader without them knowing it. The key to priming is to think of both the initial stimulus and the ultimate action stimulus. Now is priming guaranteed to work? Of course not, it’s a gentle suggestion, not a forceful push. And if you use it too much, it can disrupt your flow. Priming is one psychological trigger that I personally use whenever applicable, but I reserve it for when it’s appropriate.


Psychological Triggers: Social Proof

Conformity. While everyone has their own needs and wants, in most situations, we tend to act the exact same, if not very similar. The power of conformity can pay off for ad copy writers when it comes time to making purchase decisions. By mentioning that other people have conformed to or purchased what you’re offering, you’re tapping into that herd mentality that people are so famous for. Simply put, people place greater trust in something they see or hear other people have done. Let’s think of a real world marketing example. How many times have you driven by McDonald’s and seen a sign similar to, Over five billion burgers served, or, Billions and billions of burgers served?

Wow, that’s pretty impressive, right? Now, what if that said, over six burgers sold, or over 13 burgers sold? So how would this apply to what you’re doing? Does this mean I can simply make up a number and use it? Not at all. If you’re selling all new line of fashion scarves and you say, Over six billion scarves sold, you’re gonna get a lot of skeptical people. So the first part of using social proof your ad copy is for it to be honest and believable. Sure, you can round up or project a little bit,but don’t pull a number out of your head and say, the bigger the better, ’cause that never works.

If you have low sales or customer numbers, then perhaps social proof shouldn’t be used in that ad.If not many people have taken advantage of what you’re offering, then that could raise the question of, why not? So using social proof in this case could actually hurt. Our second feature, however, is that social proof needs to be relevant to the reader. If I’m featuring an ad in AARP magazine, I’ll want to say, Over 50,000 retired people trust my heart medicine. This allows the reader to say, wow, that’s a lot of people just like me, I need heart medicine. I was once a part of an experiment that tested this exact concept, where we tested a US only website using over one million customers versus over one million Americans, and no surprise, the version that said over one million Americans blew the other out of the water, wasn’t even close.

But that led us to think even more granular. What if we said, over X-number of Californians, and targeted people in California? Would that do better or worse? I’m sorry to tell you that that version actually performed worse than Americans. Why? Perhaps it’s the assumption that we thought people would identify themselves as Californians as opposed to Americans, or perhaps it could be that people want relevance, but they don’t want too much relevance. So, social proof should be believable and relevant. Let’s add one more condition.

Social proof should be used as a way to reduce anxiety or doubt in a potential user. If I am offering you a code for 10% off, and all you’re asking me to do is to click this button and get a code, the level of risk is pretty low for the reader. However, if you want to give someone a free book, but you need to give your address and phone number and all your personal information, that’s getting a little risky. You want me to give my personal information for a book? I’m not too sure of that.What’s that? Over 35,000 people just like me have already signed up today? Well, if that many people have done it, I guess it must be trustworthy.

Used correctly, social proof can be one of the biggest tools you’ll ever use in an ad campaign and push it to new heights. Remember, keep it believable, relevant, and only used when there is the potential of doubt or risk. Whether you lead with it or whether it’s a minor call-out should be directly related to the level of risk the customer is going to feel. Just like I tested the exact number, don’t hesitate to test out different positions and let the data tell you what will work best with your audience.


Psychological Triggers: Price

Think back to your last purchase. Was it a coffee? Was it a movie ticket? Whatever it was, do you remember the price? I’ve run hundreds of experiments that involve pricing, and I can most assuredly tell you that changing the way a price is presented in an ad does indeed matter,and many times it can be the single biggest factor between a new customer and a lost sale. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Mike, I don’t set the price of the thing I’m selling. “I just sell it.” Well, that’s not entirely true, is it? If I offer you a chair for $100 plus free shipping versus a chair for $90 plus $10 shipping, they both still equal out to $100, right? But in the minds of the prospect, that’s two entirely different price constructs.

Now, maybe you don’t have that much leeway in your organization. You can’t necessarily just change price presentation, but there are still other tactics you can use to manipulate the perception of how the price is perceived, and, while it might sound weird, price really is all about perception. It’s not an absolute term. So let’s examine a few tactics we can use to make your price seem lower in an ad without actually changing a thing. The first tactic I like to call pennies a day. In a study, researcher John Gourville discovered that simply mentioning the divided time of price results in a lower overall perception of that price, without leaving out the actual price.

Woah! What does this mean? How can you use it in an ad? What I suggest is simply introducing a lower divided price of what you’re offering. In the above $100 chair example, sure you could mention it’s $100, but why not start your ad description with, “For just $3 a day you can relax “in your favorite new chair.” The price hasn’t changed, but you’ve made the $100 less scary, and, therefore, more appealing. On to our second tactic, this one revolves around time.

No matter the price of your product or service, for some customers it’s just gonna be too much. In the human brain, fairly or unfairly, we associate price with pain. If the joy or utility is equal or outweighs the pain, we’re more receptive to a potential purchase. So how can you shift the conversation in your ad away from that pain? I suggest the focus on how the product or service relates to time. Researchers Mogilner and Aaker theorize that time increases focus on product experience.

So reinforcing the relationship between time, as opposed to the monetary investment, can make the decision a more desirable one. Okay, so let’s talk about how you can use that. What you want to do is focus on the time benefits someone can spend with your product as opposed to its affordability. Let’s use the chair example again. If you write, “Our chair is budget friendly.” That doesn’t work quite as well as, “Think of how comfortable you’ll be all day!” I know what you’re thinking.

“Mike, that sounds like a distraction.” That’s because it is. If you can distract the user from the price, yet still have them register the price, you’re starting off on the right foot. For our third and final tactic, it might surprise you and it might seem a little counter-intuitive. Just introduce a bigger number before your price. Yes, really. That is a real tactic that works. In two separate studies, researchers found that simply exposing subjects to a higher number at some point before the price led subjects to perceive that price as smaller.

So how can you use this tactic? Just put a number larger than your price somewhere in the ad.Anywhere. Say, if you’re selling a pack of pencils for $2, in your ad present it as a pack of six pencils as opposed to just a pack. Now these three tactics: divided cost, which we’ll call pennies a day,time benefit and higher price mention might apply to your next project, but even if not there’re countless others. No matter what tactics you take, make sure you address the presentation of the price and how it relates to the user’s perception of pain.

Your customer’s thinking about the price and so should you.


Impact Of Loss Aversion And The Endowment Effect

– [Voiceover] Have you ever found money on the sidewalk? Pretty cool isn’t it? Conversely, have you ever put money in your pocket and then reached for it when you’re at the store and it’s simply not there? Two different sides of the same coin. Which one would you rather? To find free money or avoid having lost money? After much study, we can definitively say that loss aversion is real. Simply put, losing money is more painful, more than gaining money is great. In marketing, this can present itself in several ways.

Rational humans are worried they’ll be left out from group decisions, that the grazing herd will leave them alone without the protection of others. Yes, the thought that we might make the wrong decision and be excluded from society is a strong evolutionary trait that can be seen in ads everywhere. Heck, some ads even say, “Don’t be left out.” Not exactly the most subtle approach, but it does work. For me, however, FOMO is an inherent concern, but also a pretty negative way to create an ad. There’s another tactic, however, I’ve found quite effective.

Using the Endowment Effect, which states that people place a higher value on an item simply because they own it, tends to work well. If you have a coffee mug in your cupboard that cost $4,then a rational human would sell that coffee mug to me for $4.25, right? Whatever your price, you would still want more than the original value. Why? Because it’s your mug. Maximizing on the endowment effect then is a simple matter of how you present the thing you’re offering. Present it as something the customer already owns, they just need to take an action and you’ll release it to them.

Think of the last time you bought movie tickets or airplane tickets. Surely you saw a message saying they would hold your tickets for the next two minutes or so. So wait, it’s already mine? Even though I haven’t paid? How nice of you. Loss aversion is a real concern that taps into the deep insecurities of the human condition. Luckily, tactics like the endowment effect can help you overcome it. To figure out how you can best use it, put yourself in the mind of a customer who is on the fence about buying a product or service. What are they scared of? Your ad should always aim to address a pain point, whether that pain is related to their financial life, working life, or personal life.

Think about how you can turn that pain into a joyful experience, and your ad has a great chance of resonating with your target audience.


What Is The Future Of Advertising?

What Is The Future Of Advertising?

In a recent interview, Sean Tyson, the creator of advertising agency Quietly, was asked a very direct question, Do you see traditional advertising dying out? His response is one that’s echoed by modern marketers everywhere. The short answer is, yes. Sean lamented that up to now, advertising has been companies paying to have a one-way conversation with customers, but now there needs to be an exchange of value, and that value is in the form of utility, information, or entertainment. With so much competition in the digital age, modern consumers want to be rewarded for reading your advertisement.

If I’m gonna sit here and read about your product, it better be worth my time. So traditional advertising isn’t dead, but the transition to branded content consumption has already begun. We define content marketing as targeted marketing material backed up by social media campaigns and integrated to your overall acquisition structure, rather than just regular posts about a wide range of topics like you’d find on a blog. Companies working to establish a content marketing strategy can jump ahead of the more stagnant competition, and it really doesn’t matter your industry.

If you sell plumbing tools, connect customers to branded content about how to properly install piping in a new construction. Not only are you talking about why your product exists, you’re also providing something useful. The good news is, there’s a lot of tools to quickly and painlessly establish such a strategy. Content automation tools like Tumblr, Clearvoice, and my personal favorite, Hootsuite, make it easy to give your customers useful content without hours of searching.

For those of you who decide to make the shift by yourself, Google suggests presenting large levels of content that is unique, specific, and of high quality. Which is just another way of saying, don’t copy the competition? If there’s one theme I’ve tried to impart with this article, it’s that advertising has to satisfy a need. Make your ad copy clear and relevant to give it a utility, and really that’s all that content marketing is. Sure, the method might have changed, but creating winning copy for traditional ad or content marketing post has the same function.

You want to inform the customer about your product and then tell them why it’s relevant to them specifically.

Responding, Converting, And Measuring Your Marketing

Responding, Converting, And Measuring Your Marketing

Now also, useful is going to respond. And what I mean by this is, if someone’s out there talking about you or asking that question, even if it’s not directed at you, you want to make sure that when you come back. And you see that message, you respond to it. For example, me and my kids were sitting at Sea-Tac airport one night. it was about midnight and we were waiting for our bags and waiting and waiting and I finally tweeted to Alaska Air because I know that they always respond to stuff online. I figured I’d hear in the morning. And I said I know you have a deal where if our bag takes longer than 20 minutes we get something cool what do we get because we’ve been here for way longer? Within two minutes, at midnight, someone from Alaska Air responded, and apologized, and explained what it was.

And explained how I can go get it. Now as it turned out, this delay was not their fault, but you better believe that they made me into a real fan. Alaska Air really became, not only significant to me. But also just someone that I will go out and deliberately spread the word. So I became on of their group of the weird. And that’s probably why when you go look on Facebook, Alaska Airlines whose you know a relatively small airline compared to some of the giants like United has 218,000 fans when most other airlines, the most popular pages they have.

Are the ones with people complaining about them, so just keep that in mind. You can search actively for things to respond to. So you can take a look on Google, you can do a search and just change it so you’re looking at the past 24 hours, that’s what I’m doing in the slide here. And just search for your brand and see what people have said. You can use tools like Sprout Social. Which will let you do searches on your brand across multiple social networks and look for questions as they come up. Then you can answer those questions at the moment that they appear. Useful also converts.

And again, this is about deliberately reaping the rewards of all the work you’re doing. You want to make it easy to convert. This is a website for a produce seller. And if I decide I want to use this deal, they give me these three or four steps that I have to take. That is not easy. Am I really going to remember the particular promo code that I’m supposed to put into the field at step two, after I finish creating my account? Probably not. This is not easy, this is not the way you want to do it.Look at Mail Chimp. They have a single button. I get to their page, they’ve done that work, I’ve gotten there because of some messaging they have.

If I click Sign Up Free, I’m already into the process at that point. I’m one step more committed than I would have been before, it’s super easy. Even on my own company’s website, we make sure that there’s always a next action that people can take. I’m a big fan of a lot of the research that theUniversity of Washington is doing around social media and things like that. They have sometimes great little blurbs on their homepage, but they often don’t have links back to more information about those blurbs. It just kind of leaves you sitting there saying more please, can I please get all this great information you’re talking about? so, you know, that’s an example.

You want to make sure people convert one way or another. And a conversion might mean a sale, it might just mean a click. Whatever it is, make sure they take that next step. So Useful is just plain cool. That’s really what we’re talking about here is that when you take your product and your message and you make it useful, you’re making yourself cool to that narrow audience that you created, that little audience of the weird. But someone is going to ask me, how do I prove it works?Show me some data. Well, there is a way to do it, but you got to measure everything. So when you start on your campaign towards significance, you want to make sure you’re tracking which pages get the most looks.

Which pages have the highest value? Which pages lead to people making conversions? So that if you’re using content to demonstrate significance you can see the performance of that content, see which pieces of content are working better. If you’re using something else to demonstrate significance, if you’re using off web content, if you’re using a sales team or something like that.Then just make sure that you’re tracking over time, and that as behaviors change within that team, within whatever it is that you’re doing offline, you track and see the results of your actions. Use tools like Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer which will let you track the relative popularity of a particular page, or message, or person on the internet in social media, so that you can see whether you are becoming more significant to your audience.

And, if you’re using content, and I have to have a quick aside here, when I talk about content, I’m not talking about content marketing. A lot of people like to use that phrase. I’m just talking about using great content for marketing and the difference is you’re not going to go out and buy fifty articles for $5 a piece to demonstrate significance, you’re going to need to produce really quality stuff. So, when you do that you can aggregate different pieces of content together. If you have a whole bunch of videos that are really funny over the top videos, then maybe you put all those together so that you can then in your analytics reporting So you can see, okay all the funny overthe top stuff performs much better than the really serious stuff or vice versa.

That will help you as you try to measure what’s working. It will let you show to people that this is indeed doing the job. And you want to test wherever possible. And the big advantage to the internet. The thing that I actually think may have started as down the road to over focusing on search. Is the idea that we can test and measure everything. So, you can use a tool like Ubounce to compare different landing pages. So if you create a page on your website, you can put togethersome basic information on the page and decide you’re going to try three different headlines.

And Unbounce will automatically rotate those headlines for you, and show you which recipe, which combination of headline and graphic and everything else. Generated the best result. It’s a great way to see not only whether you’re attracting the right audience, the right group of weird, but also whether you are getting the right response when they get there. Are you proving useful to them? Tools like Crazy Egg let you measure how far people scroll on a page and where they click, another great way to see what on the page is proving significant to people. You’ll sometimes find that people are clicking on things that aren’t even clickable.

Read More:

SEO and Marketing the big difference!
How to provide value in marketing? SEO and marketing

And you need to change that because they want it to be useful, and it’s not useful yet. So, some myths that people bring up all the time around this. First, the idea that weird has to be bizarre. It doesn’t. Marketing to the weird doesn’t have to be a really strange thing. It can be, off the wall, really bizarre, really funny. But it can also be pretty subtle. It can be anything that has a niche ofpeople who will be passionate when you talk to them. And that’s why that overlap is so, so important. Some people come to me and say, never mind all that. Search is all about links.

I gotta produce more links, I need more links. Well, Google’s changed, links don’t do what they used to, they don’t work the same way they used to. They do still help you rank. And of course they can drive great traffic, but one good link is worth an infinite number of lousy ones, and actually one bad link can do really bad things to you now Google has introduced a filter, an algorithm change called Penguin, which will actually push you down in the rankings if they feel that you’re artificially acquiring links. Then people will say well, okay, this is great but everyone who comes to me is buying rhubarb and I need to use the word rhubarb 11 times on my home page or I won’t rank.

It’s not really true either anymore. Yes, you need to use the language that your audience uses.That’s how you become significant, right? They have to understand you. But topics and topic focus and semantic match will take care of themselves if you become significant. People will tell me there’s no ROI in this. My jaw just hits the floor. I don’t know exactly how to respond to that. So, I’ll just give you numbers. Let’s say you buy a print ad In a magazine and it costs $200,000 and you reach about 3 million people. It costs seven cents a person and you have no way to measure the return on investment.

And this is actually a real example. Then, you pay authors to write ten really great articles. So, $2000 an article, it costs you $20,000. You reach 620,000 people at a cost of three cents a person.So, it’s cheaper. And, the ROI on the end, on this particular campaign was 10 to 1. So you tell me which performs better.

How to provide value in marketing? SEO and marketing

Providing Value In Your Marketing

So you’ve established your audience of the weird. You know who you’re going to talk to first and you know that you’re pretty confident that they’re going to reach out to other people for you. But weird only gets you so far. You also have to be useful. And useful means in some way providing definite value. This is the easiest way to make yourself and your marketing and your message useful. My favorite way is to answer questions. Again, because it’s very straightforward. And there’re some great research tools. If you take a look at Google. And you type in a phase as a question like is a wedding dress. Or I can type in a question about rhubarb.

And when I type that in, I can find out what people are asking. And then I can go answer that question either in a blog post or in a video or in a printed ad or whatever. I can go to a site like which is purely built for question and answer. That’s all it does and people are asking questions on there on a whole range of topics from marketing to sports to celebrities. Find the questions that the most people are following and that have the biggest discussions and then you can take that and use that. As the questions that you want to answer elsewhere.

You can also use a tool like Ubersuggest. Ubersuggest taps Google suggest. And automatically searches many many different forms of whatever you type in. And so you can type in a question, like, is rhubarb the beginning of a question? And Ubersuggest won’t just find you 10 questions. It’ll find you 100, 1000, something like that. And that’ll give you things like why is rhubarb good for you? Or ten ways to cook rhubarb, whatever. It gives you lots of different ways to reach out and make that work. Now you can also simply entertain.

This is much, much harder, but when it works it works big. The reason it’s much harder is because you have to go well outside the comfort zone of your brand. For example, I might have a client come to me and say well I sell forks. How interesting are folks going to be, how entertaining can I make them? Well, these guys sell deodorant, how exciting is that? They found a way to make it really interesting and you can bet that some of the people in their advertising department, some of the people on their board were not happy about this particular campaign because it made them uncomfortable. But they pushed through anyway and it was very successful.

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You can find ideas again by going to a tool like Google suggest. If you do a search on Google suggests for are folks, you’ll find some ones that have some comedic potential, some entertainment potential like, are forks evolved from spoons or are forks or chopsticks better? They can be better in different situations. You can compare those situations and get a pretty entertaining piece. This guy sells razors. Would a typical ad executive do the same kind of ad that he did? This is a company called dollar shave club? No, absolutely not! Cause it might offend people.

That’s okay, sometimes, to entertain, you want to do something that runs the risk of offending some people. It’s okay. Useful can also just mean making waves, stopping people in their tracks.When JFK gave a talk about the moon shot, no political adviser would have gone to him and say, you should tell people how hard it’s going to be. No politician would do that today. He went and did that. And by doing that, he stopped people in their tracks, completely changed the message around the moon shot, totally disarmed one of the big arguments about it and turned it into a mission for the country. Useful also gets heard.

And what I mean by this is you can’t passively sit back and wait for people necessarily to hear you.You have to find some folks who are going to be part of that weird audience and then find people within there that you can possibly even reach out to specifically. For example, you can use this tool called follower wonk. Which let’s you search through people on Twitter and do a lot of data mining with different twitter biographies and twitter accounts. And you can just search for everyone who mentions puppies for example on twitter. And when you do that, you find everyone who has written the word puppies in their bio and then you can take a few of those people and look at the overlap between them.

And find the people that they have in common. So, if I’m selling a product for puppies, I might take those people in common, and either reach out to them very politely. Or wait for one of them to ask a question, if you remember from the being useful part, and then when I can, when I answer that question, I can make sure. I can be sure that they’re really going to come back and know that I’m useful to them, right? I’m going to make myself super useful because I’m going to get heard and if they’re influential, they’ll reach out to other people as well.

And influential may mean they only know three other people that they’ll reach out to. If they reach out to those three and each of those people reach out to another two. You’re still growing your market, it’s still worth doing. You can get heard by taking content you create and posting it to third-party sites, like Which has an enormous audience, and if you think again about looking for the weird, there’s an overlap here, it’s people who like to look at presentations, and then are interested in whatever topic it is that you’ve written your presentation about. So when you post to SlideShare, you have a good chance of getting in front of all of those people, because you’re accessing Slideshare’s entire audience.

The same is true of video hosting sites like Vimeo and YouTube. Right? When you post a video to those sites, if you leave them publicly available on the site, then people don’t just find the video on your website or blog. They find the video when they’re wandering around this site that has millions and millions and millions of users per day, per week, per month. Another way to try to reach this audience to be heard is to look for things that people monitor and I’ll explain what this means in a minute. But just as an example, say you put together a free eBook explaining or answering some set of questions that you found a lot of people are really interested in.

Maybe you went on Quora, and there’re 20,000 people following one specific question, and you decide you know what I could do a whole eBook. I could write 20 pages about this. So you put together a Kindle eBook, and then there are lots of people who use tools like if this then that which automatically monitor the free eBook list. And send them a notification when a new book gets into the top 100. They’re over 20,000 people monitoring that. So if you put together an eBook that makes it into that top 100, you can get pushed out to a lot of folks.

It’s not easy. It’s a little bit of a long shot. But it’s a great example of being heard. You can also pay. You can just do paid advertising. They’re tools like, which let’s you promote your content by having it show up on other websites like And it shows up as related articles that are off that particular site. So that’s a great way to get the high context, really high-value advertising. You can use a tool like StumbleUpon. To get just lots and lots of views. Lots of eyeballs on your content. Or you can use things like Facebook Sponsored Stories.

And if you remember how good the targeting tools are on Facebook. When I showed you how I was mining for different kinds of interests and overlaps between interests. You can use those tools to push ads and stories to specific people. And specific groups of people. It’s immensely powerful. It’s very inexpensive. It’s a great way to give. Some of your message that initial boost that it needs. So you’ve done all this work. You’re on your way to significance. You’ve found the weird, you’ve found the overlap and you’ve made sure you’re useful. Well now you need to deliberately reap the rewards and what I mean by that is you can’t necessarily just kind of hang around and wait.

Now I talked a little bit about being heard and that’s almost. To the point of reaping the rewards.But when I talk about reaping the rewards I mean what happens when people get to you. They’ve gotten to your site now. They’re reading your content. They’re doing whatever it is you want them to do. At that point, you need to make sure that you get shared. And there’re some basic best practices here. For example, there are tools like share this, where if you click it you’re gonna get 20, 30, 40 little buttons of all the different possible sharing services. It’s very useful and very helpful.But if you want to get more shares, you want to have the three or four most used social networks for your audience front and center showing actual statistics for the number of people who have already shared.

That combines social proof with a very easy way to share that content. You want to, if you’re putting information on your website, have a way for people to embed that information on other sites. So I can take this graph, click embed. Get a little code embedded on my website. It’ll include a credit to them. And it’ll let you use their data. That’s really really useful. You can also just ask. And this is another good one. if you’re sharing your content yourself. If you just add the phrase please Retweet, there’s some research that shows you’ll get four times the Retweets than if you leave off please Retweet.

SEO and Marketing – How SEO helps in marketing

Making Your Marketing Weird, Useful, And Significant

You’ve started your own business and you need customers. In the 21st century,people are gonna come to you and say the way to get customers is to get into search engines. You have to rank, you have to rank on Google. So you go and you hire what we in the industry call a search nerd, and that person goes off and does mysterious stuff to help you move up in the rankings. And they send you a bill once a month and that’s about all you know about it. And then for the rest of the lifetime of your business, you wake up in the middle of the night screaming because of one of two things. Either A, you’re not ranking yet, or B, you’re ranking in Google and you’re terrified that for some reason, you’re gonna lose that ranking, because as it turns out,Google specifically, or a couple of search engines generally, are driving all of your customers to you and that’s your only source of business.

So what’s wrong? Why has this changed? ‘Cause this is not the way marketing used to work. What’s changed is the existence of search engines have really altered the dynamic of marketing. We’ve chased search engines into this weird corner where all we focus on is our rankings and we’ve forgotten about the rest of marketing. There’s a lot more to marketing than search, even today. It’s part of this very complex cycle. And that complex cycle works to your advantage, it’s not a disadvantage. It’s important to keep that in mind. One way to look at it, and the way that I generally look at marketing, is that marketing is all about significance, and search engines, all they want to do is deliver significance.

SEO and Marketing – How SEO helps in marketing

They’re just trying to do what works at the core of marketing and always has. And if you keep in mind that marketing is about significance, then you can start to understand that what marketing is really about is showing yourself to the weird, making yourself useful, and using those two things to build significance around you, and your company, and your brand. If you look at the definition of significance in the dictionary, it’s “the quality of being worthy of attention.” I have my own definition that I’ve adapted to marketing, which is the quality of being worth of attention to people who may never buy from you but will always spread the word about you.

And that’s very, very important. And the significance is not something that you can go out and buy. You can’t make people think you’re significant. You can’t force it. You have to invite it. And you invite significance by standing out to those who are compelled to respond, what I call The Weird and what Seth Godin originally called The Weird in a great book called We Are All Weird. You also establish significance by making yourself useful. Think about things like Velcro. You want to really aspire to reach the point where you are so useful that people just assume you’re there.

You become a utility. And you can close the loop by deliberately reaping the rewards. You don’t wanna just sit there and wait for people to land on your doorstep once you’ve done all this work.You wanna make sure that they do land there and make it easy for them. So I’ll start by talking a little bit about the weird. Significance must involve you standing out to the weird. Now, there’re two kinds of weird, right? There’s weird like me, grown men who play games like Dungeons and Dragons. And then there’s weird that just separates your potential customers from the enormous crowd in which they live.

You can try to sell to all the people out there, and I’m sure if you’ve worked in a business or run your business, you’ve had some time where you’ve looked at things and said there are a million other people out there saying the same thing, hearing the same thing. How do I get to my customers? The way you do it is by refusing to hang out with the crowd. Find the people with special interests. Find people who really like waffles. Find people who are allergic to wool. And where you find those intersections between two interests, you’ll find the weird.

If you think about Will It Blend?, it was a video series done by a manufacturer of blenders, that advertiser, when he was thinking about the campaign, he sat down and, unconsciously at least, thought, well, let’s see, I’m selling blenders. Everybody buys blenders. They don’t even know the brand of blender they’re buying, but people really like to see stuff get smashed. So maybe what I should do is find the people who are looking to buy a blender and like to see stuff get smashed and put the two together. And that’s how he ended up with Will It Blend? When I had to write an article about marketing and I wanted it to stand out, I thought about the fact that they’re all these marketers out there and they’re very passionate about marketing.

And then there’s all these gamer nerds out there like me and a lot of them are marketers. And at the crossover, that’s where I found the weird that I could talk to. And I wrote this article calledEverything I Ever Learned about Marketing I Learned from Dungeons and Dragons. And even within the search world, that had a really, really good result. So even if I am just looking at search engines,by accessing that weird audience, that obsessed audience, I got lots of people to talk about the article because they saw, oh wait, I play Dungeons and Dragons, I wanna take a look at this article.

And then they reached out to people who weren’t within that little segment, and that’s what that segment can do for you. That’s what reaching out to the weird can do for you, is it can get you people who are so impassioned about the message you’ve given them that they’re willing to carry it to other people who exist outside the space that you’re trying to access. It also got me a lot of links. Again, the same thing, it got me a lot of links from news sites and marketing sites that don’t do anything about Dungeons and Dragons. But because the article started to gain a lot of momentum and a lot of people saw it and heard about it, it started to build momentum and gain links.

It also gained a lot of mentions in an email, in newsletters, in social media. There were a few people calling me on the phone. So again, it exists far outside of search, but because good marketing is also good SEO, by accessing this audience, by finding that intersection and finding the weird, I got a really good result. And this has been true for well over a hundred years. If you look at advertisements like the one that David Ogilvy had to do for Rolls-Royce in the 1960s, he sat down and he thought, “Well, let’s see.

“I’m selling a car for wealthy people “and I’m selling to wealthy people “who like peace and quiet in their cars.” Right, ’cause some people may like loud cars, some people may like convertibles.And by putting those two together, he found this unique audience and he put together and ad that talks about how quiet the Rolls-Royce is and it was very successful. Now there’re lots of different ways to achieve weird, right? You can do weird and just make huge waves and just do really strange stuff that’s over the top. So if you look at Old Spice, you know, they looked to people who buy deodorant, which is almost everybody, and then they looked to people who like really bizarre, crazy humor, and they came up with the Old Spice commercials, which are hilarious and everybody knows who the Old Spice guy is.

Nobody knows his name, but they know who the Old Spice guy is. Your appeal to that weird audience can be over the top, but it can also be subtle. You don’t have to make it something completely off the wall. For example, a company called momAgenda makes day planners for moms. And what they did is they found this overlap between moms and moms who want to be really organized and found this little group of people who spend a lot of time on the internet looking for tools and methods to help them organize and plan their families’ day, week, month.

So they took their planner and they made printable versions of it. And by making those printable versions available, they got lots of moms downloading them and talking about momAgenda. And the discussion went from online to offline, it grew their own house email list, it expanded the number of people who knew who they were, and it also, again, coming back to search, did build quality links back to their site. So again, good marketing is good SEO. Good marketing is good email list-building. It covered all those bases for them.

You can just go over to the whiteboard and start brainstorming ideas, or a piece of paper and just start brainstorming ideas for how you find this overlapping audience, this intersection of interests. Or you can use some tools, and what I’ll do sometimes if I’m stuck is I’ll go to Facebook and I’ll start to create an ad and then I’ll go down to this field that’s called Precise Interests and I’ll type in whatever the product is, or the concept, or the idea that I’m trying to promote, and Facebook immediately shows me related interests. Things that, if people are interested in rhubarb, they’re also interested in these other things as well.

If you take a look here, you can see there may only be 10 or 20, 30,000 people on Facebook who’ve expressed an interest in rhubarb, but there’s 3.9 million with an interest in something olive. There’s 500,000 with an interest in ginseng. If you take that, you can find the people who overlap, reach out to them, and if they really like what you have to say, then they will reach out to all the other people that they know the larger audience. And that’s how you can use marketing to the weird to get you in front of a much larger group of people.

And you can do this same thing with television shows. You can do it with almost any concept you can imagine. People have created pages on Facebook that other people come in and indicate that they like. So you can do all sorts of interesting psychographic sort of research and find this information on there.