Marketers are a persistent bunch. When they get positive results, they will keep repeating the processes that led them to success. Gary Vaynerchuk jokingly stated that marketers tend to ruin everything, himself included.
This is supported by the fact that once a website, social media site or a platform starts attracting new users, marketers come flooding in and filling up the domain with ads. That is just what they do, because more views and clicks means more conversions and ultimately more cash.
The problem with this is that we, as digital marketers or participants in the online experience, started to create and curate a lot of cloned content. As soon as a certain topic starts to generate some traffic- someone else copies and reposts it. Many of the new strategies or tips from top marketers like Neil Patel, Brian Dean or Matthew Barby result in an opening of flood gates to a not so original outreach tactic or traffic technique.The cloned version simply cannot compete with the original, while the quality gets worse with every next version.
Evoke Your Creativity
The question that most copycats do not ask themselves is this: Who came up with the initial idea? The idea seems to work just fine since everyone is copying it. So who came up with it in the first place? The answer is – authentic influencers that use their own strategy. They prove that we need to hide from the avalanche of duplicates into a cave of ideas. Let them spam, but know this- you can be different and it will pay off much more. Let us take a look at some examples and try to make a suggestion or two.
Email Marketing Done Right
You must have noticed your spam folder filling up with promotions of various products. This is achieved through various email lists. At one point the urgency claim worked tremendously well. The train of thought was if you do not provoke users to a call to action now, you are never going to convert them. Simple text read something like: “This is your last chance to buy X product at a discount. Do not miss it!!!”. Now, this strategy seems like an obvious spam but originally it actually made a lot of money to those original internet marketers like Frank Kern and Ryan Deiss. The trend quickly spread and everyone started doing it. Soon, your inbox is flooded with last minute promotional offers and well you get the point, they lose their effectiveness. Only the original marketer tasted the sweet success of this unique idea.
So How Do You Differentiate?
Instead of trying to get a few customers to pay for the full price of a product, you could try something a bit different. For example, instead of offering a discount, offer the customer some credit of their own. Credit their account with X amount of money and enable them to use that gift for purchasing a particular product. Finish off the email with an explanation that the offer is limited to 10 days. Believe me, your sales will skyrocket because everyone loves free stuff, and the deadline just rushes us to grab it. This assumes you have a unique product offering to begin with. As mentioned before you need to utilize this strategy soon, because this strategy is limited to the amount of marketers eventually begin using this tactic.
The Problem of Free Content
We all love free content. We love reading it as we love sharing it. But curating free content might not be your greatest strategy as a digital marketer. Personally, in most cases I find free content to be poorly written and not thoroughly researched. Often it is curated only to drive sales and promote products, people or institutions. This content is usually short and uninformative. I use my blog here as a resource without any affiliate links on purpose because I don’t want to monetize my site, which will have a completely different agenda than I currently do. Simply put, not all content is equal and free content does have it’s limitations.
Ben Thompson has written up a great case study about paid content that users can subscribe to. Thompson owns a website that offers useful technology resources. Users can subscribe to his mailing list for just $10 and for that you get access to premium content that actually has value. In most cases, people will gladly pay for quality. He managed to get 1000 paid subscribers. That is $100,000 per year just from the newsletter. Pretty effective if you ask me.
Become a Marketing Renegade
The main obstacle mediocre bloggers and marketers cannot climb is abiding the “rules” and practices that the few large name influencers suggest. It is a rat race of who employs the strategy first and soon the target market is aware and will not respond toward these tactics. So – Why not be a bit different? There is a ton of websites that look exactly the same, while covering a topic that has been already exhausted a million times. They have the same templates and content. If you try to compete with this mindless crowd of copycats, your own message just might not make it alive.
Break the Rules
However farfetched your idea may be, it just may be much better than the mediocre stuff that is already out there. There is this one guy whose marketing technique does magic and he does not care for any of the current trends some might want to impose. Disclaimer: I couldn’t act like a douchebag for money but nonetheless this is working. He is deliberately promoting himself as a “millionaire douchebag”, so as to stand out from the crowd of self-proclaimed experts and frauds. Timothy Sykes is a real refreshment when it comes to marketing. It takes a lot of courage to try something like that. But it paid off and he succeeded in making himself well known and even richer. It is an example that anyone can learn from.
I truly believe in people and their ability to creatively express themselves. Of course, you should be standing on the shoulders of giants, but do not try to become one yourself by copying what came before you. Take in the information and be innovative. Experiment and be persistent in your endeavors and I guarantee that after some time you will learn what it truly means to stand out from the crowd.