Fuel To Take Your Company Higher
In his new book, Launch, social media marketing expert Michael Stelzner presents what he calls "the Elevation Principle" as the solution to successful marketing in today's information-overload world. He summarizes this principle with the formula "GC + OP – MM = G," which, spelled out, reads: "Great Content" plus "Other People" minus "Marketing Messages" equals "Growth." "Think of content as the fuel for your rocket," Stelzner writes, "and people as what ignites the fuel and directs the rocket. Think of marketing as friction that slows your rocket's progress."
In keeping with his rocket analogy, Stelzner divides a company’s marketing content into "primary fuel" — easy-to-produce content that moves the company forward — and "nuclear fuel" — content that is more difficult to produce but can provide a quick and powerful boost. Some examples of primary fuel include comprehensive how-to articles, expert interviews, case studies, news stories and contrarian stories. Contrarian stories take the opposing view of a widely held idea. For example, an article Stelzner wrote for MarketingProfs.com, entitled "The Dark Side of Twitter," generated enormous traffic to the website.
Nuclear fuel content, according to Stelzner, could include free reports based on surveys, top 10 contests, white papers or micro events, such as webinars, tele-classes, social media events and live video broadcasts.
It's About People
Stelzner's call for creative content is hardly surprising. Where Launch separates itself from other marketing books is in the next two steps of the Elevation Principle. First, Stelzner writes, focus on "doing great things for people outside of your business, many of whom will likely never become customers." Most marketers, he writes, think in terms of "how do I get other people to do things for me?" After years in sales and marketing, Stelzner discovered that the best way to sell was simply to be helpful to other people without asking them for money. Stelzner lists the reasons this counterintuitive approach works:
- It eliminates the perception of the pitch. "When you provide value to other people, they'll see your business in a different light," he writes.
- You'll notice trends. Helping people with problems provides great market research, allowing you to anticipate trends and manage change.
- You'll gain strategic partnerships. Targeting the right people with access to a larger base than your own will create a partnership that benefits everyone.
- It reduces rejection. People you've helped will be ready to help you — and, in fact, will often ask, unsolicited, how they can be of help.
- Your business will stand out from the competition. Helping others make money turns them into evangelists for your business.
Who Wants Marketing?
The key to creating the perception of an operation that is focused on helping other people is summarized in the next phase of the Elevation Principle: no obvious marketing messages — at first. "Blatant or frequent marketing messages simply say to people you’re all about the sale," Stelzner writes. "In contrast, when you remove most or all marketing messages, you can come across as a very valuable resource and begin forward momentum." When Stelzner launched his website, SocialMediaExaminer.com, he made the decision not to advertise or sell any products until he had 10,000 e-mail subscribers. He focused, instead, on recruiting credible experts to contribute original content to the site. Within six months after the launch, SocialMediaExaminer.com had more than 100,000 people visiting the site monthly and 20,000 e-mail subscribers. "When we finally turned on the marketing engines, we had a blockbuster experience, generating nearly a million dollars from a single event," Stelzner writes.
Backed by his experience as a successful and creative marketer and entrepreneur, Stelzner convincingly makes the case for his counterintuitive approach to marketing. In truth, the material in Launch is rich, substantive and authoritative enough to make any framing rocket analogy unnecessary. Here is a book that provides real-world guidance for online marketing that any business can apply immediately.