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A Brand New Way To Do Online Marketing

Mar 13, 2008
On line marketers are telling a story. Now in this new ear of UGS user generated content you can tell a story by asking a question.

*Truth #1: I'm writing this because I have an interest, as Polls Boutique's marketing guy, in the success of this method.

*Truth #2: While it is in my interest, I sincerely believe in the validity and worth of this. I wouldn't be writing otherwise.

*Truth #3: I'll be using Polls Boutique as an example, because I work there, and because our site does offer many features I can't find anywhere. You're, of course, welcome to take a look at our competition and make your own educated decisions.

Tell your marketing story in a brand new way

Since you're reading this, I'm assuming you have a general understanding of marketing at large, which means you probably already know that great marketing is about telling compelling stories.

Online marketers, a relatively new breed, are currently telling stories using blogs, social networks, viral videos, online ads, news and media aggregators and specific landing pages.

Ask any online marketer and they'll tell you the big reward in this activity is getting your audience involved in the story: comments, letters, feedbacks and trackbacks, are the big prizes.

Dialogues sell more than monologues. That's a fact.

The value of a good question

Here's a new marketing method for you: online polls.

Online Polls are great online marketing tools to add to your arsenal. I like to think of them as little story-telling boxes that can easily convert a passive reader into a participant.

Using a poll, you can tell a story (and with Polls Boutique polls you can use video, pictures, audio, and rich hyperlinked text to tell it), get feedback on it, and generate buzz, all at the same time.

The best thing about polls is that they're questions. In a world filled with declarations by people who allegedly "have answers", you just can't underestimate the value of a good question.

Example Time

Let's say your name was Mike, and you're selling a really great kind of lawn mower. A lawn mower you believed in: Mike's Lawn Mower.

You could post a poll asking people to pick their favorite aspect of Mike's lawn mower. Or a poll asking what features Mike should develop for his next model. Or a general poll about mowing lawns that mentions your product.

In each one of these examples, you're not only broadcasting a message. You are:

1.Involving your users and inviting them to join a conversation, showing you care about their opinions.

2.Educating your users about your product.

3.Learning from users about their needs and wants.

This three-pronged result is what makes polls so great: flexible advertising units that do market research and generate buzz while educating your target audience.

The banner people actually look at

Because of the multitude of elements you can include in a poll, it has the power to become a hyper banner for your brand and/or product: use it to show different spotlights of the laptop you're selling, or show your customers a new commercial and ask for their opinion. My favorite option is to actually make a poll that matters, something you are genuinely interested in finding out. That way, you get information from your audience, while generating buzz for your business.

Eventually, you'll be surprised to see how many people will actually take a look at your story when they're invited to engage and join a conversation about it. It's what the banner people have been dreaming of for years. It works.
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