You don’t need to have a techie or online business to benefit from the power of New Media marketing. A bigger prospect list, more sales, and higher profits are possible for just about any business — even the oldest profession in the world. The difference between winners and losers when using New Media marketing strategies is not in intelligence, technology, or industry — it’s in the strategy, mindset, and skills of influence employed.

The world’s oldest profession shows you how to (and how NOT to) market with New Media

As some of you know, the way we got to live our ideal lifestyle in Hawaii is by my starting, growing, and selling two 7-figure companies in the horticulture industry. Both were generating healthy cash flow, but my passion was always with the design/build work we did for affluent clients and owners of private estates.

Because of that, I still keep my finger on the pulse of the Landscape Design/Build industry. That includes monitoring how companies are using New Media to market their off-line business. This case study is based on one of those companies and will show you how virtually any company in any industry — online or off-line — can use New Media to market and sell more.

If you were to pick the most unlikely industry to use New Media, why not chose the oldest profession in the world. And if you’re thinking prostitution, that’s not it. Besides, I’m sure you’d agree that industry pretty much figured out how to use the Internet.

The world’s oldest profession is actually gardening. After all, that’s what God had Adam doing to keep busy before Eve ever stepped foot in the Garden of Eden, right? Well, in this case study you have some very powerful lessons laid out based on what some people in this profession have done right and wrong online with New Media.

One company used New Media Marketing to influence, persuade, and connect with new prospects and their existing client base in a memorable way. The second company got it all wrong.

The business that got it right

The landscape design/build firm Rosenlof/Lucas in Minnesota had a project that was featured in an HGTV program. But instead of relying on a single episode of a cable show to generate buzz, they created a simple four-minute video that has allowed them to maximize leverage with a single project to attract new prospects and clients using online video.

First – watch the video and the read on to learn from what they did right using the New Media marketing channel of online video. Then – we’ll take a look at what they left out and what they could have done better.

OK, so it may be pretty obvious what they did right at the end of the video, but let’s start at the beginning and go through the online persuasion strategies they incorporated with this New Media foray.

Online Persuasion done right

    1: Use a personal/informal tone. The video starts with an informal and completely “personal” intro to the company. You feel as if you’re riding along with Matt Olsen.

    2: Grab your target audiences attention up front & disqualify tire-kickers. The initial intro to Rosenlof/Lucas is brief and immediately defines what differentiates their design/build firm from the competition.

    Don’t be afraid of losing people. If you don’t turn off (and turn away) some people, you’re not going to really turn-on anybody either. For example; not everyone likes contemporary design. But Rosenlof/Lucas specializes in that styles, so they’d be foolish to not make that clear. Who cares if people who don’t like contemporary design tune out. That’s not their target audience.

    With my Design/Build company our style was based on French Provincial estates of Europe. We specialized in that style for several reasons, but one was to immediately turn most people away.

    The French Provincial design style is inherently elite and costly, which helped to prospects to disqualify themselves before any of our time was required. Simultaneously, because of a strong stand on exclusivity, we were building rapport with the truly affluent before they even picked up the phone to schedule a consultation. Influence and persuasion not spoken is the most powerful. ;-)

    3: Tell a story. Matt starts the story feel right in the beginning of the video and that continues throughout the four minute clip. He and the owners of the subject property (owners of Hive Modular Homes) share their personal thoughts, inspirations, and most importantly — their passion for what they do.

    4: Unique camera shots. The video uses a simple yet edgy New Media shooting and editing style. Angles are unique, transitions are rapid and different, and there is a good blend of music and voice overlays. All work to keep the viewers attention from wandering throughout the four minute video.

    5: Engage and capture the attention of your target audience. Throughout the entire video the things that make Rosenlof/Lucas unique are highlighted. And the passion of Matt stacks on top of the more practical visual displays of their expertise.

    6: End with a congruent call-to-action. Notice that Rosenlof/Lucas didn’t go the mass media route and end their video with an infommercial-style boardwalk pitch. Rosenlof/Lucas didn’t offer a free consultation or anything so drab and boring. They invited people to take a much more natural step in taking the relationship to the next level. Viewers were invited to a “Showcase Party.” Obviously the invitation to enjoy the landscaping, the home, food, drinks, and music is lot more inviting than getting a “free consultation.”

Stepping It Up

Let’s take a look at three simple things Rosenlof/Lucas could have added to their video foray into New Media Marketing. Three things that would have had an even greater impact on their bottom line.

    #1. Encourage immediate action: Along with the invitation shown at the end of the video there could have been a URL added to a simple landing page where an “Invite Acceptance” was completed by the viewer. They could have motivated the viewer to get to the page and complete the registration by offering a special gift that they’d get when they show up to the live event.

    This one added step would do three things very powerful things from a marketing standpoint –

      A. The pre-qualified viewers contact info would be captured for later follow-up whether he or she actually shows up at the party or not.

      B. By completing the “Invite Acceptance” the viewer will have taken a small action that psychologically motivates them to follow through and actually show up on October 5th. Plus they get a special gift by pre-registering and showing up.

      C. With full contact info collected, all confirmed attendees could be mailed a post card confirmation and sent an email reminder the day before the party.

    #2. Reward immediate action: To really create anticipation and excitement Rosenlof/Lucas could have added a contest to the “Invite Acceptance” process. Something as simple as offering all “Confirmed Guests” the chance to win one $5,000 design/build certificate would go a long way in getting people jazzed about the event. And a further note that the winner would be announced at 8pm the day of the party, and that the invitee had to either be there to win the prize.

    #3. Leverage the Hub Site: This is the simplest addition to this entire optimized process – linkage to Rosenlof/Lucas’s business Hub Site*. (A Hub Site is a single destination where attraction, connection and conversion can all take place.) Sadly they don’t even have a blog, never mind a New Media based Hub Site.

    Look, this is one of the easiest ways to continue the rapport-building momentum. If you were to employ the two online persuasion strategies highlighted above, then after the registration form for the “Invite Acceptance” was completed, you’d set the system to take the new registrant to a special post on the company business blog where they are encouraged to share their opinions on the video or what they’d like to see more of.

    If Rosenlof/Lucas had done this, they would have boosted interaction and participation and built more rapport and trust before the prospect even met Matt or his partner.

Also, I can’t comment on how much (if any) effort Rosenlof/Lucas put into using this video with their existing client list, how they used other New Media channels, or if they took advantage of any off-line PR, publicity, or promotional opportunities. I know that with a solid click-and-mortar marketing approach this New Media Marketing blitz would be the type of HUGE list building event that would have kept their business swamped with new work for months.

How NOT to use online video

Now, to save the second company in this case study the pain of humiliation and shame with deep analysis let’s just take a look at their video and make a quick summary. Watch this one minute video and be prepared for a BIG difference.

Obviously this isn’t much different than some boring old-school commercial you’d see on your local cable station. And actually, that’s probably where this video came from. It looks like a recycled cable commercial for this landscape company.

What’s worst is that they are CLEARLY using stock photos in the video that are not photos of their actual work. And even with that shortcut, the photos they chose STILL have no congruent message. These two mistakes alone are complete trust-killers and rapport breakers.

From a New Media Marketing standpoint — why would anyone pass this video along and share it with family or friends? There’s no online persuasion here. Heck, there’s not even any clear call to action at the end of the video other than “Stop by today…” so even by direct response marketing standards, it’s useless.

Apply what you learned in this case study

If a landscape company can use New Media to market their business so can you!

You see here how there’s no excuse for missing out on the impact and effectiveness of marketing with any New Media channel; whether it’s online video, blogs, podcasts, social networks, or social filters. If the oldest profession, and lowest tech industries, in the world can effectively market with New Media to get new business and new profits — so can you.

What’s your take?

  • What were the new ideas for YOUR business that you got from this New Media marketing case study?
  • Did you see some other things that Rosenlof/Lucas could have done better with their online video? Differently?
  • Have you done something similar practicing online persuasion through video? Share your story with some graffiti in the comment area down below.

John-Paul Micek is a co-founder of the entreprenuerial development company RPM Success Group® Inc. He and his partner Deborah Micek are authors of the hit book Secrets Of Online Persuasion, and creators of the BLOG i360™ New Media Marketing Hub Site Software.
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