In honor of Small Business Week, I’ve got free books to giveaway to readers who email me from some stellar authors who were kind enough to donate them. I will also feature each day this week excerpts and tips from those books to get you on your way with the latest and greatest in business/leadership/buzz marketing/lead generation and other topical business-focused insights!
Today we’re featuring Lois Kelly’s “Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing“. This book is a veritable feast on how companies can and should take advantage of the power of real conversations and engage their customers.
As Ms. Kelly says in the opening chapter, “New marketing is about conversations – listening, having something new to add, and talking like we mean it instead of hiding behind prepackaged corporate-speak.”
Right on! Think about it, it’s really much easier to connect with anyone if you’re having a frank and honest conversation. When was the last time you repeated a story about a company or product that was full of “marketing speak?”
Ms. Kelly not only deftly defines what “conversational marketing” really means, but also how you can provoke it, overcome obstacles to it and why it matters.
The book is focused on empowering businesses of any size to “make meaning, not buzz.”
She also offers up superb insight in chapters like “Nine Themes that Always Get People Talking” and “Building a “talk” Culture”.
The chapter on “Straight Talk” offers up ten ways to get on the “straight-talk” wagon and here are three as follows from that chapter:
1. What’s the point? – what are we trying to get people to understand. What’s new or different? How will the ideas affect the listener?
2. Don’t be afraid to use first-person. Add more of the first person and you’ll deliver fresh and insightful marketing communications better than you would with the anonymous, impersonal third person “him,” “her,” and them” says Kelly.
3. Create more sound bites and let them go free – sound bites, says Kelly, are tools to draw people into discussions or to help you quickly convey a point.
The book is available at Amazon and Ms. Kelly also does an outstanding blog at this link – (don’t miss Ms. Kelly’s excellent take on how Nike used the IMUS controversy to engage in a real conversation with customers.)