If you’ve watched much TV lately, or gone to the movies, you’ve probably seen trailers for the new DreamWorks movie that’s coming out about a speedy snail. Somehow or other the little guy ends up turbo charged and able to race against actual cars at the Indy 500. So, yeah. Not quite your average, everyday garden snail.
Naturally, that got us here at Marketing Zen thinking. What could we learn from snails about online marketing? Because, as you probably know, we here at Marketing Zen eat, breathe, and sleep online marketing! And surprisingly (or not surprisingly, depending on how close your relationship with mollusks is), we found that snails can actually give us some great insights into how to market yourself on the internet. Here are four of them, freshly plucked from the garden:
1. Leave a glistening slime trail wherever you go. Okay, yes, it sounds gross, but bear with us here. When you see that shiny, clear trail on a leaf in your backyard, or even on the wall by your back door, you know for a fact that a snail has been there. Grasshoppers don’t leave slime trails. Neither do spiders. (Slugs do, but they’re basically shell-less snails – same diff, y’all.) So should you run out and buy some clear acrylic spray paint or something? No! Your company’s trail is simply its own unique mark, so that wherever you have a presence online, people recognize you’ve been there – and not your competitor! On Facebook, for example, or in your blog, make sure to develop a consistent voice that is unique to your brand. That way, when customers read your posts, you’ll stand out from all the grasshoppers and spiders of the competition.
2. React to everything. Ever poked a snail in the face? We know, we know, you would never do that. How about this – ever watched your best friend from grade school poke a snail in the face? He probably did it over and over again, just for the thrill of watching the snail’s reaction, right? The poor thing went through a dramatic change, pulling in its eyestalks and face, and then reforming them right before your eyes. Over and over again. Gosh, your friend was mean! But he did help us to come to another insight about online marketing; namely, that you should react just as comprehensively to anything affecting your business. Did a character in a TV show mention something related to your industry? Tweet about it! Is a customer complaining about your service on Yelp? Get online and fix it publicly. The more your brand interacts with customers online, in both positive and negative situations, the more professionalism you will exude. Just don’t exude eyestalks, okay? That would be weird.
3. Slow and steady wins the race. Nope, it’s not just for tortoises anymore. Snails are on to something with their slow, deliberate pace. As you’re developing your online marketing plan, be realistic. You may want to update your blog and Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest twice a day, every day…but if you do, you’ll never have time to get any work done – and you’ll lose steam pretty quickly. Instead, pick a reasonable pace, right from the start – one that you can maintain for the long haul. Better to have two reliable blog posts a week, than ten the first week, five the next, and none ever again.
4. Be mobile. Snails are the epitome of mobility, right? They carry their houses on their backs, for crying out loud! So they know a thing or two about the practicality and convenience of going mobile. Your customers have smart phones. They have iPads. Pretty soon they’ll be walking around wearing the Google Glass! You can’t afford not to cater to mobile technology as an integral part of your online marketing plan. So design your websites to look good on mobile devices. Encourage customers to interact with your brand via their smart phones. And get those plans moving for Google Glass apps. The snails will applaud you for it. Well, they would if they had hands.
Of course, if you’re too busy running your business to pay much attention to snails, Marketing Zen is here to help! We can leave slime trails and retract our eyestalks with the best of them. Or, we could just help you develop an effective online marketing plan. Your choice.