5 Negative Marketing Techniques to Make a Positive Impact

You work long and hard crafting “feel good” ad campaigns with positive messages. However, a little negativity can be a good thing when used judiciously. Below are five ways to channel your inner grumpiness when marketing your business.

1. Identify the customers you DON’T want. While you likely focus on attracting the right type of customers, it is equally important to know which customers you do not want. In some cases it’s a simple matter of a mismatch between needs – or lack thereof – and your solutions. In others, certain personas may be too costly to acquire or prone to high churn rates. Some audience segments may be unprofitable. Whatever the reason, it’s important to be aware of the types of customers you do not want so that you can avoid inadvertently marketing to them.

2. Be controversial. Nothing gets people buzzing like a little controversy. However, you’ll need to be prepared to manage the conversation – and the emotions that are sure to arise. Controversy doesn’t need to be of a serious nature such as politics or religion; it can be much lighter such as “Coke vs. Pepsi.” Before you begin, consider what position, if any, you will take. It’s fine not to take a side and serve as the moderator of any discussion that occurs. Obviously, if you work for Coca-Cola, your position would be that Coke is better than Pepsi. Similarly, if you work for Pepsi your position would be that Pepsi is better than Coke. However, what if you’re a distributor who sells both products to restaurants? You might opt to stay neutral and let your customers share their likes and dislikes about the two products. Choose a topic related to your brand that people are passionate about. When handled correctly, this negative marketing tactic can generate buzz and traffic.

3. Create a shared negative experience. People tend to dislike many of the same things: sitting in traffic, endless office meetings with no purpose, obnoxious people talking loudly on cell phones in confined environments, being treated rudely, and so on. Sharing a negative experience that your audience can relate to can build rapport and engagement. Be careful to transition back to a positive solution and avoid a full blown rant.

4. Explain why something sucks. This can quickly establish yourself as an authority on a topic, especially if you can effectively make your case. Detailing why something sucks also provides you with the opportunity to position your product or service as an alternative. For example, if you sell beauty products with all natural ingredients, you could write about beauty products that suck because they contain chemicals, are tested on animals, use environmentally damaging manufacturing processes, and so on. From there, you could frame your products as alternatives that do not suck.

5. Use negative titles occasionally. Lists are popular with bloggers and readers alike. For example, a blog post titled “Top 10 Gadgets for Busy Moms” would likely get a lot of clicks. The same is true of a blog post titled “Don’t Waste Your Money on these Ridiculous Gadgets.” This is similar to negative marketing tactic #4 in that you’ll likely go on to detail why those gadgets suck.

A little negative marketing can have a positive impact on your overall marketing strategy. Use negative marketing to identify who you don’t want to attract, stir up passions, bond with your audience, position yourself as an authority, and boost traffic. When used with care and in small doses, negative marketing can be extremely effective.

Optimizing LinkedIn for Business and Marketing

LinkedIn logo social media iconLinkedIn is a powerful social network embraced by business professionals around the world. Not only is it a great place to network with others, LinkedIn is the perfect environment for growing your business. LinkedIn recently updated its Company Page feature, allowing businesses to make a more profound impact. Below are a few ways that you can optimize your LinkedIn page for business and marketing purposes.

Upload a cover image – Largely aesthetic, having an attractive cover image plays an important role in forming that first impression. Make sure your cover image is professional, attractive, and properly displayed.

Post relevant company-oriented status updates – While your personal LinkedIn profile is all about you connecting with other business professionals, your company LinkedIn page is all about your company.

Target your status updates – Did you know that you can send your status updates to a specific demographic? Rather than trying to be everything to everyone, you can target your updates to a specific set of LinkedIn users based on criteria such as industry, job role, location, or company size. For example, if your ideal customer is a human resources manager in Georgia who works for a company with 1,000 or more employees, you could set your status updates to appear only in the feeds of human resources managers in Georgia currently working for a company with over 1,000 employees.

Target your products and services page – Just as you can target your status updates, you can do the same with your products and services page on LinkedIn. This is a powerful option that allows you to have different versions for different audiences. For example, HR managers in Georgia might see a different version of your page than payroll processors in New York. After all, these are different audiences with different needs – and you have different products and services to offer each one! This is one of the most exciting tools available on LinkedIn – or any social platform for that matter.

Get involved in LinkedIn Answers – This tool allows you to ask and answer questions, both of which can help you build your business. Asking questions is a great way to perform research or gauge potential reactions to a new product or service while answering questions can position you as an authority in your field.

Make your page interactive and engagingConsider adding an online video (hosted on YouTube) about your company or use apps specifically designed for LinkedIn. For example, you could use a WordPress app to add your blog’s posts to your LinkedIn page automatically.

Use LinkedIn to generate leads – Sprinkle offers into your company status updates with calls to action and you may find that your LinkedIn page is a valuable lead generation source. Just as you promote and share links to your landing pages elsewhere, you’ll want to do the same on LinkedIn where you’ve already established your credibility and started forming relationships with people in your desired demographic.

Consider using LinkedIn’s ads – Much cheaper than Google advertising, LinkedIn’s ad program is also highly targeted. Simply craft your ad, hone in on the right type of people, and get noticed.

LinkedIn’s company page feature is an often underutilized tool for marketing your business and making personal connections with your target audience. Not only can you send targeted advertisements on LinkedIn for much less than traditional advertising channels, you can tailor your content to match various audiences.