If you’re an author, business owner, or non-profit executive, does your business have a marketing beacon? Beacons are incredibly important in the areas of marine transit, weather, and airplane travel. They are used to guide people to an intended destination. Likewise, beacons serve an important marketing role by helping to guide customers to your business.
The definition of a beacon is an “intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.” What does a beacon look like in a marketing context? A marketing beacon is an “intentionally conspicuous piece of free content designed to attraction consumer attention to a specific product or service.”
Think of a marketing beacon as something you offer for free that highlights the best of your expertise, value, or promised results for customers. The goal of your beacon is to draw people to engage with your content and naturally want to learn more about your products and services. You mimic the same premise as a lighthouse guiding boats safely into shore. Without a beacon, people cannot see where to go or when they’ve arrived, especially when visibility is difficult.
Similarly, all of us work in crowded, competitive industries filled with noise, skepticism, hype, and confusion. Consumers can easily sail right by your business if there is no beacon to get their attention. The purpose of a beacon is to let people know that you exist and guide them to your website, your store, your event, or your book.
You can offer marketing beacons in numerous formats, such as a quiz, assessment, exclusive article, unique research study, special report, book sampler, audio presentation, video tutorial, etc. For example, when I consulted on the New York Times bestselling book, “Boundaries,” we created the Boundaries Quiz and the Boundaries Sampler to serve as effective beacons. Thousands of people were attracted to engage with that free content, which helped drive product sales.
The power of your beacon depends on its ability to draw people’s attention and generate natural curiosity. A lackluster marketing beacon is like a dim light that ships lose in the fog. You must create something that people naturally find enticing.
How do you let the world see your marketing beacon? Notice how lighthouses are prominently positioned on high points of land that are easy to see. Take the same approach. For example, make sure to position your beacon in a prominent place on your website, such as the home page above the fold. Consistently display it on your social media pages. Email it to prospects. Give it away to attendees at events. People will not see your beacon unless make it conspicuous.
You will know whether your marketing beacon works by the response you receive. For instance, if people do not click on the link to download what you’re offering, then your light isn’t bright enough. If people don’t respond to the beacon that you offer by email, social media, or in-person, then your light may have burned out and needs to be replaced. Don’t stick with a boring beacon. It’s better to keep trying new ideas until you develop one that works.
As a kid, I was taught a song in church with the words, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” As a business owner, entrepreneur, or executive, does your business have a light that shines? Is that light consistently helping to attract new customers?
The health of your business hinges on the strength of your marketing beacon.
Lighthouse image courtesy of phaendin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net