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Smart Marketing for Smart Patrons

Thursday, July 31, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
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At last week’s Content Marketing Level-Up Lab, we discussed ways to tell people about upcoming opportunities at libraries. That is, we went around the room so that each person could talk about a specific piece of marketing they were developing. Here are a few tips from that discussion.

Marketing Goes with Program Development

Marketing is not something to leave until a program’s already put together. A marketer asks questions like, “How will this help people?” “What will they be able to do that they couldn’t do before?” These are good selling points, but they’re also features a program should have. Having a marketing mindset can help you develop programs that better serve your patrons.

Your Patrons Are Smart

3D printers get lots of press, but fairly few people have seen one in action. So if you were going to have a 3D printing demonstration at your library, you shouldn’t expect that people know how they work. Part of your marketing should be to help set their expectations: since 3D printers can take hours to print one object, everyone can’t print an action figure to take home.

How should you explain this in your marketing? Not like you’re talking to an over-eager tween who won’t stop asking questions. He might be at that program, but thinking of him as you write makes it easy to talk down to people. Think, instead, that you’re writing to a college professor you really liked. She isn’t as informed on this subject as you are, but when it comes down to it, she’s smarter than you. Write to win over your best patrons, not your worst, and your marketing messages will improve.

Go For Quantity

Start having marketing-related conversations more. Look for chances to bring it up so you can practice. As with a lot of other examples, trying something a lot seems to be a more productive way of learning than trying really hard just a couple times. You’ll get the hang of it.

  • Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator

The Lab Goes Online

SWON’s Level-Up Labs are a place to learn and practice, whether you’re looking to improve or add new skills. Today we’re adding a new “Lab” section to our website. It’s a place where we can talk about Level-Up Lab topics outside of the in-person workshops.

Nathan will be on hand to field questions on HTML, marketing, email management, Microsoft Publisher and more. Hopefully you’ll join in too with questions and answers. You don’t have to have attended a Level-Up Lab or even be a Supporting Member of SWON. Just register at our website and you’ll be ready to enter the Lab (under Special Interest Groups). See you there!

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