Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Manufactured Home Financing, Video and Story Telling

January 30th, 2016 No comments

The right types of story telling will increase sales. Marketing and selling a big ticket item like a manufactured home often includes financing. In the Dodd-Frank/CFPB era, there are many things that you as a retailer or community can’t say or do, but that we as trade media can accomplish legitmately as part of an interview video.


This 3rd party infographic underscores points that we’ve made for years on the Cutting Edge of MH Marketing and Sales blog. Namely that weekly blogging increases traffic, videos increase conversions and inforgraphics or other images also spur bottom line results. Graphic credit, 3-Shocking-Marketing-Stats-2013-credit-jureviciousstudios.

There are also FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions – that come up about manufactured homes, land-lease communities, etc. Those FAQs are best turned into a video. That:

  • saves you time (time is money),
  • can help insure more standardized – properly tailored, legally compliant –  statements,
  • can increase conversions (think more clients, more sales)
  • and can create other visuals that compliment the message.

Such standardized messaging videos can be good for marketing – business to business (B2B), or business to consumers (B2C).

We shot this video interview with Don Glisson Jr., Chairman of Triad Financial Services. As you see, we did this without scripts, teleprompters, etc.

When you look at your marketing activities for 2016, keep in mind that a recent study indicated that conversions (think – more leads, more closings) go up 76% when your prospects see a video involved.

Last thought for today. Many will watch a video, and listen to a message that they would NEVER sit through the same information on a phone call, face to face or other form of outreach.

One of the best parts of what we do with videos is that they are branded as news. Clients can use them on their website(s), emails, TV monitors in an office waiting room, etc.. Because we use it as a news item on MHProNews (B2B) or MHLivingNews (B2C), the exposure is increased, at no added cost.

Ready for a better result in 2016? Give us a call to discuss videos as part of your marketing and sales training budget. ##


Tony is the most widely known and respected MH marketing and sales trainer in the U.S.. Tony will be presenting during the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.  The seminars are all on March 22nd, so you have full time on the model homes and exhibits,  see details, linked here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

The Bad News

April 3rd, 2013 No comments

Bad news often travels faster than good news. For the media, “If it bleeds, it leads!” Your team mates may be the first ones to toss you under the bus, even if you've done good things (sometimes, especially because you've done good things).

People talk about CYA for a reason, because they know the 'bad news' drill.

Perhaps it is just part of our human nature, but the reality is that you can't please everyone and thus have to work harder to make a good reputation for your business. In the internet age, you can get torched by anonymous emails, or websites placed online for the very purpose of torching another. Online ratings (1 to 4 stars, etc.) also make it easy for people to dish out less than kind (or fair…) feedback.

So dealing with “Bad News” means you have to supply your residents, your customers and others with a steady supply of Good News!

In the age of micro-blogging – which includes, but is not limited to Twitter or Facebook – it is interesting to note that some say the trend in marketing may be back towards longer content, especially if it sports graphic images and the message is focused on your target market's interests. The Dan Kennedy marketing crowd would not be surprised by this trend.

If you have a website, but don't have a blog, the short answer is 'start one!' Blogging done correctly enhances your website's SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Blogs are a handy way of getting and sharing 'good news' with your target audience.

Sharing Good News

For those who already have a website, there are lots of blogging plug ins available (just Google blogs, blog software, blog plug ins), along with third party hosted blogs, etc. If you want to hire installing a blog onto your website or need a new or updated website, there are companies like our webtech division that do that for others.

Not a writer?

If you aren't a writer, consider hiring one part time or by the article.

Another approach is to invite guest articles by knowledgeable or respected people in the field. Our Industry Voices Guest blog has had some 200 articles submitted, which is more than one a week on average since we launched it.

A third approach can be to use more photos or videos – that you can post on YouTube – as a primary or major means of communication for your blog posts.

When you share news – good news – to your readers/visitors, you can do so in short messages, long or in between. Some of the keys for successful blogging include, but are not limited to:

  • Consistency. If you set out to blog once or twice a week, stick with it! Don't start out great guns, and then falter.
  • It takes time to build your audience. Again, persistence and consistency are keys for long term success.
  • Use the SEO and Tag functions build into your blog, see below.
  • Accuracy in SEO and Tags. Don't put keywords or tags into the SEO portions of your blog post that don't apply. Below you will see an example of the keywords/tags used in an article on Industry Voices. Everyone of those key words were used in the article it was associated with. That makes the article's keywords/tags relevant. Relevance over time will enhance your blog – and website's – SEO and 'authority' with the search engines.


If Bad News Hits You

What if truly bad news hits you and your business? If you've established a blog, you now have the ability to respond to it. You can say what the 'bad news' is and then give it your side of the story in a way that doesn't cross any boundaries.

Today, blogging has become part of the 'alternative media.' Some reporters and writers have 'made it big' by blogging. As a rule, those success stories focused on putting out quality work and doing so consistently.

For the success stories where blogging was used to help build a business, there are thousands of examples of businesses using blogging to grow. is in these both of these groups, so we are living proof that blogging can and does pay off when you do it properly.

But don't take my word for it. When it comes to blogging, take Nike's advice: “Just do it.” ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for April and see the

other new stories at too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500 or connect with me on Linkedin.


Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

Is Content Marketing in Business 2 Business Marketing the New King?

October 29th, 2011 1 comment

Entrepreneur recently cited a study by HiveFire, a Cambridge, Massachusetts based internet marketing software company. The topic was fascinating and I believe there was some good takeaways from HiveFire's report. That said, in reviewing the study, it brought to mind the following fabled quote:

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”  –

Mark Twain

Like many great writers, Mark Twain had the ability to turn a phrase with style and wit.

Let me emphasize that I think there are some good takeaways from the HiveFire research, which we will review and use to springboard to what we hope are GENUINE lessons to be learned that may benefit your marketing. But YOU DECIDE if the you think the analysis summarized below is a cleaver use of statistics.

According to HiveFire, content marketing is the new king.

They arrived at this conclusion having surveyed “nearly 400 marketing professionals about the state of the business-to-business, or B2B, market, and discovered that marketers are retreating from traditional marketing tactics such as search marketing and have made content marketing the most-used tactic in their brand-enhancing tool box.”

According to HiveFire's B2B Marketing Trends Survey Report  twice as many B2B marketers now employ content marketing as they do print, TV and radio advertising.

The firm defines content marketing and it's use in this fashion: “Content Marketing is the creation and publication of original content, such as blog posts, photos, videos, website resource pages, case studies or white papers to enhance a brand’s visibility.”

"Caveat emptor" =  Let the Buyer Beware!

10.28.2011_HiveFire_Marketing_survey_results posted on

Let me say straight out that we believe in content marketing, advocate it for many Manufactured Housing Industry clients or prospects and practice it routinely ourselves.

Part of what concerns me in the graphic above is there is no mention of social network marketing. One has to live offline and never speak to those who have smart phones or internet connections to think that Facebook, Linkedin, Twitters and rising Google Plus are among the social media tools being used by businesses to do B2B and Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing.

Blogging is inserted by some as a 'social networking tool,' though it crosses from that space into others, and could arguably deserve its own category.

Another missing item in the above chart is the lack of mention for email marketing.

Do you get emails from businesses trying to market their product or service to your operation? If you are online, of course you do. Let us not presume that this and social network marketing are in the only 13% (the 'other') category. I'm not saying they are 'lying,' but who were these nearly 400 companies being surveyed? And isn't the purpose of their white paper to promote the purchase of a software/service that helps some do their brand content marketing? Moreover, isn't content marketing tied closely to SEO Marketing?

Participating at trade show events such as the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show and the Great Southwest Home Show, I'd concur with HiveWire that event marketing has genuine value in our industry and others too.



The same questions apply to the above. If HiveWire surveyed firms who happen to like content marketing, their numbers may indeed be spot on! But the issue is which firms were surveyed, what are the tendencies of those firms, and did they skew the results they would have had if they had used a broader based cross section of the B2B marketing universe?



These charts, similar disclaimer/questions above. I know some firms that spend zero dollars on their definition of “content marketing.” I agree that they should be investing in it! More on that below.

Another fact they report of these marketers surveyed is that 79% of the content they share is being shared online. That makes sense. The Internet is the generally the lowest cost way of sharing content.

4 Kings of MarKeting MHMSM.comThe Four Kings of MarKeting

Now, let me share a different perspective, what we will call the 4 Kings of Online MarKeting.

  1. First, Content Marketing is closely tied to SEO marketing. Anyone who is writing intelligently, is trying to use their content to capture a 'regular audience' they hopefully have or create, as well as to attract attention from search engines. Some content may not help your SEO much – as in the example of boldly cut and pasted content that is 'scraped' from other sites word for word without credit – even if it is 'good information.' The quality of the information, the originality of the content makes you look good AND it also has the advantage of improving your SEO over time. While there are SEO tactics like Google Ad words that can be purchased – and at times, is a good idea – and others that can enhance SEO, the bottom line is that good content and good SEO methods should go hand in hand. So Content is a King that ties in with good SEO. Such content is delivered online via traditional websites, CMS websites (Content Management Systems such as Joomla, Drupal, etc.), blogs, etc.

  2. Email Marketing. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reports that “email marketing was expected to generate an ROI of $42.08 for every dollar spent on it in 2010. As such, it outperforms all the other direct marketing channels examined, such as print catalogs.” (EmailingMarketing). We recommend email marketing in both B2B and B2C marketing efforts. (FYI, the DMA statistics, and a MerchantCircle survey of over 8,000 local business owners in the US found email marketing cited by 35.8% as a Top 3 most effective marketing or advertising method. These facts are among other reasons I question the HiveFire numbers.)

  3. Social Networking and Blogging: As of January, 2011, Econsultancy reported that

700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook and 60 million Facebook users engage with it across these external sites each month. 70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands on their blog. When you engage the public via blogging and social networking, you can potentially reach tens of thousands to millions of readers in way that impacts them over 5 times more than traditional advertising. When blogging and Social Networking are combined with traditional ads, on or off line, you gain a power that is hard to match.

  1. All other forms of marketing. We do believe there is a place to use event marketing, print, mail, other traditional ads, video (especially online video) and radio.

> What makes the best sense for you and your firm? The right answer requires facts.

> Are you markeing B2B, B2C or both?

> Within those groups, who is your target market and why?

> What are your budgets?

> What are your goals and desired outcomes?

> What is your time line to reach them?

> Do you have time to keep content generation strong, or would you rather outsource your content and online marketing?

You can call my cell at 832-689-1729 or email with our answers to those 7 questions above to learn more. There is no charge for an initial review, as we only want to serve those companies we believe that can benefit and profit from our services. If we can't serve your needs, we will make recommendations to those who might for your consideration.

Before closing, let me say we will do a periodic series elements from the topics from the 4 Kings of MarKeting in more depth.

I'd also say, one take away from the HiveFire report is this. When looking at ANYONE's claims – including ours – ask questions! Use common sense!

Does the information provide you have a back up source?

Are there similar studies that provide similar results?

Is it purely an agenda driven study or self serving?

In the case of this HiveFire report, while I find it brings up some useful ideas, such as the importance of Content Marketing, it leaves plenty of questions on marketing unanswered. # #

post written by

L. A. 'Tony' Kovach  or or

Selling with a Blog, Part II

June 26th, 2011 No comments

Selling with a BlogLast Thursday, I posted a video from, Selling with a Blog that featured Howard Howell’s presentation at WordCamp Seattle 2011. In it, Howard gives his reasons why he thinks using a blog to sell whatever it is you sell is a good idea.

I agree with Howard that using a blog to sell whatever is a great idea, but just how do you apply it to selling homes off a retail lot or in a land lease community?

Basically, the same way you’d use it to sell pizza, cars, site-built homes, widgets or anything else you can think of.

The most basic rules of selling haven’t changed. But the method of getting prospects into your location to begin the selling process has. Some time-honored methods, such as newspaper advertising, Yellow pages ads and such just aren’t working in most markets anymore and their continued decline is assured.

While smart businesses continue to use legacy marketing methods for as long as their return exceeds their cost, now is the time to begin looking at the ways marketing to prospects will be done now and in the future.

Old-style websites were static and were updated rarely, if at all. That type of website is still useful for organization static data, such as image galleries, product information, floorplans, feature lists, etc.

But without a dynamic, relationship-building component, it won’t be nearly as effective as it could be.

And that relationship-building component, while composed of several items, finds its anchor in a dynamic, ever-changing website known as a blog. I’ve defined what a blog is several times before, but for the benefit of those who’ve missed it. I’ll define it again:

A blog (short for weblog) is a series of web posts (articles) arranged in reverse chronological order. That’s it – it’s that simple.

But in that definition is the secret of a blog’s success as a lead generation tool.

The simple fact that you need to keep your blog updated on a regular basis gives you that many more opportunities to strike a chord with a segment of your readers. And the more of those chords you strike with potential customers, the better your chances of making a sale.

So what do you write about? I’ve covered this in previous posts, but it bears repeating. If you’re blogging for a community, write about everything that happens in and around that community.

Profile residents who do something special, feature residents hobbies or their efforts to improve their homesites, review area restaurants, community events, etc. Use your imagination and you’ll never run out of ideas.

Be sure to link your blog to you Twitter and Facebook accounts, place some videos on YouTube and use them in your blog posts, place ads for available homes or homesites on Craigslist with a link back to your website.

And this goes for retailers as well – every home in your community or on your lot should be photographed and posted to your blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. When you sell a home, photograph the happy new owners with or in their new home.

Get releases from everyone in those photographs and use them.

Never miss an opportunity to tell your own story over and over again until it becomes an expectation. You’re the best at what you do, right? If you are, let the world know. If you’re not, find something else to do.

Are you having enough Sales Conversations?

June 1st, 2011 No comments

“Are you having enough SALES CONVERSATIONS? If you don’t have all the business or clients that you want, maybe you simply need to have more sales conversations. That was a challenge I laid down to my Marketing Mastermind group last month, and one couple jumped to action with IMMEDIATE results.”

That bit of advice came to me from Bernadette Doyle of

Although Bernadette was talking about direct face-to-face selling of services, I couldn’t help but think how it applies to what we do. When a local business posts an update to their blog, comments on Facebook or Twitter or sends an email update to their list, they are having a “sales conversation” with their market even if they aren’t overtly selling.

That’s because all of us like to do business with those we know, like and trust. The process of relationship building is helped along each time we do one of those things.

But to work really well, these things have to be done consistently. Tony Robbins puts it this way: “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” It can shape our lives and it can shape our businesses.

One of the great things about marketing online is that your target audience needs to do something to respond to your message – if you are doing it right. The act of taking action means they will most likely pay closer attention to your message than they will using passive media.

So if you’re not as busy as you’d like to be, or if you’re not making as many sales as you’d like, think about what you can do to have more sales conversions, either face-to-face or using your online marketing strategy.

Start taking advantage of this strategy today and you’ll see results in no time.

There’s a great book named Social Networking for Business that can get you on the right track for using Social Media to start more Sales Conversations.

This post originally appeared on on Memorial Day 2009.