Tag: audience

people-lens

Marketers Need A People Lens

In last week’s #Brandchat, someone asked why I use the term “audience” to describe a set of customers in my book You Get What You Give instead of “consumers.” The answer is simply mindset. 

I believe that many of the recent blunders and bad behaviors by brands are an unfortunate casualty of marketers’ mindsets about their customers. They think of their customers as “consumers,” a set of automatons that just click “like” and comment when asked or told to do so. They try to take advantage of user behaviors. Unfortunately, by acting purely to benefit their brands’ “health metrics,” they often find themselves in the middle of a PR storm because they have upset people. Continue reading “Marketers Need A People Lens” »

Good Content Spreads

Why Good Marketing Spreads on the Internet

We all know that Al Gore invented the Internet to connect people from all over the world. So, if the Internet is for connecting, why do so many businesses fail to achieve this goal? Some may not know the recipe for marketing success. Others may not know how to tell their brand’s story.  While many still think that going viral is the key to success.

5429335705_93ef6aa3cb_n

The main reason businesses don’t connect? They don’t take a holistic view of all of the many web channels. They don’t realize that…the web is a living, breathing, integrating machine.

To get a holistic view, let’s start with the basics. Okay?

1. The web is alive.

The Internet is alive and well. Just like Frankenstein. But a lot less scary. small_3126384890

If you’re a small business, don’t be scared to make an impact. Respect the digital medium. And make it come alive by repeating the famous quote of Regis McKenna: “marketing is everything and everything is marketing.”

Here are a few other tips:

  • Learn how to communicate in an honest, authentic way that resonates with your audience. If you don’t have time to learn, or can’t do this yourself, hire a specialist.
  • Paint your walls with colorful content.  And no, this doesn’t mean create a beautiful logo (although that always helps). It’s more along the lines of creating engaging experiences within every interaction you have with your customers. It goes a long way.
  • Don’t shout to your customers. Talk to them like they’re people. After all, they are human, right? No? Then you belong at the end of the internet.

2.    The web is ubiquitous

You can’t go anywhere without seeing the Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube logos. They’re everywhere. Which is why your business needs to be everywhere (that makes sense for your business).

If your business does not yet have social media accounts, work with a marketing or media agency to get up and running. Here are a few basic ways to stand out and get off the ground:

  • Create a custom landing page for Facebook
  • Get a Twitter custom background and secure your Twitter handle with the name of your company (do it right after you read this post! need help? just ask!)
  • Being ubiquitous does not mean repeating the same updates on each different channel. It’s great that you created a shortcut for yourself. Awesome. But therein lies the problem. Each social media platform has its own, unique way of communicating – which is why you should not link your Twitter account with your Facebook, or vice versa. (more on this in the next post!)

3. The web is informal

In college, we learned how to use big words. Yep, just like ubiquitous. The reality? It’s not that impressive with Google at our fingertips. Unless you’re an SAT company (and even then!), don’t try to impress your customers with big words. It’s better to be authentic than academic [tweet this!]

small_2146771763

 

Here’s how to be casual, cool, and collected:

  • Write to the reading level of a 5th grader on the web. Yes, Wrinkle in Time style. This may or may not require 5th grade humor (use at your own discretion)
  • Informal does not mean lazy. I repeat: Informal does not mean lazy. Being informal requires a lot more work than being formal. Why? It’s about doing more with less. This takes…work! Lots of it.
  • Informal can still mean academic. You can offer an academic approach minus the academic style. There’s a difference. An academic approach educates and informs, without being unnecessarily wordy. Kinda like this post, eh?

Why do you think things spread on the Internet? Please comment below.

Images:

dgray_xplane (creative commons)

foxtongue (creative commons)

bruno postle

This post originally appeared on the Vocus blog.

Delivering Message

3 Rules for Delivering Your Passion

Everyone has a passion and often times we want to share this passion with others. Your message is important to you, but when you are delivering your message to others, you must consider where you deliver it, to whom you deliver it to, and how you deliver it. I was on the subway platform this week and I witnessed a woman going about this all wrong.

This woman was standing at the top of the stairs on the subway platform, and as everyone walked by she spoke, in the sweetest tone you could imagine, “Follow Jesus and you will go to heaven.” A valid message, but poorly executed. Most people ignored her. The few that did look her way often looked away as soon as they made eye contact. The worst execution of this message was that she even said it to a group of Hasidic Jew teens.

I stood and I watched as dozens of people came up the stairs to wait for trains and exited trains to go down the stairway and she continue to repeat the message to everyone. She didn’t seem to be connecting with anyone. So how could she have done it better?

Here are three ways:

1. Start with a Conversation
The end goal of her mission is to get people to believe her message, but she skips over all the reasoning. Brands spend a lot of time crafting the perfect message to push into the marketplace, but it is often not received. Today’s technology can leverage your message to start a conversation, which can be continue somewhere else with the people who want to talk with you. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your reasoning, values, goals and garner buy-in from your audience. With social media, even if you only convert a few people, with this method you will have people who have converted because they believe in your message. These people are more also likely to share it and, over time, this will build.

2. Know your Audience
Make sure you are starting a conversation with the right people. Pushing your message on people who are to devoted something else, only positions you for a debate. Converting people who have already bought into your competitors is the most difficult path. It is much easier to converse with people on the fence, answer their questions and help them make a decision. Almost every social media platform can assist with this task.

3. Know your Environment
This woman stood at a bottle neck of the subway traffic during high density travel times. Much like brand XYZ jumping on a social platform and expecting everyone to listen to what it says. It is disruptive, but irrelevant to the audience. Your message must be delivered in a place where people are willing to listen or prepared to listen. Just because you’ve identified a place with high traffic, doesn’t mean that it is the right place for your message. A better qualifier for the placement of your message should be reception, not traffic.

Of course, these rules only apple when you know your values, have goals, and are ready to converse with your audience. Gone are the days of pushing your message on to people. Your marketing is now a conversation, with informed people looking for more answers.

Coke and Community

Coca Cola’s Facebook Page is a prime example of the Community Experience Strategy. Given the brand has the largest number of Fans on Facebook with 36.2 Million Fans – a good number of them international – Coke creates a lot of buzz around the brand.

Looking more closely at the activity on Coca Cola’s Facebook page you’ll see two signs that they garner their community. The first being that they focus on the love for the brand. They ask simple questions like “Do you “Like” Coke? Do you REALLY “Like” Coke?” and “Do you remember your first Coke?” Within minutes of a post they have thousands of answers from around the globe. Most importantly they continue the conversation in the comments and address questions about the product or past products. With the sheer volume of activity Coke cannot like everyone’s post and in an effort not to play favorites they do not “like” any comments.

A second sign of the Community Experience Strategy is that they are using their audiences’ content as well. The custom landing page features and highlights images postrd by their community. They also use specific calls to action to rally their community for causes – The Arctic Home Project. If you switch over their wall to see everyone’s posts, you’ll see an international love for Coke, with posts in serval languages. Even there, Coke does it’s best to address questions about the brand (a questions about a Coke Parade) and successfully avoids any potential stigmas. Coke has a specific page that addresses the “House Rules” for posting on their page.

For a large brand with international following Coke does a great job rallying and promoting good community behavior. Their challenge is volume and cross cultural communication. It certainly helps that Coke has a legacy to build on, but there are still lessons to learn from Coke implementation of the Community Strategy.

1. Ask your audience about their experiences. Don’t shy away from self-promotion, your advocates will support you!
2. Avoid bad brand associations. Coke set the default view of their wall to only show Coke posts. Given the size and reach of their audience some user posts are inappropriate for their brand.
3. Respect your audience. Even though some posts are inappropriate for their brand, Coke does not remove most of them from the wall. Nor do they remove negative comments from their posts. They let the community have their voice – unless it breaks the “House Rules”.

With a smaller audience you can manage higher levels of interaction and respond more directly to your community. It is important that you stay engaged with your community no matter what size and continue to drive the correct message. You can “teach” your community the message by acknowledging types of post you would like to see more of.

Want More Coke? See Coke use the Branding Strategy

Before You Begin Marketing…

This is honestly where it all starts. You can’t be successful with you marketing if you don’t first take a few moments to plan it. When DripMedia say’s “plan” we mean very in depth. There is a lot to consider for you marketing and today it relies heavily on content. As you may have found a majority of your marketing stress in around content - Press Releases, Social Media Posts, Status Updates, Comments, Pictures, Videos, Fliers. You need to make sure that what you put out there is consistent, relevant and most importantly representative of your business.

Here are a few big picture items to consider before you even begin to produce marketing materials.

Your Goal: This is always at the top of the list. What do you want your marketing to accomplish? Are you starting an uprising, beginning a discussion, educating, becoming recognized or simply building awareness? How you define your goal will pave the way for everything else.

Your Audience: Who are you engaging? How do they spend their days and what is on their mind for most of that day? Your business must be aware of who your customers are and who they hang out with. You need to know what makes the tick so you can be as relevant as possible.

Listen: Once you know who you’re engaging, you have to take a few days to listen to them. You may discover your first impressions of your audience were wrong. Be open to anything that challenges your assumptions.

Choose a Tone: Tone is very important and sometimes is driven by who the audience is. But you can always put your own touch on it. Are you going to be funny like Conan O’Brien, sarcastic like Janeane Garafalo, angry like Lewis Black or serious like Nixon – or maybe even seductive? If you listened to your audience you should have a good feel for how to get through to them.

Choose a Focus: There are really only two options. The content you put out there can relate either industry wide or to a local market. Each piece of content may vary from one or the other. It also depends on who you decide to be your audience. B2B may focus more to industry changes whereas B2C will focus on the local struggles of the consumer.

Create an experience: This goes far beyond words. It’s the feelings and “take away” your audience will get when they see your materials, brand, presence and when they purchase as a whole. Each piece of marketing material you develop should add to the experience. Give it your personal touch. Ask yourself: “How can I make my audience want to say ‘thank you’ every time my business touches them?”

Give Back: Don’t forget to say “Thank You” to your audience. Consider ways to show your appreciation to your audience for listening to you, participating in the conversation and certainly for purchasing. Business isn’t just an exchange of money for goods and services, it’s a relationship.

The Track: What’s next for your audience after every piece of marketing material they encounter. What do you want to drive them to do? Where do you want them to go? This should be included in your goal and every piece of marketing material should point them there, or to a piece of marketing that does. That’s Integrated Marketing!

Once you’ve filled in the blanks, building marketing materials should come easy! Please share with us your plan for your marketing!

Merlin U Ward
DripMedia