There’s no denying it—even for the experts it can sometimes feel like the world is changing so quickly that it’s hard to keep up. In the branding / advertising / marketing industry, keeping up is imperative. It’s sort of like the IRS’ view—not knowing is not an excuse. So how in the world do we keep on keeping up? Elementary, my dear Watson! We are constantly learning. (Side note: did you know that the character Sherlock Holmes never actually said that phrase in any of Doyle’s books?)
So how do we keep making our brands better? A recent article by Brandon Evans, founder and CEO of Crowdtap, was featured on SmartBlog on Social Media. His 5 steps to becoming a collaborative brand are insightful. Let’s review (and learn):
Social media has changed the world in so many ways [we wish we could have a dollar for every time we say that]. This has shifted the way we create marketing strategies, as past strategies are, well, a thing of the past.
Consumers now play an integral part in brands’ successes (and failures). It’s seems an obvious solution, then, for brands to embrace this two-way conversation opportunity. However, it’s apparent that many marketers are still not utilizing channels such as Facebook and Twitter to their full potential.
To make better use of this opportunity, brands should integrate the following 5 steps for collaborative marketing into their strategies:
1. Audit your audiences.
“Look at all of your brand’s existing communities and databases, including CRM, Facebook, and Twitter.” A brand has diverse customer types, and each type may want or need to interact with the brand in a unique fashion. Create a plan that focuses on each one of these customer types, and be sure to incorporate each way of communicating with the brand into the strategy.
2. Engage your core.
As we discussed in a previous blog, From Angry Customer To Brand Advocate, customers can be a brand’s best marketing assets. A brand ambassador is an automatic brand marketer (as well as a first-rate buyer). From a value standpoint, brand ambassadors have more worth than a loyal customer who spends a lot but doesn’t personally promote the brand. The more you engage your customers (in the right way) can determine how much more passionately those customers feel about the brand and tell others about it.
3. Align your content.
Word of mouth, or earned media, is incredibly valuable. Develop content that is geared to your audience today, which is very much a social environment. In trying to create the next viral sensation, don’t forget what’s more important—creating content that is actually worth sharing. “Content is largely shared in small groups… The median number of views per share of a piece of viral content is 9 on Facebook and 5 on Twitter.” So focus on creating frequent content directed to the consumer on a smaller scale instead of trying to make a giant, and rare, impact with one lucky viral video.
4. Do it faster, smarter, better.
A yearlong marketing plan is now not as effective as it used to be. Today’s society has more of an I-want-this-yesterday type of mentality. Having information at our fingertips, being able to reach anyone from anywhere, and having the ability to communicate on a vast number of levels, means marketing plans should be able to “move fast and do things cheap” instead of forecasting spend and planning out messaging in advance. This doesn’t mean you don’t need a plan; however, it does mean you need to be able to respond inexpensively and on the fly (Oreo cookies at the Superbowl, anyone?). “The future is, after all, about doing more with less.”
5. Commit to collaboration.
Having a two-way line of communication open with the target audience is not a like running a campaign. It is not short-term. It is a commitment. It is an opportunity to create long-term relationships with the customer; who, as brand advocates, are invaluable to a brand’s long-term success.
Test. Review. Improve. Repeat. Evolve.
Fantastic information, don’t you think? What works for you? In what ways are you creating a collaborative brand marketing strategy? Let us know. We would love to learn with you!