Posts Tagged ‘Buzz Marketing’
Call it what you want. Social Marketing. Viral marketing. Buzz marketing. Word of Mouth Marketing. They all have the same goal — to get people talking about a product or brand. I just call it “C2C” which simply means Consumer to Consumer, or Customer to Customer marketing, and it doesn’t get any better than that.
Setting a brand on fire
What makes viral and buzz marketing catch on is usually it’s association with something timely, extremely unique or otherwise memorable. In some way it touches people personally and specifically. It’s the way a brand solves a customer’s problem. For example it may be that a product was delivered faster than expected, the service rep went way above and beyond or the customer recognized greater value after the sale. C2C is simply providing your customers with a consistent brand image, value and experience that they appreciate and it is unique enough to talk about.
No Special Equipment Needed
There are no new strategies or tactics to talk about here, just basic marketing and business acumen. Good marketing and advertising brings value to the customer by providing information, entertainment or validation.
Marketing in any form is still all about helping people solve their needs. Often “needs” they didn’t even know they had. Whether they “need” that hot new perfume, a cereal their kids will like, or a new computer system with brand new features, the customer has a need. Marketing should be all about creating a consistent brand message across marketing channels that customers associate with a solution to that need. That kind of marketing creates a more personal sort of recall and gets talked about in the form of social exchanges and recommendations both online and off. That’s C2C.
B2B is still about C
The immense popularity of social media, specifically B2B social media confirms what I’m saying here — people will talk about brands that interest them, inform them or entertain them. Selling to a business is still selling to people — the main difference is in the needs that they have and what makes them personal.
So while your looking at strategies and creative for B2B and B2C marketing, don’t forget about the C2C effect.
What do you think?
While the call for marketers to jump on the social media and inbound marketing bandwagon is getting louder every day, will you know how to benefit from your participation in the community, without alienating it, once you find it?
It’s critical to remember that even though you are representing a brand, and your ultimate goal may involve increasing sales, social media is not the time or place for sales speak. Marketers must always remember that as participants in these conversations, they don’t and can’t control them. The goal is to engage in meaningful exchanges and develop honest relationships. Once you are engaged, here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if you are making the most of your social media efforts.
1- Do you know how to spot your online market?
To begin with, social media marketing can often be an overwhelming choice of continuously changing options. Because it’s usually easier to find your community than it is to create it, finding the right channels where your business and your audience’s interests meet are crucial to your success. Your audience may be found in or may be moving between popular social sites, blogs, social bookmarking sites, forums, CGM sites, mobile technology, application-based networks, and assorted types of vertical networks to name just a few. It’s always a difficult balancing act to know where to find and how to maintain a relationship with a continuously moving target.
2- Will you be able to recognize your community when it’s included within a larger group?
Are you sure you will know if you are in the right place, or are you passing by an opportunity because you didn’t recognize it? As the environment changes it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of this rapidly evolving landscape, and to be able to recognize your market, even when they are not talking about your brand or specific category.
3- Can you spot trends in sentiment of satisfaction, and advocacy for your brand — or your competition’s?
The ability to listen to the market is a key benefit of social marketing. It gives you the opportunity to understand what your brand, (or your competitor’s brand) actually means to the market, helps you find evangelists, gather information for the future, spot dissatisfaction and address issues before it publicly explodes into major problems. It is important to know how to decipher the information that you are gathering.
4- Is your audience spreading the word about your brand and have you given your audience something they find worthwhile to talk about?
An audience of passive listeners will not stick around long unless you openly share meaningful content to engage them. This is not the time for a free sample or a newsletter. In order for social marketing to be most effective, your relationship must have substance for everyone involved to stay engaged. Nobody wants to hear about your products or brand all of the time, but if you begin with an honest and authentic corporate culture then provide highly insightful and or entertaining content worth sharing— that has nothing specific to do with your brand — chatting with you and about you will become natural. This is an ongoing creative process that requires imagination, planning and participation from across your entire organization and often outside as well.
5- If you haven’t planned where your going, how will you know when you get there?
One of the most overlooked aspects of social media marketing is the strategy and plan. Just as in any other form of marketing, social media should be an intentional and planned marketing effort with specific goals and metrics to identify success. Despite the claim that social marketing is free, there is a significant time commitment (and associated cost) if you want it to be successful and productive. If your efforts aren’t planned, they can’t be measured. And without measuring your efforts and gains, you wont know what works and what doesn’t. A strategy with specific goals, tactics, and time estimates will help make sure you stay on track and provide a framework for achieving your goals
Marketers are all jumping into Social Marketing. Yes of course there are lots of great benefits associated with it: customer advocacy, brand recognition, social acceptance and we can’t forget the relative low cost. What some marketers don’t consider upfront, is that there can be a potential downside.
While no company wants bad press, smaller companies can often be seriously hurt if they don’t deal with bad buzz appropriately. Blogs have gone a long way to help give these mid-size companies a leg up, but a brand must remember to always stay active in their brand image. By opening up lines of communication between you and your customers, you may start to hear things you wish were not so public. It’s a critical part of your brand’s image to actively engage these customers to find out how they feel, keep interactions positive, and resolve any issues.
So what do you do if your brand’s buzz goes bust? A company’s response to negative buzz can have a bigger impact on the brand image then the initial bad review. Here are some simple things to keep in mind:
Don’t think about it too long.
Address negative buzz quickly and efficiently. Accept responsibility for mistakes and take action to correct them right away. This helps to slow down or stop the flow of negative buzz, and can turn it into a positive conversation about your brand’s integrity.
Stay active on public message boards.
Message boards are the most common venue that people use to complain about companies or brands they are unhappy with. Other members of the group then join in until the entire forum has a hostile view of the brand. Stay active on message boards related to your industry so you can help to offer resolutions quickly.
Say what you’ll deliver, deliver what you say.
Pete Blackshaw, a founding member of www.WOMMA.com said that “negative word of mouth is often created when a product’s advertising is not in sync with the consumer’s experience”. Simply put, stay true to your own marketing.
Being prepared is half the battle.
You can get in front of a problem by paying attention to customer feedback and responding quickly. If you’re repeatedly hearing the same issues, then by quickly dealing with the root cause and rectifying the problem will become the new conversation.
Fight buzz with buzz.
Use the same tools to turn negative comments back into a positive buzz. In addition to responding on blogs and monitoring message boards and forums, marketers can also look to websites such as Getsatisfaction to keep up with what the public is saying about them. Marketers can also listen in on Twitter conversations related to their brands so they can react quickly.
The basic elements of every effective social marketing campaign is the same: engage your customers and respond to their needs to help improve brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
Rena Bernstein is Creative Director at Elektrik Ink, LLC, a full-service advertising and strategic design agency that specializes in the convergence of traditional advertising and digital marketing. Read more about Advertising, Social Marketing and Brand Identity at www.elektrik.com or call 212-675-1568.