Who is Consumer 2.0?
- Addicted to Leisure - They work hard, but they also expect a certain amount of work/life balance. They expect products and brands to conform to both aspects of their day. They want their phone to sync with Outlook while also keeping tabs of their Facebook profile.
- Create and share content - In their own eyes, they're a rockstar. They twitter, pownce, blog and YouTube everything in their life. If they like it, they share it.
- Always connected and love information - They subscribe to hundreds of RSS feeds, have thousands of friends online, never leave home without their iPod or their web-enabled phone. These consumers can find what they're looking for in a drop of hat (and expect it as well).
- Hypertaskers - Forget David Allen, these consumers chat online, play games, stream music and send text messages all while watching TV. In a survey produced by Yahoo!, 60% of 18-34 year olds said they surfed the web while watching TV.
- Love to be part of communities - They have multiple social network accounts and use them all on a regular basis.
- Listen to them. - They are more than willing to tell you what they think of your product, if you simply ask. Use them as your guinea pigs for new ideas and improvements on old ones.
- Collaborate with them. Just as Stromhoek, a small vineyard who collaborated with bloggers to create a grass roots initiative, so should you. Respond to their online posts and comments, answer their emails one at a time and take the initiative to create 'wow' experiences in your store. If you scratch their back, they'll scratch yours as well.
- Give them the tools to share. Create an online toolbox in which users can remix your brand to meet their style. Include RSS feeds, pictures, videos, music, Facebook applications, custom t-shirts and everything else they could use to evangelize your product.
So how does Search Engine Marketing tie back to Consumer 2.0? Well, because Consumer 2.0 is so intrenched and dialed in on a regular basis, they've developed a small case of ADD. Nearly 72% of people answered that they cannot recall URL's that appeared on TV spots. Therefore, not only should you do the things I've mentioned above to gain attention online, but you should also work to control those things you do have power over.
Your search engine marketing must include using appropriate keywords so Consumer 2.0 can find your brand, creating lots of relevant content, making sure your pages are user-friendly and have appropriate titles and descriptions just to name a few. Consumers expect brand leaders to consistently be in the top results of search and I can guarantee that many will look at a site because it was one of the first results regardless if it was what they were looking for or not. Great search engine marketing increases your brand familiarity, pumps up your brand consideration, improves customer satisfaction and results in a better brand experience.
Integrating Consumer 2.0 into your marketing plans and tweaking your search engine marketing will allow you to close the loop on your customers and engage advocates. I guarantee that if you implement the above to a tee, you will see much success online and off.
CASH courtesy of *mgwinc
In short, Stormhoek, hired Hugh MacLeod to promote their products through his site, GapingVoid.com. Stromhoek believed that MacLeod's following of tech geeks would be the perfect match as they shared the same single-minded passions as wine enthusiasts do. MacLeod offered a free bottle of the wine to any blogger who asked so long as they were of legal drinking age and had been blogging for a minimum of 3 months. Bloggers were asked to write a post on the Stromhoek wine experience without any obligations. The post didn't have to mention the name of the company or even reflect a positive review.
At the end of the 6 month experiment, nearly 100 bloggers posted related items or comments. MacLeod capitalized by using his online celebrity to organize "geek dinners" for the bloggers in Britain, Spain, France and in the United States. Stromhoek's sales have jumped nearly six-fold over that time. They expect to push about a million cases annually within three years, up from their 50,000 cases a year worldwide now. The total cost of the campaign over the 2 years came out to about $40,000 which is remarkably cheap considering the amount of publicity and sales conversions the promotion added. To top off the success, Ad Age named the Stromhoek strategy one of the top 50 marketing campaigns in 2006. Not bad for a bunch of bloggers.
How does the promotion and strategy that Stromhoek pulled off differ from your company's plans?
Stromhoek - Gave their small niche audience something to talk about. On a volunteer basis, their customers chose to read their advertisements and PR. They had the permission of each person they came in contact with to market their product to them.
Your Company - Force your story and splatter your advertisements across as many mediums and over as many people as you can afford. Yes, some of the crowd may already know about your product and yes, you may gain a few new supporters in the process, but the probability and conversion rate is very low. You don't engage your customer or find out who they really are which in turn costs you more money down the line as well.
Stromhoek - Created a true grass-roots / word-of-mouth customer program. They were transparent and clear with their intentions. They asked permission from their customers. They didn't interfere or do the song and dance to get attention.
Your Company - Fakes a grass-roots campaign. You have a lackadaisical MySpace or FaceBook page (so does everyone else), but your customers can see right through your futile attempts.
Stromhoek - Built a marketing strategy on-line and off. They correlated and had a similar function and feel to them.
Your Company - Lucky if you can get the group that develops the online collateral and marketing plan in the same room with the group that is responsible for the print pieces.
Stromhoek - Let their customers be their guinea pigs. They tested outside of the lab and gave free samples. They took their customers advice and made changes as necessary.
Your Company - Test, test, test in the lab, but still end up being surprised when your product fails in the market. You know what your research tells you. Customers don't know what they want.
Mixed Media courtesy of mgwinc
Seth Godin - Permission Marketing
Made to Stick - Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
The one thing that is clear is the communication that these 'popular' brands have with their customers. So how do you create customer evangelists representing your brand that are willing to shout your message from the top of a mountain? How do you fill you house people knocking down the door rather than throwing eggs at your windows?
These are the customers that comment on nearly every article you post to your blog, are the first to sign up for beta testing and are constantly e-mailing you about your product. Evangelists believe in your product just as much as you do and would gladly spread your gospel, so your first priority is to get up the gumpshun and simply ask them to take on and represent your endeavor. Being as transparent as possible ensures that everyone is represented fairly and intentions are layed out prior to actions. The last thing you want to do is turn an evangelist into an opponent over a small misrepresentation.
Each person will have a little different style about them that may not always mesh with the standard manner your Communications department could like to be represented - THIS SHOULDN'T MATTER! In my opinion, the key is that they utimately believe in you and your cause or mission. Their background, popularity or influence can be ignored. Beggars can't be choosers as the old adage states.
Building customer evangelists isn't a one-stop shop, but rather a relationship that must be respected and nurished. Ensure that you nuture these relationships. Give them things that they will value. Respond to their desires by modifying your product or service from the feedback they give you. Showing that you actually value them and their hard work along with responding to their concerns will only add fuel to the evangelizing fire.
Brains on Fire - Cycle of a Fan
Church of the Customer Blog - Corporate Evangelism vs. Customer Evangelism
Jackie Huba 2003 keynote presentation on Creating Customer Evangelists
For example, lets say you are a local landscaper. By creating just a simple video about planting a tree or maintaining your lawn you are now looked upon as an expert in their mind. Therefore, when they decide to buy, you are the one they choose because it's comfortable and they know what to expect.
So, before you can become the "go to guy (or girl)", you must know how these new web technologies function. There are numerous services, but I'm going to keep with YouTube in this example simply out of simplicity sake. YouTube is probably one of the easiest video sites to use out of the bunch in my opinion and their recent acquisition by Google makes they even more of a powerhouse.
Step 1: Know what type of video to create
YouTube accepts video files from most digitial cameras, camcorders and cell phones in .WMV, .AVI, .MOV, and .MPG file formats. Have no fear if you are unaware, these are standard outputs on most equipment. If you are familiar with video details, YouTube recommends a resolution of 320x240, MP3 Audio and a speed of 30 frames per second.
Step 2: Create you video / Create your YouTube account
Create your video and transfer to your computer. Most cameras and camcorders have USB or Firewire output. A simple plug and play should do the job.
If you don't have a YouTube account yet, go to YouTube.com and create your unique username and password. It takes less than a minute and they won't spam you.
Step 3: Upload video to YouTube site
While logged in, click "Upload Video" in the upper-right-hand corner of just about any page within YouTube.
Step 4: Enter your video information
Input as much information as possible, include Title, Description, Tags (one-word descriptors such as tree, landscape, lawn) and Category. The more info you supply, the easier it will be for users to find your videos
Step 5: Find that file
In the next window, click the 'Browse" button to find the video located on your computer. YouTube takes your file and converts it to a flash file so it can be shown in all web browsers without any special equipment.
Step 6: Determine Public or Private
If you want everyone to be able to see your video (which I'm sure you do in this example), make sure to click Public.
Step 7: You become an online video star!
Click "Upload Video" and your video is magically taken to YouTube wonderland.
After you have created your video and uploaded to your site, YouTube supplies two pieces of information that allows you to easily pass your video on to your customers.
A good idea for the URL tag would be to place it in your e-mail signature or as a link to your customers in their monthly e-mail or newsletter. Once typed in, the URL will take the user to the exact page within YouTube where the video is placed.
If you want to get a little more fancy, you can copy the Embed code and insert it within your web site or on any electronic communication. This feature will pull the video right out of YouTube and integrate it within your site.
Making and Optimizing your Videos
Adding YouTube videos to your web site or blog
Policy on Copyright information