Jan
12

Content Marketing Strategies For Big Business Social Networking

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Facebook and Twitter have grown to enormous popularity in our culture. It’s no surprise that companies large and small are taking to these massive social networks to promote their products and services. But under the surface of strictly promoting products, there is a dialogue emerging: one that is full of ideas, opinions and significance. A dialogue that is dynamic and alive, and NOT controlled by the companies, but by us. For the last 125 years of common advertising, transitioning from newspapers to radio to television, something unique has taken place. The web has given the consumer power to take control of the conversation and the drive for content creation. It’s the media owned by the people.

On Youtube, the Coca-Cola company researched (as much as they could) the number of views generated by the words “Coke, Coca-Cola” and other trademarked brand terms related to their business. They found that 26 million views had been generated by advertising and content created by the company itself, but over 150 million views were generated by fans and consumer owned content. This shocked the company to say the least, quickly realizing that brand recognition and opinions were owned by the consumers, not the company. The control over how Coke had always presented themselves to the public (30 second ads) was now lost to the whim and power of the consumers themselves. The people now controlled more than just the money, they controlled the image as well.

The strategy to keep hold of the brand image turned from promotion to curation. To curate that input meant to be ‘conversational’ and engaging. Coke needed to nuture and seed those opinions and consumer input into a “dialogue”, and not just an ad. They concentrated on featuring ‘fan content’ into their marketing: sharing the stories of their consumer base and making the consumer the focal point and not the drink itself. To push hard advertising in the face of social networking was met with resistance. Consumers reminded Coke and other larger companies that “this is our arena.” If you take a look at the details of how Outback, Pepsi, Nike and others use their Facebook pages to engage and celebrate their fans, you’ll see a stark difference in how advertising has changed.

How can small businesses use these examples to engage their fans? A company is a company, some may have millions of fans more than another, but the rules of engagement stay the same. Most small companies have a hard time re-working their thought patterns: they have always related success to big, expensive advertising. Then again, there are others who get it. Success is all about conversation and relationships. Reaching out and curating the thoughts and opinions of your customers – making them the stars. A marketer who understands this model will be in extremely high demand as an employee. Could this be you??

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Categories : e-commerce

Comments

  1. nickhenney says:

    You can definitely see some instances of Coca-Cola’s driving towards consumer integration if you’ve been to the movies within the last five years and been there before the previews. Most places have some advertisements and short videos up there, and most of Coke’s are “fan submitted” stuff.

    I still see this as being “Coca Cola” polished—it’s Coke’s advertising dollars that put this out there. I don’t really see fans necessarily driving the advertising of commercial brands like Coke or Nike. Fictional works—like Star Wars, yes.

    That might just be my limited sphere of perception.

    I definitely do see how consumers have become a powerful force against commercial brands. Not too long ago Verizon talked about instating a $2 “pay online” fee. The Internet went up in arms—Facebook, Twitter, etc. They rescinded the idea pretty quick. This is an excellent example of how consumer feedback can drive a brand.

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