Guest post from Russ Henneberry, who writes, speaks and executes on content marketing plans for small businesses. He writes a daily blog about how tiny businesses can make mighty profits using a personal computer, a little imagination and a few well placed dollars.
The shift in marketing dollars from traditional advertising mediums to the emerging media available to us via the Internet has more to do with the customers’ behavior than the seller.
Many businesses today are holding onto the hopes that this is all a fad, that this will all go away. Then they can go back to business as usual.
Marketing was much easier when it was controllable. It was much easier when all you had to worry about was getting an average product out to market and ensure that the 4 P’s of Marketing were evident in your ad. It was much easier when the company steered the conversation.
But Consumers Like New Media
We (the consumer) like these “emerging” types of marketing mediums better than the old ones.
- We can find answers to problems when we have them, and not be disturbed when we don’t have them
- We can interact with other customers and prospective customers in these mediums
- We can share what we find interesting about products, services, brands, etc with our network
We are no longer consumers of only the products/services provided by a company but also of the marketing content that these companies create. When “new” marketing is done right, it is willingly consumed and not force fed to us.
We like that.
Why We Reach For The Spoon
Today, we are looking for one thing in the content that we consume online — whether it is high-dollar marketing content created for the Coca Cola Facebook page or just a personal blog post written by our Aunt Sophie — we are looking for VALUE.
Content can give us value by (among other things):
- Making us money
- Saving us time
- Protecting us or those we love
- Educating us
- Entertaining us
For example, if you are a CPA and you publish a [well researched and well written] article to your website called…
10 Tax Deductions Uncle Sam Wishes You Didn’t Know About
I will grab the spoon and willingly engage with your business. After all, you could make me money, save me time, protect me and educate me with this article.
But Wait… We Also Want D.I.S.
As consumers of products/services and also marketing content we are also interested in something else — D.I.S.
We want our marketing content to be:
- Discoverable – Marketing content is consumed on our time and with our permission. We go looking for it when we want it, and we expect to find it. Whether it be discovered as a blog post via Google search, a video via YouTube or through an archive of indexed Tweets — we want the content we are looking for, when we are looking for it. This means the best kinds of marketing content need to be findable by Google (and the others), properly tagged, and optimized for search engines. Content isn’t king, optimized content is king.
- Interactive – The web is now truly multi-dimensional. Marketing content that allows no interaction, falls flat. We want to tell you what we think about your products, services, articles, videos, audio, etc. It gives us the ability to steer the conversation — and we like that. This means your content should allow ratings, comments or other forms of feedback.
- Shareable – We expect that your marketing content will be shareable. If we like it we want to pass it around to our network so that they can interact with it. This is how we connect with each other online, by sharing content. This means your content should be capable of easily sharing through the major social networking sites as well as any niche sites your market is using. Appropriate forms of content should be embeddable as well on other web properties.
When considering the mediums you will use to market your business, consider D.I.S.
Below is a graphic that places marketing mediums and tools where I believe their strengths lie on the D.I.S. model
Certainly today, all of these tools and mediums can be made to be discoverable, interactive and shareable — but I wanted to point out that each tool and (in some cases medium) has inherent strengths and weaknesses in this model. For instance, a static web page on a site can be shareable but it is certainly not a strength of a static page. A Facebook profile update is very shareable. However, that Facebook profile update is not inherently discoverable by search engines — creating a weakness for that tool.
This model is a work in progress, I would like you to help me make it better. What major tools am I missing in this model? Where do they belong?