Use Brand Real Estate to Build Community
admin, February 17, 2012
There are a lot of online marketing options these days. Social media alone hosts a party of solutions. We know (through SEO best practices and a series of 2011 Panda updates) the production of content is important. We also have come to understand (especially considering the popularity of social media) that the dissemination of content is also integral, elongating the reach of marketing initiatives, offering a better chance to secure consumer relationships.
An aggressive brand is likely to look back in wonder at the accumulation of tools and online real estate, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest accounts, one or more company-related blogs, and a range of non-textual content (pictures, videos, podcasts, infographs). What do you do with all the online real estate? Like savvy, offline property owners, online brands need to make the most of real estate to produce revenue. Consider the following dissemination suggestions, helping to build a community out of content:
Twitter is a great tool for making connections. Depending on your business model, it may make sense to spend more time on the social platform than less. However, what we do know is that people like using Twitter for coupons. Does your brand offer coupons, discounts, or host ongoing sales? Make sure content associated to discounts and savings are made public on this real-time news platform.
Outspoken Media did a post a little while ago about the wane of corporate blogging. While your business may find it beneficial to devote resources elsewhere, hosting ongoing posts on a company blog addresses several needs. First, it keeps fresh content on your site, which pleases the search engines. Secondly, it curtails the need for ongoing press releases as PR trends shift. Lastly, it provides opportunities for branding and transparency (a company blog can be an extension of 'about us' sentiments). If resources are devoted toward more offsite initiatives, such as guest blogging, don't completely neglect your company blog(s).
Have you explored Pinterest? The site is fairly new; so, it is likely brands have not realized all the things to do with it. Todd Bailey offers Pinterest tips. I like one suggestion regarding leveraging brand-related pictures. This is especially advantageous for retailers of clothes, art, furniture, and beyond (items of consumer interest deserved of a rich, visual experience). Depending on services/products a brand offers, particular modes of media are better suited for marketing. Let's consider video.
'Content is king' and 'user is king' are two, common mantras in the online marketing community. Both are true; it's about providing the kind of content your user desires. In modern times, content is podcasts, pictures, textual articles, videos and more. YouTube offers impressive usage numbers, making it prime real estate for a number of business models. Is your brand properly communicating with consumers? Would some messages be improved via video production?
There's been discussion about how Facebook counts its active users (and names its celebrities) but online marketing professionals can't deny its benefits. People use Facebook. What a brand needs to research is the how and when regarding respective customers. I wrote about working on the weekends; posting and engaging fans on Facebook may be more beneficial during traditional "off" hours. When are the best times to leverage Facebook to connect with your target market (is it during 'your' off hours?)? Is some brand-produced content better suited for the platform and percentages of your consumers using Facebook?