These 5 Brands Are Making A Splash Without TV Ads

In our continuing effort to provide you with innovative ideas that can help you amplify your brand experience, we thought we’d share this article from Business Insider that highlights five brands making a marketing impact without spending big bucks on traditional TV ads. Enjoy!”

http://www.businessinsider.com/these-5-brands-are-making-a-splash-without-tv-ads-2012-3#ixzz1oW5Som1o

What Facebook’s Changes Mean for Marketers

Two People Talking Exchange Marketing Ideas

Facebook changed the way their social network works…again. As this article from Mashable points out, there’s changes in store for how marketers use the social network as a result.

Facebook is constantly mixing things up in an attempt to stay relevant and ahead of consumer preferences. Unfortunately, this means more for marketers to keep up with. We’ve been talking about the value of content in your social media presence for some time now and this recent slew of Facebook changes makes it even more critical for marketers to deliver relevant, helpful, entertaining and informative content that serves the information and entertainment needs of their audience rather than pitching the marketers  products or services.

How to do this? We’d like to suggest a couple of simple steps:

First, use your listening platform to mine for insights about topics related to the end benefit your product or service delivers to consumers, rather than the features so many marketers drive their digital marketing around. An example of this is for a camera company to create really helpful e-books, mobile apps, videos or other digital resources to help people take better photos…the reason people buy a new camera in the first place.

Second, get your digital distribution ecosystem in place so that you can get the content out to all the social channels your consumers are using…blogs, social networks, forums and message boards, Q&A sites…you name it. Don’t keep the content behind your walled garden on your web site. Free Your Content!

Third, make sure your content is sharable. You want your audience to help with distribution, don’t you? Sure you do, because the crowd can get it out to the masses like nobody else.  Again, Free Your Content!

Finally, make sure the content has a call to action that links your audience back to your home site for a deeper layer of engagement…a special offer for more content, an incentive for purchase or some other relevant call to action. Think of your content as bread crumbs scattered across the internet, leading the little birds back to your site.

Brands that create compelling content and follow these steps reap substantial rewards, converting consumers who didn’t even know they were in the market for a product or service. When we ask marketers seek first to provide answers to needs rather than shill our stuff, everyone wins!

Top 9 Brands on Facebook and Twitter

Another superb post from Brian Solis on comScores Q1 U.S. E-Commerce Spending Report. Brian’s post is filled with a ton of great information and insight and he includes this graphic, showing the top 9 brands by “like” on Facebook and followers on Twitter.

What I find fascinating in this list is the mixture of brands…a classic CPG titan like Coca-Cola, up-and-comer Red Bull, retailers Victoria’s Secret and ZARA, digital brand YouTube…even Converse. Some achieve their ranking based on their Facebook presence alone. And although Twitter hasn’t had as much time as Facebook to build as a service, it’s having an powerful impact as a source of news and information, even for brands.

The mixed bag of participants just goes to prove that success in the social space doesn’t depend so much on category but on actual  participation. Having a presence in social media is one thing. Using it as yet another channel for old and tiered “push” marketing and advertising is another. Brands that insist on this latter approach, an there are a lot, just prove to everyone they don’t get it.

What matters? Listening, engaging in the conversation naturally, offering value first before you try to “pitch”…these are the currencies of brand participation in social media. Gee, sounds a lot like what one person does to have a mutually beneficial relationship with another. Maybe if brands acted more like people and treated their customers like people instead of objects (“targets”) they’d experience better results all around. Something to think about.