Digital Marketers Are Making Marketing for Marketers (That’s Not Good For Anyone)
–Hey, fellow internet user, how’s your second screen experience treating you these days?
–I don’t know. I feel like I could use some more multi-touch integrated brand experiences to deep my advocacy relationships across platforms
–Well then, you’ve come to the right place
I legitimately believe that some marketers must think that these types of conversations are happening in offices across the country, because why else would these otherwise smart, savvy marketers be creating work that most people can’t relate to?
Most people don’t use the internet the way that we do
If you’ve been reading here for a while, you probably know that I do some teaching at an amazing digital school here in Vancouver called Brainstation (you should go to their events). I also get called in to other Universities and Colleges sometimes to lead seminars or workshops, and I just kicked one off at CapU that reminded me of something that a lot of us in digital and social can forget, and it hurts the effectiveness of our work: Most people don’t use the internet the way that we do.
In this workshop I have an amazing group of entrepreneurs and senior managers who signed up for an Executives’ Fundamentals of Social Media class. I like to start out all of my workshops by sharing stories to get a sense of the room, and in this case it quickly became apparent that I was talking to a different group than the one that I’m used to.
Where my normal classes are typically filled with digital marketers and social media professionals from digital-savvy brands, these people are every bit as smart and successful, but to them social is a second language. It’s just not core part of their daily lives – and that’s true for the majority of people.
That’s an important reminder to us all: The people in our meetings are typically digital natives, and the most vocal commenters on our channels are also the most active social users, but what about the silent majority? Are we respecting them with the content that we’re creating and the way that we’re communicating?
With that in mind, this week I’m bringing it back to the basics: Rather than focus on those cutting edge features that only the 1% of us tech-nerds are actually using, what does the general population care about this week?
Facebook <3s Facebook
You know that amazing video that you’ve been planning to release on YouTube? Or that livestream Q&A that you’ve been hosting on your website? Take a second to seriously consider also hosting them on Facebook.
We have the luxury of doing a ton of testing, and we’ve found that content uploaded to Facebook natively will, by default, get 2-4x the reach of a link to that same content. And that’s before people start to Like, Comment or Share, and each one of those continue to expand your post’s reach, which leads to the next reason to upload to Facebook: The user experience.
When we’re on Facebook, it’s because we want to be on Facebook. Every click out creates a page load and just a bit of frustration.
If we can eliminate that friction, we make it easier for people to see and engage with our content, and really that’s much more important than any YouTube vanity metrics. In every case possible, upload directly to Facebook and host there (except for blog posts as Notes – for some reason we’re finding that they get punished. If that changes I’ll let you know).
The No Fun League Takes to Social Media
In maybe the strongest indication that even some of the biggest and most popular brands still don’t get it, last week the NFL told its teams that no game highlights, GIFs or any in-game video content could be posted to any social channels without first being posted by the NFL accounts.
Yep, they actually said that.
In a cheeky bit of peaceful protest, right after a huge pass from QB Derek Anderson to WR Kelvin Benjamin the Carolina Panthers tweeted out:
17 yard gain!
As if they were handcuffed from posting the actual GIF file.
The tweet was promptly deleted. #NoFunZone
If the biggest entertainment product in the States still isn’t comfortable with content being spread around, then we all still have a lot of work to do, and there’s still a ton of opportunity in this space.
Less $ Spent on Ads = More Work
But That’s a Good Thing
One of the biggest problems that advertisers have right now is where to spend all of that banner ad cash. They know that the ads are terrible (no matter how awesome the targeting tech is) and people are annoyed by them, but our marketing departments are built on their ability to scale big spends with very little human input.
But social & native ad experiences are 100x better, so why aren’t we investing more there?
Because it takes work and creativity, but don’t let that scare you. Here are two examples of cash used more effectively:
Vancouver realtor Jeff Appelbe had a new listing in the Mount Pleasant area. Rather than buy the typical newspaper ads & online listings, he came to Junction to buy a more interesting type of ad. Now, given that it was his first foray into native advertising, we were only able to push the soft-sell approach so far, but the result was a lineup at his open house before he even publicly listed the property: Check out the feature here.
Netflix’s Narcos set out to generate interest in a unique way, so they partnered with the Wall Street Journal to create a full web experience where the WSJ writers analyzed the cocaine cartels the same way they would a Fortune 500 company. The result was a ton of attention, press, awards, and a massively successful launch of the original series. Check out the Fast Company rundown on “Cocainenomics” here.
Banner ads are easy, but ad experiences that add value actually work.
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