One of the greatest challenges the marketing world has faced recently is exactly how to leverage the evolving Web 2.0, Social Media universe.
Everyone can see the tremendous numbers of users involved as well as the potential reach that it seems should be possible as well.
That said, very few brands have been able to crack the 2.0 code and harness it to their advantage.
Very few brands have been able to crack the 2.0 code
In my opinion there are two issues at the core of this conundrum.
First, is a general lack in the depth of understanding about just how the social web functions that is keeping folks from seeing just how to use it. It is not yet another channel in which advertisements can be placed. I don’t care how good they may be, if it is ads that one is trying to use in the social web… you will most likely be wasting your money.
Secondly, there is an over-riding issue of patience, or lack thereof, that seems to permeate the efforts of most companies trying to happily exist in, let alone leverage, the social web.
Social media tends to grow gradually or organically. Could this be one reason the Search Engines like it so much? Note the word "Organic".
If a marketer comes in and tries to forcibly insert their message it usually gets thrown back in their face. This is going to be a problem for most companies working with traditional marketing groups who are used to being able to put together a plan, design the creative, send that off to one or two places, and then at the pre-appointed time their message is made available to a (hopefully targeted) audience of a generally predetermined size.
Social media requires the same planning and creative design (well not quite the same but you get my drift). What follows next though is what requires patience. It is not good enough to disseminate your materials to just a handful of places.
With social media one must first step back and look at all of the various formats in which a message can be delivered. Next, the various forms of the message need to be carefully distributed to as many media/community outlets as possible. Yes, you should start with the big guys but the greatest benefit will be seen by massive distribution.
Look at this massive distribution as a huge collection of windows
Look at this massive distribution as a huge collection of windows, or better yet doors, leading in to your website. The more doors, the more obvious access points into your product or service. Yes, you will even receive some good SEO benefit… if your materials are all posted correctly.
Is there a problem with this methodology?
In a word, No, but it does leave a lot on the table.
It is wonderful to have people watching your videos on one of the many video sites and then clicking through to your site. It is also great to have people following your tweets on Twitter, viewing your images on Flickr, or watching your live stream on Mogulous, but is there any cross-pollination going on?
Is the prospect looking at your photos on Flickr even aware that you also have videos on YouTube, or a blog to which you post, or a live feed?
Chances are the answer is NO, and this is where the real opportunity lies…
Enter the concept of Brandstreaming
The idea is to aggregate all of the feeds from the various places your contents (start thinking of them as assets) are posted to one single place. In theory this is then streaming all online aspects of an entire brand (brandstreaming) so that consumers need only go one place to drink from the info well.
Now, I want to insert my own opinion on this here.
I believe that these sites are on the right track… but only have a small piece of the total picture.
They only have a small piece of the total picture
These sites see themselves as aggregators of content. That is cool and a step forward.
Now, let’s take things a step even further forward and ask, "What if all of that content from a single brand, as well as that of others covering the same brand topics, was leveraged to create a new breed of ultimate authority site?"?
Are you starting to see some of the possibilities here?
What could you do if you owned the Ultimate Authority site for a given brand or topic?
Do you think you could make a few bucks with that?
The definition of the "Authority Site" is going to change
The definition of the term "Authority Site" is going to change and in my opinion that change is right around the corner.
Keep your eyes and ears open for what is coming next.
Now having read through all of that, what is your take on brandstreaming and/or authority sites?
Please leave your comments below.
Onward & Upward!