Seven Billion Channels seem too distant? Check out this.
Alert reader Andy just sent this fascinating marketing film made for JCPenny’s Jewelry Store. Retail is getting into the micro-channel new media biz. I’ve never been to the JCPenny Jewelry Store, nor would it be my first impulse if I had the need to buy a stone for my love.
But hats off to them for making a quality bit for the Youtube generation…
See it here:
When someone develops a blog, they develop a conversation. A website, in the traditional sense, is not a conversation, but rather a brochure or a kiosk of offerings. When one shifts from a website-centric relationship with their customers to a blog-centric relationship, one stops doing a presentation and starts having a conversation. This is a key point. Not only do blogs get ranked higher via Google’s, Yahoo’s, and Microsoft Network’s search engines because they keep content fresh. Blogs give your customers a sense there is a living, breathing human force behind whatever offering you might be offering. This has extremely reassuring benefits, and if you encourage your customers to comment on your blog, many times, you can stand back and watch your customers duke out what it is that has been discussed in a particular blog post, and you can comment every once in a while. Very successful blogs have hundreds of comments per post. It is a live channel between you and your customers.
This is an asset, your customer’s input, that is priceless.
I’m walking down the sidewalk on the Las Vegas strip a year ago with some associates. Out from behind a bush springs a man in a Gorilla suit screaming at me and my associates like a wild beast. Said Gorilla then runs away with an accomplice carrying a video camera. We’d been punked by a stranger. I yelled out, “don’t you want me to sign a release?”
I receive a number of marketing newsletters. I keep up on the latest trends and movements in the copyrighting, internet marketing and social networking worlds. A marketing newsletter for which I had made no request showed up the other day, for the third time.
I did a little searching in my bank statement and found I’d been charged. I tried to comb through the slender hairs of recent memory to discover what I may or may not have missed via opt-outs, pre-checked forms or inadvertent clicks in my online purchases.
I finally found the culprit. Man is he good. I didn’t see it coming. I don’t subscribe to anything of his but he was behind a recent video offer which I ordered . Got the video, watched it, end of story. Then a free newsletter comes. Predictable. Then another. Then when a third shows up I start looking for a charge and sure enough there it is. He’d used the financial info I used to buy the video to sign me up for his marketing newsletter.
Which was worse, Guerilla or Gorilla? In this case, I felt the same. Surprised. Startled. A little miffed. Only with the Guerilla, I was already on the lookout. He still got me. To this day I didn’t see where I’d signed up. I never had that intention. And that is the point of today’s entry. Is this behavior winning my ongoing business? Of course not. Would I buy a video with myself getting startled by a large man in a Gorilla suit? Odds are better of buying that video than subscribing, or continuing to subscribe in this case, to a Guerilla marketer who ambushes my bank account through marketing slight of hand.
I don’t watch his channel anymore.
In a recent debate amongst friends, the subject of hits came up. One side arguing they could deliver hits, hits, hits, on on a YouTube campaign, with Google Ad Words campaigns, e-mail campaign, etc. The assumption being “hits” is what brings in business. (Or at least enables them to charge more for fees)
One fellow made a quip that podcasting gets very few hits and is an ineffective marketing tool, done mostly for show. This was responded to by a fellow who had a podcast for Internet marketers and had already landed advertisers on his podcast and he had less than 1,000 total subscribers to that podcast.
How could this be? Monetizing a podcast with only a few hundred hits?
The reason, he stated, was that the advertisers asked him if he could deliver at least 100 Internet marketing executives as an audience. He said he can deliver three times that. The people who listen to his podcast are so prequalified that the advertiser knew that they were not going to be broadcasting and hoping that 50% of their advertising hit the right ears. This podcaster could deliver not only hundreds of people but hundreds of highly focused executives who make purchasing decisions.
So the point here is that quantity is misleading. A total volume of a million hits means nothing if you cannot articulate who those hits are, figure out how to sell a product to those hits, etc. Conversion of those hits into loyal long-time customers who have given you their “permission” to market to them is the gold standard in Internet.
A podcast, a blog, or a website who has 2,500, 2,000, even as little as 500 loyal, subscribing, constantly listening devotees is a worthwhile and potential income producing opportunity.
SEO is a field not short on info overload. I’ve just sat down to do research on SEO for this blog. Three hours later I’ve come to this conclusion: I’m doing it all wrong, and if I’m doing it right, I’ll have no life.
So to do it right, this is what I’ve learned:
• Get a real domain name and host a wordpress blog on that domain. Why? Better search engine rankings. Don’t do what I’m doing here, ie letting wordpress.com host the blog.
• Start a podcast to point people to your blog. Register the podcast with all the directories. Point them back to your site.
• Start a squidoo, wikipedia, guru.com page and point people to your blog. Why? To become known as the expert in your field
• Create a video about your blog and post it through TubeMogul to at least 12 video hosting sites. Make sure the blog is mentioned and it’s URL is prominent in the video
• Log onto Youtube, Myspace, Facebook, etc., from three different computers and start a conversation about your blog in the forums, comment pages, etc.
• Use social bookmarking pages to point people to your site. Digg, del.ic.ous, stumbleupon, etc.
• Write and register your blog posts in article directories to drive traffic from those directories back to your website.
• Do not start a website, rather start a blog, give away content for free and charge for speaking engagements and forgoe the headache of a blog.
• Create a membership site to which you can re-route the subscribers to your blog via a newsletter. Think about the next three products you will market to the members and start creating them now.
• Fire your PR firm and get the traffic yourself by doing all the above.
I’m drifting a little here. The choices are bewildering. I’m looking for clear sources to help focus my efforts in a helpful, focused way.
To be continued…
Here is a fine example of a youngster with their own channel. Great part about this is that the reporter refers to the successful youngster as a digital native. Some time ago the NYTimes did a feature on a young woman bringing in six figures from her webstore while in college. The interviewer asked how she was going to keep up with her college studies with all the time her internet exploits consumed.
Here’s a better question. What profession will a college degree offer you which will give you more satisfaction than doing what you love online and making more money than most attorneys?
Or how about.. Are you going to pay for your degree with Paypal?
This is a classic digital native vs. digital immigrant assumption. While entrepreneurs are getting younger and younger, the oldsters who grew up in the go-to-college-get-a-degree-work80hourweeks-retire age, still ask questions based on their world view when confronted with the unimaginable fact that a person decades their junior is making more than their salary doing business online. I know it makes me question my success assumptions everyday.