Marketing & Public Relations Firm - Verasoni Worldwide

All posts tagged Technology

Last Wednesday’s train ride to DC was bumpier than usual, it breezed through the Philadelphia 30th Street Station when I decided to call my friend and journalist/writer/managing editor of and all around gal TaRess Stoval.  We chatted about my morning status update on facebook to which she replied, and then she asked me about my trip to the Capital. I told her I was basically heading there in search of business. I told her that I will also to talk to anyone who will listen to me yap about how build their social networking strategy through content distribution (as part of a larger marketing communications plan of course).  “Yeah, content is the new currency,” TaRessa hollered into my ear piece.  “You know what, that’s the title of my next blog, I’m stealing that..yeah, that’s right content is the new currency,” I replied.  So, now that I’ve given proper props, I’m taking it a step further, content and content distribution is the new currency. Here are three simple, but key thoughts…

Websites Are About As Obsolete Typewriters

Businesses put up websites, people engage in social networking. The Huffington Post, NPR, and some writers like Nick Kristof (who at the time of the writing of this piece has 118,937 fans) of the New York Times, deliver content on their websites, but engage readers on other sites by distributing the same content that’s on their website to other sites like facebook to reach readers, and listeners that would have otherwise would have never visited their website proper.  So clearly, creating content isn’t good enough, strategic distribution is vital.

Relevant Content Engages, And Invites

Businesses of all sizes must recognize that the social networking sites have done the work of aggregation, and now it is their responsibility to work with the golden opportunity in front of them. Frankly, no one cares that you have a website, people care about what they care about, so your business’ relevancy is about them, not you. Why should they join your group or fan your business? What will they get? Prestige? Coupons? Offers? Special content that no one else gets?  Insider scoops? Invitations to special events? Whatever it is, it must be relevant and frequent.  The frequency is important because it shows your network that YOU are engaged with them as well, which adds significantly to your online reputation.

Content Comes in Many Forms

Let’s not forget that Youtube is the world’s largest search engine, so utilizing video can be highly accretive to SEO and SEM. So integrating video, blogs, news articles and other forms of content, as long as it’s relevant, is the way to go.  Again, we’re vying to keep our network engaged through content.

Now, I am going to publish this piece, email it to my network, and share it with my facebook friends…because, content is the new currency!

By Abe Kasbo

So I went to a magazine launch party tonight. I needed to eat…we arrived late and I went in search of shrimp. By the way, the food was great, the event was wonderful and it seems like these guys just might cut through the clutter in their space and produce a good product. I am rooting for them. While the food satisfied my hunger, there was something à gauche and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

I finally figured out that either something is strange in the world of networking or I missed something. I know all about the 30 second elevator speech deal, but I have never seen put into practice with more precision and speed like I had earlier this evening. I felt like I was in an episode of “business speed dating on steroids.” So after 5 or so of these business come-ons (roughly less than satifying 150 seconds), I headed for the bar, glass of wine, and a sanity check…and thought to myself “why are these guys telling me about themselves, how many clients they have, or how much business they have instead of telling me how relevant their business is to their clients?” After all everyone is in business because the market needs their service(s).

The success of any business relies on several elements, one of which is relevancy to the market and consumer. If you’re a small business ($5 Million to $250 Million in revenues), you must continuously strive to stay ahead of your clients. This can certainly be done through marketing, but it can also be done through other avenues such as innovation or new product role out and so on.

So how do we stay relevant? Here are some ideas. From a marketing point of view, craft programs that deliver the value of your business from the client’s point of view. Engage the clients through meaningful interactions, be it on or offline. And if you have not embraced the internet (Note: if you have a website, it does’t mean you’ve embraced the internet, it means you have a website) you may want to consider what strategies are available to either increase sales, brand awareness etc. How well do you utilize search engine optimization? What do you with social networking / online communities? Online directories? What about blogging? And there’s more…Offline, how are you competing and on what? Price? Service? Both? Are any of these relevant?

What other ways can you make your business more relevant? Well, if you can answer that, then you’re off to a great start!

By Abe Kasbo

Companies have been shying away from allowing users to generate content to represent their brand, and rightfully so. It’s perfectly rational that businesses ought not surrender their brand equity to the masses, or more importantly, the individuals who may have the ability to adversely affect their business by getting content out to the masses.

The arguments against user generated content range from lack of standards for the medium, to fragmentation of technologies and audiences, and measurement. But what if brands partnered with their customers to generate meaningful content? What if brands provided precisely enough guidance to users to generate content? You ask how? In many ways this is already happening on the medium side. Take Facebook and myspace et al, what they do well is allow the user experience – in this case – their social network to create user generated content relevant to both the user and his or her network. It’s the ultimate “it’s about me forever campaign.” The point here is that people don’t denigrate themselves on these sites. At least people that fall within the normal distribution curve. Not looking for outliers here. And with meaningful engagement, your customers will not denigrate your brand. Remember, your campaign has to provide guidance and control for your customers in order for your user-generated content campaign to work properly.

Businesses indeed can partner with their customers on user-generated content while exercising control over the brand message. And customers already engage in “user generated content” off the net, it’s called word of mouth. So why not partner with your customers to deliver your messages to the masses? Here’s why it makes sense:

1. Video / audio technology is affordable if not cheap
2. Video / editing technology is easy to acquire or outsource
3. Plenty of online distribution channels – youtube, myspace, revver, yahoo video etc.
4. While Internet video represent a tiny subset of how brands are distributed, the medium is growing exponentially
5. In many ways, campaigns are measurable

And while measurement is a key issue, no media plan has a perfect measurement mechanism – no matter what your agency says. So start thinking about taking a position online and rethink how your brand can partner with you customers. Because the more meaningful engagement, the more ownership your customers take of your brand.