One often overlooked content marketing component is a company blog. Although many people think of a blog as a way for individuals to share their thoughts and ideas, they are also a simple way for businesses to present themselves as experts in their industry, a critical component of successful content marketing. In addition, new search engine algorithms are requiring websites to include quality, well-written and original content. The easiest way to keep your content updated and original is by including a blog as part of your content strategy.
One benefit to a company blog is that it belongs to the company, unlike other forms of social media whose requirements can change at any time. It is a way to get a company message to current and potential clients 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Blogs should be viewed as a form of social media as they need to be designed to target a specific community and should be integrated with your other social media efforts as well.
Recommending a product or service to friends on Facebook, advertising on Twitter through prominent figures (marketing buzz), or sending company information to its LinkedIn contacts are all marketing models that become more and more popular in social networks. However, these types of practices carry legal implications.
The relative novelty of the applicability of legal requirements in the context of social network services can create confusion of concepts and terminology, of which is significant at all levels. The evangelist consumers or brand ambassadors (brand advocates) all require forethought and thorough analysis prior to any marketing campaign.
Digital marketing in legal terms
In practice, the initial thinking in legal terms refers to the brand ambassadors as emergent advertising figures. And the legal implications of them in the context of complex systems through crowdsourcing and dynamic influence generated by social networks and product value platforms or services in a profoundly interconnected ecosystem. The designated brand ambassadors are those evangelist consumers who support or feel passionate for certain brands and share their opinion about company products and services in conversations with other people. (More …)
1. Define the milestones and scope of the strategy. What are the goals to be achieved and what do we want to gamify?
2. Define who we want to have an impact on.
Dominant: They play specifically to compete and win.
Egocentric: They play to win recognition.
Socialites: They play to meet people.
Explorers: They play to discover possibilities and secrets.
3. Intrinsic motivation of our target. What moves them? Entertainment, socialization, recognition, sharing?
4. Research the habits and trends our consumer follows to create a good experience.
5.Design our story, which will define the experience we want our users to live.
6.Design the game system, elements of the scene that will surround it, and the tools for achieving victory.
7.Look after the user experience. Find the balance so that the experience is good without falling into a level of difficult that doesn’t allow them to advance or is too simple that it doesn’t present any challenge.
Eduardo Zamora (@amudiel) is Strategic Director in the Mexican integrated communication agency ifahto. He has had the change to participate for more than 12 years in the creative and strategic concept of integrated marketing for mass consumption companies. The main achievements reached with the clients he was collaborated with are: meet sales goals, brand recollection, increase in market participation, creation of brand awareness in digital and traditional media, etc.
At your companies, have you implemented gamification strategies? How did you do it and what has been the result? Tell us about it!
One of the most critical aspects in online branding strategy is associated with domain names. Historically we found a tense relationship between domain names on the Internet and third-party brands that coincidentally match them. This tension has generated numerous predatory and parasite practices like, among others, the systematic usurpation of domain names for later sale to the highest bidder as a business model.
From a current and practical perspective, in the context of the so-called Web 2.0 that represents an evolution regarding traditional corporate websites, we are faced by the phenomenon of naming and personalized addresses that social networks provide (“vanity URLs”). In my modest opinion, the previous situation is repeated which gives clear precedent of the figure of the “cybersquatters” before the existing policy of the ICANN was consolidated as a fundamental part of the entire works for registering and resolving controversies stemming from the holder of a domain name and a third party for the registration and abusive exploitation of the name in the scope of Internet domains (also known for its acronym “UDRP”), to favor the resolution of disputes by arbitral mechanisms with the intervention of accredited entities, including World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The elements making up the internet of computer networks need to be identified and differentiated from others through a unique and irrepetible address. Said identification is achieved through IP address and the domain name system (DNS). The domain names, which have the legal nature of immaterial goods, went from being a simple electronic address to being a distinctive sign sui generis that identifies individuals and legal entities, which make up the ecosystem of the Internet.
However, and here lies a potential source of litigation, practically any user name can be registered as a URL address on the social networks and web applications with the sole requirement that it is available – one of the exceptions possibly is Facebook-. In other words, under the current “open” regime, without prejudice of the service terms and conditions on social environments (which we talked about in the last post), there are hardly any restrictions for individuals or entities that can be registered. However, faced with an infraction, both brand and unfair competition legislation would be applicable, which have the procedural advantage of the possible adoption of preventative measures ab initio.
While waiting for new developments, the fast growth of social networks, as well as the strategic interest of developing the brand on the Web 2.0, in particular for those companies whose activities cross borders, it also encourages the creation of a wide portfolio of user names. For this reason, it is recommended that all actors with a minimum presence on the internet or that want to have a competitive advantage based on differentiation and brand image should use tools like namechk or Google Alerts before designing their portfolio of domain and brand names that will be used to solidify their digital marketing strategy.
Jose Manuel Pérez Marzabal (@jmperezmarzabal) a lawyer who specializes in the internet and e-commerce at MTNProjects. He is also a visiting professor at BES La Salle and a teaching consultant at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). He has a Master’s in International Law (LL.M.) from WWU Münster and a Diploma in Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics from the University of Barcelona.
Editor’s note: Today at Zyncro we would like to welcome a new contributor: Eva Mª Vaquerizo, expert in digital marketing, brand corporate communication and web analysis. She is defined by her passion, drive and enthusiasm for facing each challenge with a smile, a real commitment, a resolute attitude and a desire to overcome the odds. For that reason, she is here with much “ #enthusiasm” to zyncronize with our readers and we hope you will enjoy her articles. Welcome to the team, Eva 😉
Many have written about the changes we are experiencing: the exponential development of technologies, the penetration of the internet, the new communication devices and media… The new reality in which we live, lacking the stability it once had. However, understanding the present means recognizing the backbone that underlies all them and that really determines them: we are not in an era of change, but in a change of era.
The major transformation seen recently lies in the potential of the internet to open communication to us all equally. The message recipient (consumer) for the first time ceases to be a passive entity and is transformed into an active subject who intervenes and participates in the spreading of the message (Prosumer). The consumer is now a nano-medium
THE CONSUMER, AT THE SAME TIME, A MEDIUM.
A key insight that links with the idea of people marketing, which takes priority in current trends and is primordial in the sociocultural changes suddenly happening with the technology evolution.
Now we all are a medium and our voice is listened to openly. Social media extend its condition to the nature of current communication and communication is socialized.
THE POWER OF THE TRIBES
In this new reality, when determining the communication strategy for a brand, one of the key steps we establish to win scope (coverage) and give the message notoriety and relevance is to identify the medium “influencers”, get close to them and establish links to integrate them in it. Associated with all that, we should draw our attention to the fundamental role of the “tribes”, “the follow the leader”. Something that, however, is not new.
THE INDIVIDUAL INFLUENCE
The accent that now marks the difference is that, thanks to the networks and social media in general, we all have a voice. We all have become a medium, with a greater or lesser degree of influence, but in any case, we all have an audience, and this is equally essential.
When we think about it, viral strategies are based on the theory of incremental acceleration and six degrees of separation. For that reason, it is extremely important to identify the “influencers”, (the “mavens” or links who can act as a speaker for our message), but it is equally important to perceive the richness of digital “word of mouth”, where the true key lies in a brand’s ability to STIMULATE EMOTIONS, to connect at the deepest individual level with its audience.
In fact, another important trend in current consumption, which shouldn’t be overlooked, is the personalization, the creation of tailored experiences ((M)ETAIL). Experiences that generate more personalized recommendationsof “products” (services), designed to be personalized according to the tastes and preferences of each individual (to their circle of contacts, particularly relevant in the digital environment). Something that links us once again with that line of people marketing that we commented earlier and will truly result in a decisive degree of relevance, notoriety and influence for a brand.
Converse Made By Facebook App
To sum up, to understand the moment we live in means we have to consider that the message descends from its PEDESTAL of “influence”, which until now it shared with traditional communication media, and goes to being transmitted via the horizontal paths of PERSON TO PERSON COMMUNICATION (P2P), where the area of influence is displaced towards the user. The brand’s vertical message of yester-year must metamorphose itself into CONVERSATION, into genuine and memorable PERSONALIZED PRODUCTS AND EXPERIENCES (stories to share).
We live in a world in which communication today is a far cry from what it was 5 years ago, not to mention what it was like 15 or 20 years before that. We used to send letters and then emails, now we send messages by WhatsApp and Facebook. We used to go to the cinema, now we use online streaming and we have home cinema equipment and even 3D televisions. We used to use a map to get around the city, now we have GPS or Google Maps on a Smartphone.
However, the latest technology we have adopted so quickly at a personal level, has always taken time to appear in our professional lives. It all started with the email revolution, which little by little has eliminated ordinary mail and which is about to make faxing obsolete.
Over the last two years 2.0 tools have started to make an appearance in offices and although it may be hard to believe, agencies aren’t exactly revolutionaries in this process.
A communications agency, be it marketing, advertising or public relations, is dedicated to creating or transforming a brand’s voice, adapting it to the media, to channels and of course to the target audience. What I have noticed since the boom of digital communication, is that agencies in Spain are taking longer than normal to adjust their structures and strategies to current times; above all, the ATL or Above the line agencies. And I refer more to their internal operations than their campaigns. If the people working at the agencies aren’t completely immersed in the infinity of possibilities of the 2.0 world, they will be hard pressed to help their clients create engagement in the new media.
When I discovered Zyncro one of my first thoughts, as a communications professional, was that it is the ideal tool for an advertising agency. Why?
Briefing and counter-briefing 2.0: gone are the days of emails and never-ending meetings. You simply create a working group for the client, you invite them to the group and exchange information in the documents area. Creative debates can be created, links and photos added… even a workflow created for the approval process.
The creative process: What better way to discover how the creative work is going! In the case of collaborating with freelance designers, integration using the project management tool will allow you to monitor the number of hours dedicated to a task, its status and the budget. In addition it is easy to upload images, large presentations and videos. The best thing? You don’t even have to download them onto your hard drive, that’s what the Zyncro Video Player is for 😉
Billing: Again I refer to the usefulness of Workflow for establishing the approval process by the client, the Account Manager and even Administration. What’s more, it is all securely saved on the cloud.
There is also an endless number of low-cost tools that, combined with a Corporate Social Network, can make an agency’s life much easier.
Comapping.com is a tool for creating mind maps which should be a must for all planners.
Join.me makes travel unnecessary, thanks to low-cost videoconferences.
Zoho Invoice facilitates the management of invoices for Accounts and Accounting…
So, what about your agency? Is it already using any of these tools? Is it planning to implement them? Join the Social Business revolution, evolve to 2.0!
WebCongress is one of the leading international events on digital marketing. The ninth edition of the Spanish-language event will take place in Barcelona next week, and of course, Zyncro couldn’t miss out on this date. Our CEO, Lluís Font, will give a keynote on June 13 at 12 pm on a topic you’ve often read about in our posts:
Business communication is now social.
What is WebCongress Barcelona?
It’s a two-day event that brings together more than 17,000 companies, SMEs and entrepreneurs, during which you can hear keynotes and practical workshops, where the latest trends in the internet, social networks and search engines will be discussed and presented. At WebCongress Barcelona, you can listen and chat to international online marketing gurus and participate in intensive group workshops given by the experts.
All professionals interested in social media, SEO/SEM, web analytics, mobile marketing, cloud computing, semantic web, interactive videos, digital advertising, apps and e-commerce, etc.
What will be discussed?
On Wednesday 13, there will be a number of keynote talks, which will discuss strategic topics like business on the cloud, the keys to performing a successful digital marketing campaign, augmented reality, online search engines, etc. You can check out all the conferences being held at this link.
Thursday, June 14, will see a series of workshops on social media: SEO, SEM, web analytics, community management and more related issues. You can find out more at this link.
What’s more, there’ll be an event to close the congress giving us all a chance to connect at the WebParty!
Want to join us? Of course you do! Register here! See you on June 13
We do not intend to lecture nor is this written in stone, it is simply advice derived from logic and from keeping up to date with social media developments and observing the actions of ‘benchmarks‘ in the world of 2.0.
Really understand the meaning of social media. It is not Twitter, nor is it Facebook… It is a new way of acting, thinking and overall, interacting with everybody else. Something about interpersonal relationships has changed and we must understand this. Your entry into social media will not be carried out appropriately if you are clinging on to traditional forms of communication.
Not rushed but without time lapses. Being successful with social media is not as quick as hailing a cab, nor is it as slow moving as ‘writing the Bible’. Let us be clear, being hasty or taking too many precautions does not go with social media communications. Neither is it about doing a 100 metre sprint or an olympic marathon.
There is usually a reason for entering into something new. Are you aware of your reasons? Being involved with social media means interaction, not opening up an account on a social network and observing the scenery. What do you wish to gain through this interaction?
Do you like your presence in the world of 1.0? So why change? Always be true to how you are in real life because the world of 2.0 is just an extension of this. Wanting to appear to be something other than the reality will always end up being discovered. Be unique and genuine.
Prioritze efforts. Are you present everywhere within the 1.0 world? Then why do you want to be present in all of the social networks at the same time? Optimize time, efforts and resources. Move into social networks that you feel comfortable with. New tools appear everyday but there is only one of you and you can only do so much, it would be better to have a presence in a smaller number of networks and reach 100% of your potential.
Make your contribution an altruistic one. Whatever you do, whatever you share, ensure you always have a group benefit in mind. When one only seeks personal gain, where does it leave the height of all good win-win negotiation?
Ensure your expectations within social networks are in line with your work. Do not hope to have thousands of followers or fans if you do not follow or interact with anybody. If you ‘go your own way’ do not claim that social media does not work, ask yourself if your actions are appropriate.
As in real life, never look down upon a follower even if you only have a few followers or if what they contribute seems insignificant. You never know what you might share with this follower or fan in the future.
Respect all opinions courteous manner. Arguments can be debated without having to lose one’s manners. There may be times when you feel like leaving them behind but by doing this using social media, you end up having more to lose.
Be aware that not everything you share within social networks will be of interest to everybody, but this is no reason to be discouraged nor feel the need to convince everybody of your good intentions. The day will come when your contribution hits the sky and the next day, rock bottom.
As I mentioned in my last post, the type of marketing to develop when we establish contact with people (those referred to as end consumers) is fairly different to the type of marketing aimed at businesses, as the decision making and aspects to bear in mind when making final decisions are also different in both cases.
Something similar happens when it comes to communication when the recipient changes as do many other factors. For example, we must always communicate with potential clients using a channel and language that they will feel comfortable with. In B2C we must be clear on what our client profile is and know their hobbies (sports, music, film…) and interests are including the ‘slang’ they may use. On the other hand, when dealing with businesses (B2B), there is not such a need to investigate that much about the person but it is vital to implement a correct communication and know certain information about the company such as the sector it belongs to, its size, its business or its contacts network. Less personal information, more corporate. In this case it is necessary to know the terminology used by the sector the company belongs to.
In terms of the channel, we should adapt to our target market and write e-mails, create television advertisments or write a press article in one way or another. Nonetheless, these messages are unidirectional and it is difficult to obtain a direct response.
In this way, social networks thesedays play a fundamental role when it comes to communicating with users/clients and are a very important source of information thanks to continuous feedback.
They are a great tool but also oblige us to follow up. Profiles and publications must be managed and communication with users should flow and be tailored to our audience as much as possible. If we answer queries after 2 weeks of their receipt, the recipient’s state of mind will not be the same as it was when they decided to contact you. They will probably be a little disappointed by the tardy response and may have decided to contact the competition instead.
To conclude and to summarise in my humble opinion, the key to the Marketing, Sales or even the Customer Services departments communicating with their audience is:
to analyse and correctly tailor the message to the person you are addressing whether it is a business or an end consumer,
offer a product that meets their needs whatever they may be,
provide a fast and supportive service within proximity at all times.
To show that I have a valid opinion when it comes to naming and analyzing the differences between marketing applied to businesses and consumers, the right thing to do would be to introduce myself beforehand. As one of my idols Jay-Z would say: “Allow me to re-introduce myself”. My name is Carlos, I am 23 years old and I have been involved in the marketing world for about 2 years. Not so long ago, I decided to get into the online business and to be a little more specific, I import American streetwear clothing brands to Spain that would not otherwise be available here, then I sell these via my online shop. I am currently also collaborating with Zyncro as Marketing Assistant.
To begin with and to put things into perspective, for me the main difference between marketing aimed at connecting people and that for connecting businesses (that are also people but people “obliged” to meet the needs of the organisation they belong to) is; to which organ of the human body is our message aimed towards?
Allow me to explain: if you want to sell a corporate network such as Zyncro to the logistics manager of a large firm, you will need to convince them of the advantages that the organisation will gain from having incorporated a 2.0 communications solution into the business that allows all of its members to share documents from the same corporate intranet.
A great deal of information will need to be presented to them as well as giving them a chance to try out the software, demonstrating that the functionalities add value to the organisation and will save time that can be invested into completing other tasks… in any case, information that will help to make a clear decision. Organ aimed at: the brain.
In order to sell basic consumer products with a specific usage to people, the complete opposite approach is taken: we try to block out all reason as to the buying decision so that desire and impulse can flow (as Kent Brockman says in an episode of The Simpsons: “Shall I tell you my secret of winning them over? Tell human stories. They go straight to the heart and cloud the mind) I couldn’t have said it better myself!
None the less, both in B2C marketing (Business to Customer) as well as in B2B (Business to Business), the first thing to point out is the your real business offering and how you differentiate yourself from the rest in order to occupy a space in the mind as well as the heart of all of the clients interested in your business. Once you have achieved this, they will then have you firmly in their minds: you will have positioned yourself.