One of my digital marketing profs from Rutgers, Mark Schaefer, wrote this gem (although he writes a lot of gems). I like his approach here–and it’s one that’s a big part of what I often say is the role of social media as well–is that content is to form relationships. You can generate lots of leads, but if those leads don’t turn into relationships, then they are worthless. Social media, I’ve often argued, is one of the means of conversation in the relationship between customers/clients and providers.
What do you think about Mark’s take on this? Include your comments below.
There’s a viral video that just came out that I just love, not only because it’s funny, but it appealed to the geek in me. It’s a woman who bought a fun item for her own enjoyment, and was getting a kick out of how funny it was and how it made her laugh. What can I say? The Force was with her:
It’s a contagious video because it’s so silly, and as she said, it’s the simple joys of life that makes it worthwhile. She has so much fun with the mask, and you can’t help but laugh along with her. My husband and I were laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes.
But wait…did you catch that first part of the video? While she had not intended this to be a marketing video, this ended up being a great marketing video with great content. Where did she get that mask? She got it at a department store chain called Kohl’s. And with this video going viral as quickly as it did, Kohl’s picked up on her video and this woman’s love of Star Wars, and essentially got free advertising! Not only that, but they took it a step further:
Kohl’s was smart! They not only picked up on her mention of the store and how she was a frequent customer, but also on how much one random item at the store brought her so much joy. She had provided fantastic content that reflected well on the store! Fortunately for her, they recognized this, and did something nice by giving her all those gifts as a thank you.
Why do you think that Kohl’s did all that? As I said, they realized the value of this social content. It was all in the storytelling. People who love Star Wars items–and there are lots of them–would especially relate to this story. Even people who didn’t like Star Wars would get a good laugh from watch this woman play with her mask. Kohl’s wasn’t selling anything directly by posting these videos. (Although when I played the videos later, I did see some marketing overlays trying to sell the masks at Kohl’s did pop up, but it was still after the fact.) They did show, in showing their appreciation to the woman, that there were lots of other Star Wars things they sold as a means of indirect selling. Kohl’s showed that they appreciated the value of her sharing her good experience not only with finding her mask, but that she wasn’t discouraged because she had to return some items simply because of sizing issues, and she still found something else she liked. They showed the value of a satisfied customer, which has more value than almost any other kind of marketing or advertising. The gifts were even intended, if you think about it, as a way of keeping her as a value customer.
This is a great example of the power of social media through content and content marketing. The woman was simply sharing her experiences on video through her Facebook account, the video went viral, and as a result, she received all these gifts from the store itself to ensure that she continues to be a valued customer. Kohl’s found appropriate content from a customer that I’m sure will be helping to boost sales for a bit–at least with the Star Wars merchandise–for a while. I’m sure she never expected the attention that she’s gotten, but due to the Kohl’s gift, she extremely glad she shared it!
You never know where good content will come from. This is a great example to show that it can come from anywhere if you have the opportunity to make it or appreciate it.
What do you think of this event? Include your comments below.
My friend, Parth Mukherjee of Jifflenow, created an excellent SlideShare presentation that he shared at the STC India conference while still at Adobe, but shared recently on LinkedIn. While I didn’t attend the conference, he created a great conversation about the role of content in marketing that still applies now, and is highly relatable for technical communicators and digital marketers alike.
I received this nice little message in my blog’s notifications:
Yes, that’s right! There are 1000 posts on this blog!
Some posts are gems! Some are duds! Some are somewhere in between! But over three years, content has been curated and content has been written on the topics of m-learning, e-learning, all things tech comm….the addition of digital marketing more recently…with some geeky tech stuff thrown in as well. There’s something for just about everybody here!
Have you taken a look at some of the past content? I’ve been here for more than three years, folks–look at the archive links on the right-hand column. Take a look in the search and see if there are any posts on a topic you are interested in.
I’ll see about getting another 1000 posts up ASAP, okay? Enjoy!
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