SUMMARY: The central themes of this document are relationship and experience. It is the express opinion of the author that SEO and advertising are broken models in need of transformation. The way to create awareness in today’s world is through relationships and experiences. Enterprises should consider focusing solely on creating the right relationships and creating experiences in the context of these relationships.
HOW TO DO THIS: The sequence of steps related to this method of going to market are as follows. Note that this is a summary document related to a master document filled with actual personas, suggested content and suggested experiences.
1. Identify the ideal willing prospect as related to your brand. This means that you write out on paper who this person is. Ideally, these people are micro-influencers, with regional popularity and super-engaged networks. Action: write out and refine over time this profile. As your community grows, you will notice the various strata of your desired types, from beginner to elite. Be inclusive to this spectrum and become THE experts in how one traverses from beginner to expert.
2. Use social network analysis tools, such as Brandwatch, PeoplePattern, Musefind and Audiense to aggregate large groups of these prospects. Understand more about these prospects using psychological technologies similar to CrystalKnows and Watson (IBM). Such solutions will give you lists of people (along with detailed bio info) exactly similar to your ideal willing prospect. You will also discover the content these people are posting, the events they are attending and the experiences they are having. Absorb this on a daily basis. The value of this intelligence is that you will have inspiration for content, for events to attend, and for experiences to participate in (and feature). Your community is found using these tools.
3. Employ humans (flesh and blood) to reach out to these prospects and meet with them in person. Invest your dollars in outgoing, intelligent flesh, who love connecting online and offline. Ideally, these humans you pay are also your ideal types themselves. Again, invest your dollars in charismatic, intelligent humans vs. outdated SEO and advertising approaches. The former is a love affair and gains you access to real dynamic community. The latter is a shotgun shot into the dark and is temporary, requiring increased investment for less reliable results.
4. Plan on a 12 month program (at minimum) of getting to know the community you found using the network analysis tools.
5. Plan on investing in content that follows the Content Grid approach from Jess3 and Eloqua. http://thesocializers.com/the-content-grid/
6. Create content pieces for every stage along the consumer journey described in the Content Grid. Invest in research where you discover the best contexts for placing and socializing this content. Increasingly involve your community in creating this content with you, through their stories, quotes and experiences. http://thesocializers.com/the-content-grid/
7. Plan on running campaigns that award specific, meaningful items from strategic partners, such as plane tickets for two to anywhere, to members of your community. Show your growing community that you understand them through what you award them. Be a giving brand. Plan on becoming known as THE place to make one’s adventure happen.Through your brand, consumers realized their adventure.