Web Marketing WEB is an appropriate term since marketers find their roles shifting from creation to curation and from creative to collaborative.
No one climbs marketing's new Mt. Everest alone. Marketers need to recruit and empower an army of "brand advocates" or "brand Sherpas" willing to contribute meaningful feedback, social shares and loyalty.
Marketing's function moves to winning hearts and minds and then empowering an army to help scale the win out to friends and then empowering those friends to tell their friends (people NOT inside the marketer's current tribe).
User Generated Content UGC is important. Most customers will support YOU use of their content with social shares. When users support their content with social shares across their social nets friends of friends marketing is possible.
A friend's recommendation or share is an endorsement from a trusted source. When your marketing speaks to THEIR friends your message is trusted and supported.
UGC also shows other potential contributors that contribution is valued, that you are listening "digitally" and valuing what you hear.
HuffPost, Mashable and TechCrunch "hire" an army of contributors usually "paid" with social shares and links. This wide but shallow network creates a flexible NEWS layer valuing NEWS more than evergreen content and focused on the constant ROIL of information, curators, contributors and authors.
Multi-Thead Great curators such as Maria Popova at BrainPickings prove the value of casing a very wide content net combined with a curator's see the common thread, share the thread, explain the thread.
We call this idea "curation collisions" because a strong juxtaposition is at the core. Find the seemingly disparate content, explain the common thread and you are more likely to have a unique "purple cow" capable of generating an increasing number of social shares.
Once a content environment becomes so adept it creates a powerful Unique Attention Proposition (why allegiance will be given to content networks with smart curators).
Competition Joining your tribe of 1% should be seen as a special and hard won benefit. Once part of an elite tribe be sure to gamify your environment so competition is ever-present but not exhaustive or defeating.
Scoop.it's My Community is a great example of how to gamify. When they started I could see the top curators on Scoop.it. The net effect of seeing curators so far ahead of me was I didn't feel motivated to compete.
Once they changed what I saw in My Community to ONLY those immediately above and below me the race was on. Be careful about how you use leadrboards and feedback to motivate since it can do the opposite.
Voting = Social Net Competition When someone wants to win they will ask their friends for help. When someone asks their friends for help they bring friends of friends to your marketing.
As a marketer you have NO direct view into the circle of potential customers called "friends of friends". You may have been able to reach this circle of "new to file" customers in the past with advertising.
The death of push advertising means your best way to recruit friends of friends is do something your customers want to share. Competitions for meaningful social or monetary prizes are great examples of "friends of friends" marketing.
The key to reaching Friends of Friends is motivated those within your immediate "circle of influence". Competitions, causes, curating THEIR content on YOUR website are examples of ways to motivate your customer to reach out to their friends.
Unrealized Networks Most of us, businesses and people, have a vast "unrealized" network. Unrealized because our interactions are minimal, communication sparse and value limited.
Ever noticed how LinkedIn tells you the reach they create? They will say how many people are in you immediate network and then the immediate network created by your connections and then finally friends of friends. You don't have to have many LI connections to have those numbers look BIG and tantalizing.
The trick is finding ways to realize the potential inside your currently unrealized network.
Realized Networks This slide discusses ways to begin to realize the hidden POWER inside your network. Get people within your net talking peer to peer. Ever notice how one of the most powerful things you can do is share contact?
When you share a contact you impact two people's social nets. If they repay your help with mentions and a similar share you are realizing the hidden power within your net.
Authoritative Content = ability to ask for content
Your Content You MUST create great content and lots of it. If your website is content thin it can't scale, won't have legitimacy and you won't be able to make the most important ASK any website makes - the request for User Generated Content.
THE ASK If you have great content with a trusted voice you can ASK your visitors to contribute content. Can't ASK without legitimacy. Legitimacy comes from:
* Other "like me" contributors. * How UGC is valued, rewarded and used by the website that receives it. * How the environment is kept clean, troll-free and regulated (preferably by the community but those tools need to be clearly present and a "code of conduct" needs o exist).
If you aren't getting UGC take a hard look at the environment of your ASK.
CONTENT The more I do this, Internet marketing, the more convinced I become that the most powerful content on YOUR website comes from THEM (your visitors).
Sharing THEIR content is a huge WIN for them, a win they are likely to support by alerting their social nets to your share (of their content).
BANG just that fast you, your brand and company moves from the known (the customer doing the sharing) to the unknown (friends of friends who don't know you directly). if there is better "advertising" than the WOM (word-of-mouth) of a friend share I don't know what it is.
Social Badges I like badges for lots of reasons such as:
* Easy to make a widget and that puts creative control with YOU (the site awarding the badge). * Social media is SOCIAL and one of the things people like to do is CROW a little to friends and family. Badges help. * Badges create a clear ladder or "level up" process.
Video game creators are the masters of tactics like leveling up, creating just the right amount of challenge and reward and using the tribe to create social rewards and/or punishments.
Social Media What is the net impact of more collaboration with more people from more places? I have no idea, but it is clear that social media is changing how we use the web.
The more social a person is the bigger their "curator" network becomes. I use Google much less now because an army of friends are watching content and nice enough to alert me when they see something they know I would want to read GIVEN the themes of content they know I manage, share and curate.
I created another Haiku Deck about how social media is SOCIAL. Strange that such an obvious idea would need stating, but, based on the way many companies, brands and people use social media we may need a million more repeats:
Mobile creates connection where there wasn't connection before so...
* Free time is all but over. * We look for the phone to entertain us in lines and at other former "down times". * The phone is a "game console". No mistake that mobile games are the fastest growing content on earth. * There are more phones than people.
Web marketers need to take a page out of Wiki-pedia's book. How can we inspire the kind of sacrifice, loyalty and commitment? How can we create an online environment where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Hope this Haiku Deck shares the coming wiki-ization of marketing, the web, everything :).