We’ve heard that the Internet is supposed to be the great equalizer. In a recent article about how hospitals are competing with smaller ad budgets, several steps were defined to almost guarantee a successful digital campaign:
- Having a (content) rich, useful and consumer-friendly website
- Advertising on popular local websites
- Concentrating on paid and organic search optimization
- Establishing appropriate niche group pages and advertising to highly targeted audiences with matched services
- Using communication based networks (aka Twitter) with healthcare special interest audiences
It is excepted that these strategies all take time and are worth the investment, it can even be considered part of the process to attract brand loyal customers. So why does this not always work?
I suggest the landscape is moving and that most marketers are not willing to change. Bill Hunt asked if big brands will be the death of social media? While it is a catchy question I think he hits on the underlying concern about using social media: YOU have to make it unique everytime!
I know this concept isn’t revolutionary. To me it seems that the lesson isn’t being learned about trying to put lightening in the bottle. The best quote from Bill’s post is “Social Media users are people who are connecting with people who have shared interests – “SHARED INTERESTS” – which makes it niche marketing at best.”
This is a no-brainer… So when a social network changes why do we care? Because we are lazy (in the bad way) and want to just connect to people the same way every time. So when another social network crops up or Facebook changes it’s layout again, when Google tweaks its algorithms or *gasp* Twitter tweaks its service – there is concern over how to “game the system” again. It’s not about the technology or overcoming the “roadblocks” but connecting with the audience.
This year I was privileged to be involved with Tweetsgiving, a social media project with a goal to raise $100k in donations for an orphanage in Tanzania. While the total donation amount hasn’t been reached (yet), the campaign was successful because of the impact to the targeted audience. It wasn’t about making fans or followers but to encourage individuals to change the world through the power of gratitude. I think the following stats are evident of this happening.
- 21,226 tweets
- 336 photos tagged
- 79 videos tagged
- 68 songs tagged
- 896 blog posts
So where does this leave an online marketer? Nigel summed it up with simplifying the solution: Great strategy and creativity are critical whether your brand is big or small. It’s not about making a repeatable success rather focusing on your unique and targeted audience and engaging each time with personal interest. The rest will follow in time.