Monthly Archive: February 2012

Drop The What, When And Where. Let’s Talk About How and Why You Do Business.

Every company is a media company. EC=MC. That includes business-to-business companies in non-sexy categories. Like Indium, a global supplier specializing in solder products and solder paste for electronics assembly.

According to Erika Schnitzer at Digiday, Indium is a big believer in content marketing. In fact, the company has launched a network of 72 blogs that are mapped to keywords. For example, type in “soldering to Nitinol” into Google and a number of top search results bring you to the related Indium blog.

Schnitzer reports that Indium didn’t want its interns or marketing managers to produce the content. Instead, it had its own engineers create the content. “This all boils down to people,” said Rick Short, director of marketing communications at Indium.

Via their agressive content strategy Indium has been able to boost customer contacts by 600 percent.

Short said the key is, Indium knows what it is and who its customers are. Put another way, when you’re comfortable in your own brand’s skin, and you’re busy building relationships with customers and prospects, the idea of conversational marketing isn’t foreign at all.

The brand can still carefully craft it messaging, as in days of old, but today a brand also has to engage in real time marketing on socially driven sites, in the mobile space and at events. Because brand image does not equal brand experience. Brand image is but one component (an important one) in the brand experience mix.

For decades, brand managers and advertising practitioners focused on brand image. The job is considerably more complex today. Which is either terribly frightening or exciting, depending on one’s point of view and ability to roll with the changes.

The Formula For Viral Advertising Success Will Definitely Blend

Thales Teixeira is an assistant professor at Harvard Business School. According to Harvard Business Review, Teixeira and two colleagues used eye-tracking scanners to determine exactly what people look at when they watch video ads.

After analyzing thousands of reactions to many ads, second by second, and tracking exactly when people stop watching, we found that keeping viewers involved depends in large part on two emotions: joy and surprise. To maximize viewership, it’s important to generate at least one of these responses early on. Traditionally, though, advertisers have constructed narratives that escalate toward a dramatic climax or a surprise ending. Such commercials may have worked on TV decades ago, but today’s online viewers need to be hooked in the opening seconds.

To repeat, today’s online viewers need to be hooked in the opening seconds. Quite a challenge, no?

The good professors also suggest that “advertisers need to briefly terminate viewers’ feelings of joy or surprise and then quickly restore them, creating an emotional roller coaster—much the way a movie generates suspense by alternating tension and relief.”

Personally, I am not a fan of formulas. There are always counter examples that prove there’s no one way to viral advertising Nirvana. Will it Blend?, for instance, does not abide the roller coaster rule. The new object either blends or it does not, and we know it will blend, so even that suspense is tamed. Yet, we tune in my the millions to see how it blends.

To Do In 2012: Find (And Share) Your Brand’s Live, On-Camera Voice

YouTube has been busy partnering with brands, media companies and other content providers to roll out its new Original Channels offering. According to Mashable, the Google-owned company is spending $100 million to secure the deals for its original channels.

One deal YouTube secured is with Thompson Reuters. The media company is offering up business writer Felix Salmon, and others, on its dedicated channel called ReutersTV. Personally, I feel like “Felix TV” is a good illustration of just how different video is from text. And it’s important today to have fluency in both, whether you’re a journalist, or a brand banking on video to tell your company’s best stories.

Let’s take a look at Salmon’s on-camera style, shall we?

I like the tough questioning on the FICO scores piece.

And here’s a goofy promo from Salmon:

Salmon, who is mostly serious in print, recently told a reporter from GigaOm that video challenges him to make his stories more accessible.

“I have this idea that if someone is reading my blog and doesn’t understand something – they are already on the Internet and can use it to look it up,” Salmon said. “Video is necessarily a lot less wonky. You have to be short, you have to be sharp, you have to be punchy.”

Like this offering from Bleacher/Report, I presume:

Of course, not all brands will go with the on-air personality approach to video content. Vice, for example, prefers to make documentaries.