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Convergence of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Word of Mouth (WOM), Content Marketing, Social Media = Opportunity

Krista Neher

Krista Neher of Boot Camp Digital welcomes participants to the first SIMEngage conference in Cincinnati. Krista and others helped us better understand the convergence of earned, owned and paid media.

After hearing Jason Falls‘ opening keynote talk at the SIMEngage (Social + Internet Marketing) conference May 15 at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati, I remarked to a colleague that I had already gotten my money’s worth.

Falls, a true social media marketing pioneer, spoke about the convergence of PR, Content Marketing and Social Media, with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Word of Mouth (WOM) in the middle — and the tremendous opportunity this presents for organizations to achieve their strategic goals.

He started with a quick explanation of SEO, and how Google crawls pages searching for keywords.  The most relevant content comes up first, based on 200-some factors. Moving up in search rankings is our role, helping boost rankings in search engines. An old goal with SEO was getting more inbound links to your website, using tactics such as online press releases with links. This still helps, but two years ago Google changed the ranking system.

SEO has become an earned media approach. You need to provide content that people care about. Become a thought leader. Create great, unique content that resonates with your audience. Share content in social media. Promote it.

Falls pointed out that social media ranks high in searches. Social profiles appear on front page of Google and Bing results. Social media directly impacts how websites rank, according to Google. Google+ might be relevant only for that reason.

You have about seven seconds to win a customer. You must figure out your moments of truth. What are your audience members asking when they are getting ready to buy? When are they making decisions? What are they asking? When can you provide relevant content and engage them?

This is important because Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing is 62% more effective than an ad! And media coverage, paid, etc. boost SEO and WOM. Gets people talking about you online and offline.

“Search cannot exist in a vacuum” Falls said. “PR, search and social must be integrated for you to succeed.”

What does it take to develop earned content that will drive your SEO? Creative content. A great user experience. Relationships and storytelling. A dash of technical geekery.

“Content is the currency for building social relationships that boost earned media,” Falls said, adding these nuggets:

  • What is great content — Original (from you), Simple, Valuable and Useful, Entertains, Emotional (laugh, cry). Above all the content must be relevant to your audience.
  • Key considerations — Who is the audience you need to reach? Why will they care about you? What are you doing to earn their interest? What incentive do they have to share?
  • Finding topics — Ask your sales team, Mine the buying cycle, Q/A sites like QuoraYahooAnswers, mine social media, follow industry and peers.
  • Next: Answer questions with blog post, video… American Express Business Forum is a good example. Others: H&R Block and the American Moustache Institute to lobby Congress for $250 tax credit. The Stache Act.  Million Moustache March, etc. Make  your profile. Point: Got H&R block in conversation for men 24-30, and it worked.

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Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements

Hey PR and marketing pros. Are you tired of working on limited-duration campaigns? Burned out from the daily grind of tactical work? Sick of social media? Then, maybe it’s time for you to help ignite a movement.

 Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements walks you through a process that contributed to movements such as teen smoking prevention, abolishment of child sex trafficking… even scrap-booking and independent book-selling.

It tells how word-of-mouth marketing and identity company Brains on Fire helped organizations set goals — then move toward achieving them by empowering passionate supporters.

Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church and Spike Jones walk you through a process that includes:

* Find the passion conversation

* Start with the first conversation

* Look for inspirational leadership

* Create a barrier of entry

* Empower your fans with knowledge

* Make sure you integrate shared ownership into your movement

* Build it on a powerful identity

* Tie online and off-line efforts and tactics together

* Make those fans of your feel like rock stars

* Fight an injustice

They share  lessons they’ve learned in their fascinating work. I had the pleasure of hearing Geno Church speak at a Cincinnati PRSA luncheon last month. I couldn’t wait to get this book — and gobbled it up. I’d suggest you do the same — if you want to really make a lasting difference with your PR and marketing work.

Social media and word-of-mouth

Gary De Jesus of Tremor (P&G) spoke about Social Media and Word-of-Mouth marketing at today’s Cincinnati PRSA meeting. Here are some notes live-blogged from the event:

Everybody gets excited about new tools, new technology. Reality, social media is not about the technology. Is not about the medium, is about people do. Connect, escape, write… are empowered, socialized.
 

Focus: How do we facilitate what people do and want to do? 

Must understand the function of the brain. Work with universities to understand cognitive. schemas. Strand of thoughts that puts together multiple strings of ideas. Helps you make sense of what is going on in the world. When interrupt stream of thoughts, disrupt. Mind wants to go back and understand why. Talk to people. Leverage some tools. 

Create a conceptual blend. 2 separate thoughts and mesh together to create a new thought. 

Frequency of time occurs. Disruptions. Drives conversations. Bengals win (2 years ago) drives more conversation than Giants win. 

Conceptual blend: iPod, an entertainment center. Blended two entities into one piece that made it disruptive, engaging, talkable. 

Theory of congruence: In a consumer’s mind, must be true to who you are (congruent) — with occasional interruption. Example: Dawn clean oil spills. 

Family Friendly Las Vegas went over the edge. Wasn’t mildly congruent. Was wildly incongruent. 

Wild vs. mild. Don’t just create buzz. 

Tremor believes in the message. If message disrupts, people will go to social media to facilitate. Important to listen to the consumer, understand what they want to embrace — and what they know, so can disrupt and create a message. Then, leverage relationships that people have in relationships. Don’t necessarily believe in influencers. See peers as credible sources of information. Message must be credible, and not wildly incongruent. 

Leveraging relationships to spread around info. Believe is info networks will employ. Disruption can help you create the message for them to distribute. 

Individuals with a natural desire to share. Most using social media not innovators or early adopters. Are Early Majority — individuals who are connected. 

Need to have a level of passion. Must to be almost emotional about a proposition to support. 

Lot of brands high Word of Mouth potential. Social mediums drive this. Danger zone: Brands with not much advocacy, but lots of amplification. 

Consumers must understand how to advocate for the brand. Otherwise, buzz useless. 

Tremor examples:
*  Secret: more move releases more scent. Disrupts notion because when move more actually smell better.
* Venus Breeze: Lotions while shaving. Can do unpleasant chore and do something good for skin. 
* Frosted Mini Wheats: Cereal marketed with kids with as much protein as an egg and as much fiber as toast. Fits with who Frosted Mini Wheats is, but talks about in a different way. 

Key lessons:
* Does the message make sense? Did you address a foundational truth of a brand? Can a consumer say: Yeah, that makes sense
* Did you disrupt schema
* Does it make sense, add to
* Does it make sense for the social medium 

Listen to your consumer. Be open to schemas different from your own. Test and verify. 

Here’s the description of today’s talk from the PRVisions newsletter. 

“Consumer Advocacy through Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Social Media 

“Does your brand need advocates? Join us as Gary De Jesus, Head of Marketing for Tremor (www.tremor.com), speaks about consumer advocacy through word of mouth marketing and social media. 

“TREMOR is a Cincinnati-based agency developed by Procter & Gamble that combines P&G’s market research expertise with principles of cognitive science. TREMOR is the first and only marketing approach to recognize and apply the idea of consumer advocacy as the driving force behind effective, measurable word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. 

“Tremor has served clients such as Crest, Kashi, and Venus. Gary will take us through not only the art and science behind sharable messages, but also give us a glimpse into some inspiring case studies. 

“Gary, a 15-year veteran of Procter & Gamble, joined TREMOR in 2003 as the Head of Marketing. He is responsible for all of TREMOR’s marketing efforts, managing how clients and consumers view the organization. Gary has also worked within Procter & Gamble’s Food and Beverage division and the Crisco brand.” 

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