Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Using Earned & Paid Media to Better Attract & Engage Customers

What makes a good love story? Is it the ending where the couple falls madly in love and the story ends? Not likely.
For most people, a good love story is watching the journey from initial attraction, to wooing, to the challenge or roadblock right before the end that makes a truly epic love story.
When attempting to attract and engage customers online, there are many challenges that marketers must face and overcome. For some, it’s figuring out how to set up a social profile. For others, it’s finding a way to woo customers and create meaningful interactions.
Successful marketers track and measure their relationships with their customers from beginning to end (and beyond), not just the last interaction before a sale. The number of friends, fans, and followers connected to your brand does not equal marketing engagement.
In the opening keynote at SES San Francisco, Avinash Kaushik discussed “Business Optimization in the Digital Age” and compared companies that just measure Facebook “likes” to the equivalent of him marking down each person as a lover that only smiled at him while walking down the street.
Lolly Wolly Doodle: Love At First Post
Lolly Wolly Doodle was started in 2009 by a stay at home mom who had a knack for creating children’s clothing. One day Brandi Tysinger Temple (the heroine of this love story) mistakenly purchased a fabric that just wouldn’t work for the project she had in mind. She figured she might as well put the unused fabric on Facebook to see if someone would like to purchase it.
The “likes” on Brandi’s page quickly jumped to 100, and she sold her entire stock of the fabric within 15 minutes of posting. The instant response and sale of the product presented a unique business opportunity for the stay at home mom.
Each Business Has Unique Targeting Needs
Because Brandi lived in the small town of Lexington, N.C., her access to customers would be limited. She had a couple options available to start her business.
  • Option 1 – Open A Storefront: Say Brandi was to open a storefront in Lexington. The investment in finding a space, and stocking product would be a great financial burden. Additionally, her customer base would be roughly 4,000 women living in Lexington, who were over 21, and had children under the age of 12.
  • Option 2 – Open Shop On Facebook: Setting up a store online gave Lolly Wolly Doodle access to over 700,000 women in the U.S., who were over 21, and had children under the age of 12.

Why Taking A Facebook-Centric Approach Was Wise

Brandi found that she was able to move product faster on Facebook than any other channel. Within two weeks of initially starting her business she pulled all product from eBay and Etsy and only promoted her materials, and children’s clothing on Facebook.
  • Increased Sales: Lolly Wolly Doodle’s Facebook page is the #1 source for their sales (larger than their website). Sales increased threefold from 2010 to 2011.
  • Customer Loyalty: 20-30 percent of Brandi’s oldest customers still purchase each month.
  • Improved Engagement: Lolly Wolly Doodle’s customers post photos of their children wearing Lolly Wolly Doodle clothing at major milestones. These posts have been known to receive thousands of likes and comments.

Use A Love Potion of Earned and Paid Media to Attract New Customers

In addition to their organic growth strategy, Lolly Wolly Doodle also has a multi-tiered ad strategy to attract new customers.
Lolly Wolly Doodle utilized the following ad tactics:
  • Marketplace: used to grow initial company page “likes”
  • Sponsored Stories: a method to reach friends of current “fans”
  • Targeted Ads: connected with audiences to continue to reengage them
1. Identify Who Your Facebook Audience Is
2. Attract & Promote With Ads When Appropriate
3. Engage Your Audience with Quality Content
4. Woo Through the Use of Striking Imagery
5. Inspire Your Customers to Share With Their Friends

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