The reward with public streams of communication is the fact they are public. The challenge with public streams of communication is the fact they are open to the public. Confusing? It shouldn’t be.
Before there was the digital media explosion, and in fact still in some venues, one could find public bulletin boards for patrons and passers-by to post business cards, announcements, for sale, lost and found, and other types of communication. When they first were put into operation the venue management would usually be diligent about policing the content and making sure the postings were orderly. Many even had rules posted and a few had categories which could be posted in certain locations on the board. Fast forward six months to a year and the board would be inundated and disorderly making it nearly impossible to be seen in the crowd.
How can one be heard over the masses?
Marketers, even private marketers looking to sell a motor-scooter, are innovative. Soon you would see, on these bulletin boards, lime green paper or larger photographs pinned on top of the other ads. In fact this resulted in an early form of spam and you would occasionally see 20 or more business cards from the same person pinned all over the board where others had posted a neat little stack one on top of the other.
What has changed in the last 10 years?
While local bulletin boards were not invasive into our lives digital bulletin boards, digital marketplaces and social media services are now on our desks, on our laps and in our pockets. Moreover using fluorescent colors in the Twitter stream is not possible. So what needs to be done to stand out from the massive flow of information?
Unlike the local bulletin board social media is, for the most part, global. Chris Anderson of Wired magazine coined the term “long tail” which really is an obtuse way to say “highly targeted” marketing yet for the sake of using a standard term long tail will be used in conjunction with hyper-local or hyperlocal. Long tail means using highly targeted words in conversations in the social stream with the goal of being recognized by the searchers when those words are called by a search from an individual.
Instead of spending reading time reviewing the millions of posts that are made daily it really is not important how many others are posted but how many see and react to a specific posting. Furthermore that the person acting on a post is the ideal or nearly ideal candidate for the product or service being presented. For the sake of this article the assumption is the goal is a transaction. That transaction may be an order, a subscription or simply a “follow”. Being real transactions with a required financial investment from the user are generally the more challenging so more of a focus is placed on financial transactions.
Vendors generally know everything about the product or service being offered. Vendors quite often are limited in their knowledge of how buyers search for their product. More often than not the vendor’s choice of keywords will rarely be used by those with a transactional intent when searching for the product.
Sniping key words that pay
The good news is “Budweiser”, “Coca-Cola”, “Verizon”, “Chevrolet”, are national brands which spend millions and millions in marketing. Most small businesses simply need to attract a few dozen transactions per week to be very successful. Still with the right message and the right delivery local and regional campaigns can go viral, a term used to describe a campaign which takes on a life of its own and is spread from person to person without need for further input from the advertiser. Viral is hard to hit on and mostly unpredictable. Identifying, targeting and using keywords that pay, however, is a repeatable science.