Filed under: Corporate Social (Media) Responsibility | Tags: brands, internet marketing, marketing, new social media, OrCom, Organizational Communication, UP Manila
Subtlety is an art to master. If I want to sell a product, or engage my consumers, I don’t have to harass them by showing brand photos everywhere, or outlining points why my product/service is the most affordable solution. I can talk to my consumers about things related to my brand without saying standard marketing spiels.
Here are two samples of brands marketed online by Yehey! Philippines:
Sample #1: Tide’s tide.com
Personally, I was amazed that you can make an entire web site related to Tide. Far from old-school method of shoving product logos in the faces of consumers, the Tide website shows its consumers how they can take care of their clothes (with the help of Tide, of course). A community also exists in the site to ask and answer questions, report issues, praise Tide, and contribute ideas.
Sample #2: Tampax/Whisper’s BeingGirl.com
Beinggirl.com is a wonderfully girly web site that speaks directly to tweens. The content is too plenty for me to appreciate, but has attempts at engaging the teenyboppers of the world (Arabia, Chile, Oman, and Romania are some of the 46 countries you can choose from when you enter the site!). Check their daily polls, “Ask Iris” (an OB-GYN), and articles that tackle girl issues.
So, you want to create a great web site to lure more consumers in your brand. The first thing I want to tell you is that if your product/service sucks, new social media won’t make it fabulous. With terabytes of information online, few can be fooled online for long. I am writing with the assumption that you want to create a great web site to match your great product/service. Some questions you’ll have to answer while making your site are:
- What are your goals for your web site?
- What content (and sections) can be found in your web site?
- What kind of layout (visuals) would make a mark on your consumers?
- Do you just want to get information out to your consumers, or do you also want them to contribute questions, concerns, praises, and ideas that will ultimately improve your brand? (trust me, you don’t just want to get information out, okay?)
- Who will be in charge of keeping the web site alive?
- How will you evaluate your web site’s success? (because really, if you don’t assess your web site’s “performance,” then your web site team wouldn’t know the next courses of action that must be taken)
After creating your web site, you may now:
1. Market your web site–don’t just let it sit there waiting for visits!
- Ridiculously easy–yet expensive–way: You can buy ads in Google, so your site’s link will appear at the side of the page when a term related to your brand is searched. I don’t encourage this method, as I personally stay away from clicking obvious advertisements–I prefer clicking the links that come out on top that Google bots determined as most relevant.
- Fairly easy–yet costly–way: Ask bloggers to write about the site (but that also involves giving some form of token), and they’ll do the SEO for you. A year ago, Yehey! Philippines spearheaded a blogger food tour, where bloggers where invited to an eat-all-you-can at TriNoMa. The result? 6 solid pages about the fantastic Ayala mall when you google “TriNoMa.”
- A mostly organizational communication way: Write great, relevant content in your site that contains enough keywords related to your site’s product/brand/service so your site will pop out on top of the search results page when googled (this is an oversimplification of search engine optimization (SEO), so head over to Sieg Web Solutions to find out what it’s like, or check some explanations online).
- Another mostly organizational communication way: Build the site’s network by talking to people in relevant discussion threads, and introduce your site there (there are so many forums online).
2. Keep your web site alive and well by engaging your consumers.
If you’ve read the entries here at Mostly Nerdy, you’d know that: markets are conversations (Thanks, Christopher Locke!). So if you want to sell, you can’t just expect your series of 30-second TVCs will result in huge profits and customer loyalty. While money may come in, good customer relationships (that which will bring you more money and customers) need a bit more work–which is why many good large-scale organizations have entire departments devoted to customer relationship management (CRM)!
Since markets are conversations, make sure that you talk, listen, and respond to your consumers. If you have a forum integrated in your site, make sure there’s a team constantly monitoring the forum to respond to queries (or ask for customer insights on products/services!). If you ask for feedback from your consumers, make sure that complaints and other concerns shared by many must be properly addressed.
Currently, answering feedback forms isn’t very appealing, when people believe that their concerns will only be ignored. Make use of information willingly given by consumers, who are from the outside looking in, to improve your brand. You’ll also make them happy, if you do! 🙂
3. Measure your web site success!
A crude method: number of site visits (unique and repeating visitors)
Slightly more sophisticated methods:
- Duration of site visits;
- Number and kinds of pages viewed in the site;
- Number and kinds of backlinks (sites that linked your web site);
- Twitter mentions;
- Heat maps/location of links clicked on the site;
- Return on investment (ROI)
- Sales (purchases made directly at the site) and leads (people who became clients by contacting your business through the web site); and
- Conversions (participating consumers–through answering surveys, recommending the web site, subscribing to your RSS feed, etc);
With about 1/3 of the entire Philippine population often online, maybe you’d like to try marketing online soon? 🙂
Note: Thanks to Sir Gian Paolo Pangan, Accounts Manager in Yehey Corporation, who gave a lecture on internet marketing in our class for this blog’s inspiration! I just filched the Tide and Tampax examples from Sir Pangan’s mini-seminar in my Organizational Communication 152 (Communication Trends and Styles) class.
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