Part 1: Familiar Apparatus or Fascinating Story?
Just a few years ago, a marketer’s job was pretty straightforward: create a web site, advertise on Google, Yahoo, and MSN for PPC search traffic, and optimize the site for performance. Okay, even that wasn’t very straightforward, as many have discovered. But, at least the process was fairly clear-cut.
Today, getting users to your website is much more complicated. As consumers have shifted a large part of their decision-making process online, the amount of information and their evaluation behavior has moved into the realm of social media. So any pre-conceived notions consumers have about your brand, based on its online presence, will have a huge impact on their ultimate purchase decision.
At this point, you are probably wondering, what does this post have to do with a Shake Weight? And what the heck is a Shake Weight? For those of you who haven’t been watching Ellen and The View, take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5XKv2vi7EA
It’s a fascinating story. 40 million sales, 2 million units, 10 million views on YouTube, placement in national retail chains…… How in the world did they do it? And, can I replicate this phenomenon with my brand?
We are all familiar with the basics of online marketing—create and market a product or service that offers benefit to the customer, and you’ll have a winner on your hands. But in this day and age, where everyone has the next ‘big idea’, the key to success, it seems, is to make a product that has some benefit, come up with an infomercial that’s funny and unleash it on a viral audience.
While the real Shake Weight commercials have been viewed on YouTube more than 10 million times, it’s the parodies and word of mouth coverage on the web and on television that have made the product impossible to ignore. For Shake Weight it’s been estimated that a mere mention on primetime TV is worth 224k in equivalent advertising time. Really hard to beat, especially for a product that’s new and untested.
So, how can a B2B company defy gravity and propel their business forward?
In the dawning age of social media, a website has never been more important. A website becomes the hub for your entire brand. Compare your site to an airport concourse, where visitors come in from all manner of locations. Some may come from organic searches based on your products or services, others from social media sites, looking to read an entry on your blog, and still more might visit in response to email marketing campaigns. All are there to interact with your business.
Is it easy for them to find your website? Have you used all the tools at your service to ensure your brand gets maximum exposure? Once these visitors arrive, is it easy for them to navigate the product or service section of your website? Find answers to their questions? Get in touch with you?
You might not have another Shake Weight product on your hands. You might not be able to inject humor into your service. But there are plenty of things you can do to make your website more interactive and adaptable to social media networks. Learning from other’s success is one of them. Adapting industry best practices is another (and we can devote an entire blog post to that). Let’s take a look at the new era of B2B websites, which do just that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kCulTaPOrM