Castles, Towns, and Missionaries

I’m meeting more and more corporate marketers who understand the value of social media, but don’t know how to use it. I’m seeing a trend of at least 3 different adoption strategies, listed out below.

Often they want to repurpose their corporate marketing brochures, videos, and pass them on to social channels –without understand that content, often has to change. Corporate “top-down” content doesn’t do well on YouTube, brochures and press releases don’t do well on blogs, and a marcom’s product announcement on a podcast is going to have limited traction.

Corporations are adopting at least one of the three styles of Social Media Marketing:

Locked in the Castle
Keeping the good stuff close to your domain.

Example: Creating videos, audio, and blog posts, but keeping them behind registration, or for clients only.

I’m seeing a handful of corporations in the past year, require registration for videos and podcasts that limit people from accessing them. The risks include: limiting the organic spread of your hard earned content, and not benefiting by the natural word of mouth network. Of course, the flip side is that those that do register are truly hungry for the content, and self-selecting themselves further down the funnel.

Building roads to Towns
Reach adjacent towns by enticing them with content, and provide them with links (roads) back to your land.

Example: Creating brand related images, publishing in flickr, and providing a link in the image notes back to the corporate domain

Some marketers are realizing that they can put a great deal of product and company content on social media tools for free, but by providing links back to the corproate site in comments, in the post-roll of a video, or mentioning a call to action at the end of a podcast extends their reach. By providing these ‘hooks’ to content, you can hope to entice people, who will embed, share, or consume your content, and then eventually click on the links to move closer to your corporate website.

Traveling Missionaries
Missionaries spread to new communities.

Example: Creating campaigns in social networks (like Facebook) where communities already exist, but with no links back to the corporate domain, and no blatant advertising.

The truly savvy marketers are learning to find communities where they exist, becoming that community, and not worry about ‘driving traffic’ back to the corporate website as a measure of success. I’ve a few clients that have figured out how to experiment with ‘off domain’ success. There are risks too, this strategy could give up complete control to the members, and could result in a brand backlash or few people caring about a brand’s products.

When it comes to social media marketing, which style is your corporation going to adopt? each has a strength –and weakness –so it’s best you understand the elements and benefits of each.