Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Web 2.0 Marketing Strategy

I thought it was about time I posted my idea of a good Web 2.0 marketing strategy. It's a process I have followed in the past with consulting clients of mine, including Peas of Mind and Dr.David E Smith. I thought I'd also tailor this posting to show what my plan would be should I be selected for Murphy-Goode's Lifestyle Corespondent position.

1. Blog: First and foremost, there must be a BLOG. The blog should be updated at minimum once a week, but more often if possible. I would aim for 3 postings per week, with at least one of them having some substantial writing to it (as opposed to just posting a video clip or some pictures). Everything else will revolve around the blog. The blog will be the main focus of the strategy because it is a forum that we can fully control. I'd recommend subscribing to a premier blogging service such as TypePad. Allowing readers to Digg content can expand exposure as well. Having other company websites feed into the Blog is also helpful. It's no easy task to maintain a blog by writing interesting articles, frequently!

2. Twitter: There must be a Twitter account. Update often with things that are current and going on around the business and in the industry. It is important not to always plug products though, or else followers will become wary. Sharing links to new information is important, and linking to the Blog is important. Take pictures often via a mobile device and post them in real time via a service such as TwitPic, so that followers can easily see the photos from their Twitter client.

3. Facebook: Personally, I am not a big fan of Facebook and could do without it - but it is such a big part of social networking that we can't ignore it. Maintain a fan page, and link it to Twitter so that updates on Twitter will automatically update the status on Facebook. This will save you from having to post something twice. Periodically, we should upload photo albums and/or videos. We can also periodically send messages out to followers to announce new products or events. If a budget exists, we could create ads very easily to help increase the page's exposure and the fan base.

4. Flickr: In addition to the occassional TwitPic shot, I'd like to take lots of still photos and have them upload to a Flickr photo stream. This will just add a little more photographic documentation than TwitPic is able to offer, and the content can be presented in different places or referred back to for historical purposes. If possible I'd like to be able to have the photos I take simply upload in real time by using an eye-fi card, so there is no need to wait until I can get to a computer to upload them.

5. YouTube or Vimeo or Seesmic: In addition to taking photos, I have really started to taken an interest in video. I'd like to be able to upload both candid and edited video pieces from special events, occasions, or even just fun times in the tasting room (where I'd plan to spend a lot of time pouring so I can talk to and meet customers). I'm still torn on which service to use to post the videos. I like Vimeo better than YouTube, but YouTube is more widely used currently. I like Seesmic b/c people can respond and interact (video conversation). I may have to use a combination, where videos that I don't expect responses on go to Vimeo/YouTube and ones where I want followers to interact I use Seesmic.

6. Webcam: Gotta have a webcam!!! Maybe a tasting room webcam, or a production webcam, or a harvest webcam? Whatever is going on, if I am going to be there for a long period of time, I'd like to set up a webcam. To be successful it is something that has to be set up for at least several hours, or preferably throughout an entire day. Having a real time video feed can be an awesome supplement to Twitter updates. If something going on with the webcam is worthy enough, we could even tape it for future submission to YouTube or Vimeo.

7. Bandwidth: For Murphy-Goode's position specifically, there will need to be WiFi in most of the company locations; if it is not there already. In addition to WiFi, it would be a good idea to have a reliable service that can connect me to the Internet from almost any location. I would choose Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband. This will allow for almost anywhere updates.

8. Respond to People: Finally, and most importantly, it will be necessary to spend time responding and interacting with people. Although there is opportunity to do this while "out in the field", to be truly comprehensive one will need to be able to sit down every day or every other day and respond to inquires, thank people for support, and make sure no one has been ignored. Spend time on other people's blogs and spread relevant information from them to your followers. If possible, try to secure a place as a 'guest poster' on a written blog or an interview on a video/audio blog. Sharing content from others helps you 'make friends' in the web 2.0 world, who will usually reciprocate by helping spread your messages.

As time goes by, and as technology and trends advance, it is necessary to continually re-evaluate your strategy. Staying ahead of the curve is also part of the plan.

Be frequent, be interactive, be real!

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