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If a company hopes to become part of a community, they are expected to engage in a dialogue with potential consumers, and that means submitting original content to the internet.

Why is it important to contribute to the internet?

Contributions to the internet result in acceptance into the online community, and lead to increased consumership. Contributions can be made in the form of blog entries, twitter responses, or even YouTube videos. The type of content that results in the greatest diffusion of content is classified as ‘viral’, and includes lists, quizzes, how-to’s, or even interactive flash activities. On the other hand, the type of content that establishes a company’s expertise in the field is classified as ‘informative’, and includes articles, commentaries on recent events, comparisons, Q&A sections, and product reviews. Establishing a balance between these two forces is the key to successful blog writing, and what’s more important, providing this free content will engender customer loyalty overall.

When does giving all this information away befome profitable?

Chris Anderson spends a great deal of time answering this question in his book, “Free”. He explains that by consistently providing engaging and relevant content, business owners have taken the first step in successfully creating a community around their brand. Community members, he says, feel an intrinsic need to support the business in which they are now mentally invested. When individuals are welcomed into a community through free content offerings, they subsequently feel indebted to support them. In addition, when the content provided is valuable, relatable, engaging and worth sharing to others, brand loyalty will increase right along with search engine ranking.

What’s the proof that these campaigns really work?

Tamar Weinberg in his book, “The New Community Rules”, discusses several successful and creative examples of companies that provided exciting and creative content that appealed to the masses: the “Mentos & Diet Coke” campaign and BlendTec’s “Will it Blend?” campaign. The Mentos campaign found a creative and unusual use for an otherwise one-use product. On a similar note, BlendTec’s “Will it Blend?” campaign featured a series of faux-scientific experiments in which durable, expensive or exotic objects were placed inside of a BlendTec blender, transforming it into a fine powder. Both campaigns were so creative and unusual that the videos spread like wildfire, and consequentially, awareness of both brands skyrocketed. Weinberg estimates that it would have cost tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars to find a similar level of success with traditional marketing techniques alone, but Mentos was able to produce a nationally recognized video for approximately $2.50.

So I can just post whatever I want and hope a community grows around me?

Not exactly. In order to provide such content, it is critical that the business understand the psychographic habits of their audience, their goals, problems, and values. Once this is understood, it is easy to provide content that will appeal to a narrowly tailored or widespread audience. Since anyone can make a video and post it on YouTube, it forces advertisers to place their primary focus on creating new and innovative plot ideas, and that requires a critical look at what the brand stands for, what their target audience is, and how they hope to communicate this message to their audience.

Seems hard to do from an insider’s perspective. Can you help me?

Of course! Our firm is capable of handling the necessary steps in order to form a strong image online. Contact us and see how we can help!