Brands like to engage directly with potential customers who are already thinking about buying a product. They figure that if they can reach out to people far down the sales process then they are likely to convert that person into a sale. If that person likes the product, then they will become a returning customer, which will produce even more profits for the company.
In this Future of Publishing episode, VigLink’s Oliver Roup and Influence People’s Murray Newlands examine how publishers can charge brands to engage with their readers/users without appearing overtly commercial. Oliver and Murray talk about branded content with Jordan Kretchmer of Live Fyre, Daniel Ha of Disqus, and Dan Gill of Huddler who will share their thoughts on how brands can enter product conversations that can lead to more revenues.
One of the problems right now with brands participating in product discussions is that the community treats them as outsiders. They come in without knowing how the community works. Their profiles look impersonal and noobish. They create threads and then ignore them. In short, they treat communities (such as forums) like they are television viewers (television is largely a one-way medium), and run ad campaigns more suitable for one-way mediums that two- and multi-way mediums. The result is that the community feels disconnected with them, sees them as spammy, and gets annoyed at the community manager for allowing the brand to post.
When publishers and community managers decide to accept payment to let a brand participate in a discussion, they need to make sure that the brand will engage with the users and not just make every single post about the brand’s products. Brands need to give genuine replies, create good threads and reply well to them, and make sure that they are seen as valuable for their contributions to the community before making an overt sales pitch.
Check out the interview in this Future of Publishing’s episode 11…
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