Monday, January 3, 2011

Content and Social Media Marketing Success Secret 2: Surrounding Consumers with Branded Experiences

Part 3 of a 3-Part Guest Series by Susan Gunelius. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

In Part 2 of this content and social media marketing series, you learned the importance of creating a core branded online destination to act as the central hub for all of your content and social media marketing activities. The next step to achieving content and social media marketing success is to extend your brand further across the digital space.

People like to experience brands and content in different ways. Every consumer audience can be segmented into smaller groups of people who have different wants, needs and preferences for brands. Therefore, you need to offer your audience varied branded experiences so they can self-select how they want to experience your brand and content. One size does not fit all!

While your core branded online destination is always the nucleus of your online brand presence, it’s important that you take the time to offer multiple branded online destinations. For example, everyone doesn’t like to use Twitter, nor does everyone like to read e-books. Therefore, it’s essential that you offer a variety of methods for people to engage with you and your brand across the social Web.

Once your core branded online destination is established, begin spreading your brand tentacles across the Web. Create a Twitter profile, a Facebook page, a LinkedIn group, a YouTube channel, and so on. Quality of content and interactions always trumps quantity, so don’t spread yourself too thin. The objective is to offer varied branded experiences while continually publishing shareworthy content and participating in meaningful conversations. At the same time, all roads must lead back to your core branded online destination.

As you extend your online presence across the social Web, be sure to stay consistent to your brand’s promise. If your content, conversations, and destinations don’t accurately reflect your brand image and message, your audience will become confused and turn away from your brand in search of one that does consistently meet their expectations for it.

Think of content marketing and social media marketing as a long-term, brand-building strategy. Over time, your content will spread farther as more and more people engage with it across your varied online destinations. Inevitably, organic growth will drive your brand and business to new heights as long as you’re committed to sticking with it for the long-haul.

You can read more about creating a content and social media marketing strategy in Susan Gunelius' new book, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, which is now available in book stores and online. ADMAVEN readers can follow the link to get a free bonus chapter, which is available for download from McGraw-Hill.

Susan Gunelius spent over a decade directing marketing programs for some of the biggest companies in the world, and today, she is President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. You can follow Susan on the social Web on Twitter (@susangunelius), Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Nick Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 15 years, and helps agencies and brands find and connect to digital audiences for profitable outcomes. Want to talk to him about how a complete digital communications program can help your agency or brand grow? Email him at