For any business that is knowledge-based, ideas are typically thought of as being the currency of their organization. Ideas are the basis of their product, the centre of their value proposition, and their competitive advantage. For these reasons – which are entirely valid – ideas are typically held close to the chest and are protected as carefully as a newborn child.
While being protective of ideas seems to make a huge amount of sense, there are a number of incredible opportunities you could be missing out on as a result.
The amazing thing about ideas is that there are always better ones. Always. By giving away your ideas, you are forcing yourself to be innovative, to think of new ideas, and to think of better ideas. Holding your ideas close will keep you from being innovative and propelling your business forward. While your business holds ideas close to its chest, others are pushing the envelope, developing thoughts that are truly unique, and creating huge value for their clients in ways they never thought possible. Sounds exciting, right?
Proves Your Value
Knowledge and idea-based businesses continually face the challenge of having to prove their value to prospective clients. Giving prospects your ideas for free will prove what your business is capable of, mitigate the risk involved with choosing to work with you, and establish your organization as a trusted source of value.
Acknowledging that the purpose of case studies is to demonstrate the proven effectiveness of your idea-based solutions, there is still an inherent risk that prospective clients must take to work with you – no matter how relevant and impressive your case studies. At the end of the day, they don’t know whether you’ll be able to replicate the value your business provided other clients. Additionally, there will always be an inherent skepticism about case studies because by their nature, they are designed to show-off your organization’s highlights, and ignore all of the failed ideas that were sold to other clients.
Increases the Chance of Making Your Business, and Your Clients, Famous
How many incredible, award-winning ideas do you need to pitch for one of them to see the light of day? Chances are that this happens so infrequently that you don’t have an answer to that question. Increase your chances of selling an incredible idea by pitching more of them. Don’t wait to be paid to pitch an idea. Don’t wait for a client to ask for an idea. Simply put, don’t wait. Just share your ideas, stand behind them, sell the hell out of them and demonstrate why they’re game-changers, and I’m sure you’ll have greater success actually bringing ideas to life.
What benefits have you experienced by giving away your ideas?
What do you see as being the pitfalls of giving away ideas?
As always, it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Image Credit: Veer
At the end of each year there is a flood of year-in-review content, and content that looks forward to the year ahead. It’s a natural time to take a step back from the minutia we stress over during the year to look at the big picture.
So, being just a few days into 2013, now is a perfect time to not only enjoy some of the end of year content, but it’s also a great time to reflect on your own year in social media marketing, and think about and plan for your year ahead.
REVIEW YOUR PERFORMANCE DURING THE LAST YEAR
Take some time to review the performance of your social media, digital and content marketing efforts in 2012. Similar to tracking performance in the stock market, social media marketing is naturally full of small ups and downs that are magnified by the incredible amount of information we are fed through our monitoring and insights tools. A full year perspective, however, may shed new insight on what worked well, and what didn’t that you couldn’t pick up on while monitoring your activity through the year.
ADJUST YOUR STRATEGY
After reviewing your performance from 2012 and identifying what worked well, and what didn’t, make some adjustments to your strategy, how you engage, what types of content you produce, where you publish your content, what social media networks you are using, what your objectives should be, how you amplify your content, and on. Don’t get caught in a rut just because you’ve been doing something one way for some time. Social media is inherently dynamic and your strategies and tactics need to be equally as fluid to remain successful.
SET NEW GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND KPIs
Looking forward, think about what your goals, objectives and KPIs will be for 2013. Continue working toward the objectives that are driving results for your business, and set goals and KPIs that will push your efforts for even greater success. Looking forward is incredibly important to guide and justify the numerous decisions you’ll be making thought the year to continuously optimize your social media marketing efforts.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
Continue making smart, informed decisions, but go ahead and try something new. With so many tools, tactics, platforms, varieties of content, technologies, and techniques at our disposal, there is undoubtedly something that could positively impact your business that you haven’t tried yet – so go do it! The very worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work and you can stop, lesson learned, and no worse for the effort.
How did your social media marketing efforts perform in 2012?
How are you planning for the year ahead?
Are there any interesting things you’ll be doing differently in 2013?
Do you have a New Year social media resolution you’ll be pursuing?
It would be awesome to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial. Cheers, and happy New Year!
Photo Credit: Veer
More and more, people are using multiple devices simultaneously or sequentially. In fact, a recent Google study showed that 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially, moving between devices to accomplish their goal. While the study didn’t provide an equally all-encompassing stat for simultaneous device use, they did state that 77% of people who watch TV do so with another device (49% with a smartphone, and 34% with a PC/laptop), so it’s safe to say that a huge percentage of people are using multiple devices simultaneously.
A challenge for marketers is how to tap into this behaviour in a way that will amplify your brand’s message, provide value to your targeted consumers, and provide a seamless experience from device to device.
Following are three tips for how to tap the power of consumers’ simultaneous or sequential multi-device use:
OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT FOR EACH PLATFORM
Your content needs to be optimized with each device’s strengths and weaknesses accounted for. Your 40 page downloadable .pdf probably provides a huge amount of valuable content to consumers using a PC, but on a mobile device, it’ll take forever to download, might require a separate app to open, and involves a time commitment to read that is probably longer than the average person’s session time on a mobile device. In this case, keep your points short and concise for people on mobile devices and forego the option to download your .pdf as it will provide a poor experience and might frustrate your consumers.
ENSURE CONTEXTUAL RELEVANCE
It is critical to have a firm understanding of how your targeted consumers use various devices. When you get to know how they use their smartphones, tablets, PCs, televisions, e-readers, and mp3 players, you’ll be better equipped to provide a seamless experience for your consumers on the devices they naturally use for various tasks. Further to this, try to avoid forcing your consumers to use a device in a way that isn’t contextually natural to them. They won’t change their usage behaviour just because you want them to, so don’t waste your time trying. To gain a better understanding of how people use various devices, I encourage you to read Brian Solis’ article, We are now a society of multi-taskers and multi-screeners. To quickly highlight a few key observations, people tend to use PCs to be productive and keep informed, smartphones to stay connected, and tablets for entertainment.
TAP SIMULTANEOUS DEVICE USE TO ENRICH EXPERIENCES
I’m willing to bet that you can’t think of the last time you watched television without your smartphone, tablet or laptop at least partially dividing your attention. Think of ways to create meaningful brand experiences on these devices that are relevant to the content your consumers are watching on television to provide truly immersive brand experiences. An example of a brand that hit an absolute home run providing an immersive multi-screen experience is Heineken’s Star Player football app that allowed fans to apply their intuition and knowledge of football to a competitive real-time smartphone game when watching Champion’s League matches on television.
Simpler, more cost effective ways to tap the power of a simultaneous multi-screen experience include augmenting your content calendar to generate relevant discussion during programming you know your consumers will be watching, or creating contests or promotions that require viewing relevant content (think digital scavenger hunts or trivia questions).
Consumers’ attention is becoming increasingly fragmented across devices, which means you need to figure out how to engage with them in ways that use this fragmentation to your benefit. Finding ways to streamline consumers’ experiences when transitioning from one device to the next, or enhancing experiences with simultaneous device use, is key for engaging consumers in a multi-screen, multi-device world.
What considerations do you take into account when creating content or brand experiences for your consumers?
Do you have any case studies you’d like to share of who has done this particularly well?
If you have any thoughts you’d like to share, please do so in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
When planning your social media activity, it is critically important to understand your consumers’ natural behaviour on social media, with technology, and in the offline world to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts. Hands down, the most successful activity on social media taps into consumers’ natural behaviour while adding real value.
Trying to get consumers to adopt a behaviour that is foreign to them is like pushing water up hill. You’ll be met with great resistance, engagement will be low, and you’ll be left wondering why your innovative new use of social media was a complete flop.
Natural Behaviour on Social Media
There are a number of key behaviours you are going to want to identify to maximize your social media marketing efforts. If you can get a handle on what types of content they are creating, what they are sharing with their social graphs, how they engage with brands, and what platforms they use and why they use them, you’ll be well equipped with knowledge to apply to your social media and content strategies.
Natural Behaviour with Technology
Consumers’ natural use of technology is also important to consider when planning your marketing programs. People use technology in different ways, and knowing what pieces of technology they use, why they’re using technology, their varying levels of comfort with basic or advanced functionality, times of day that tech gets used, and so forth, are very important insights to have on your targeted consumers.
Natural Behaviour in the Real World
Some of the most powerful uses of social media and technology are achieved when they serve to enhance a consumer’s life in the real world. Having a deep understanding of how your consumers live, what is important to them when they aren’t online, and identifying opportunities to enhance their lives is important insight to have.
When you gain a thorough understanding of your consumers’ natural behaviour on social media, with technology, and in the real world, there are a number of ways this information can be applied.
Following are a few examples:
Level of Involvement
Whether you’re deciding on an entry mechanic for a social media promotion or crowdsourcing content, factor in the level of involvement that your consumers will be comfortable with. For some people, uploading a photo will be second nature, for others, it’ll be seen as being a lot of work. Don’t ask people to do anything they’re not comfortable with, or won’t be excited to participate in.
Don’t waste your time developing an innovative new program for Pinterest if your target demographic isn’t already engaging on the platform. Select the platforms to engage on based on what your consumers are currently using.
Use your deep understanding of natural consumer behaviour to develop your KPIs. Commonly, I’ll see KPIs that in no way, shape or form align with consumer behaviour, and then the success of a program or content gets called into question when they aren’t met. At the end of the day, not every measure is going to be meaningful and relevant, so choose the ones that are, and measure success based on those.
Just because you’ve produced a killer podcast on a highly relevant topic doesn’t mean your consumers are going to want to listen to it. If they aren’t prone to downloading and listening to podcasts, don’t waste your time producing them. When you’ve learned what formats of content are most frequently engaged with, focus your efforts in those areas.
There is a reason why QR codes never took off. The tech is pretty cool, but they require consumers to use their mobile devices in an unnatural and cumbersome way. By the time a consumer downloads a special app to scan the QR code, or finds it on their phone and launches it, they probably could have opened their mobile browser and typed in a URL. Always think about how your target demo uses technology and what they’ll be comfortable with, and stick with that for your marketing efforts.
I always find it to be a shame when I come across an innovative new social media program, or use of technology, that I know is going to fall on its face because it is asking consumers to do something, engage or behave in an unnatural way. Pushing limits and innovating are things that I’ll always endorse, but I highly recommend spending time figuring out not just how you can innovate, but how you can do so in a way that will be meaningful, useful and natural to your consumers.
If you have any thoughts or experience on this subject that you’d like to share, it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Photo Credit: Veer