BlueGlassX 2012 - How to Build a Large, Passionate Audience From Scratch with No Connections - Rob Woods

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  • BlueGlass X 2012How to Build a Large, PassionateAudience From Scratch with NoConnections
  • Who Am I? 12 years of online marketing and product merchandizing experience in e-commerce and affiliate marketing Worked in all facets of online marketing with a focus on SEO, Social, and Content Currently with Reinvent an in-house incubator for one of the largest domainers in the world Run my own P/T consulting business
  • My Audiences BuildDirect.com long buying cycle, complex products, high $ value but a broad audience. BlackFriday.com - very seasonally focused site with a short buying cycle, very focused on a single day - Long build up and must both capture the audience beforehand retain them, but also must lure them away from the competition just before buying
  • Getting Started Who are they? Whats important to them? Where do you talk to them / find them? How do you get their attention? How do you get them to act to join you? How do you get them to share and expand the audience for you?
  • Who Are They? Make some assumptions You have to start somewhere Dont let the assumptions stand too long w/o more info Prepare the organization to re-evaluate or change audiences Make a list of sites like yours
  • Who Are They? Google Ad Planner https://www.google.com/adplanner/
  • Who Are They?
  • Who Are They? Quantcast (www.quantcast.com)
  • Who Are They? SEM Rush http://www.semrush.com
  • Ask Them! Talk to your customers Surveys Ask similar people Surveys 4Q http://www.4qsurvey.com/ Survey Monkey http://www.surveymonkey.com/
  • Create Personas Whats a Persona? How do I build them? Allows you to put yourself in their shoes Segment and prioritize large diverse audiencesResources: http://usability.gov/methods/analyze_current/personas.html http://www.stcsig.org/usability/topics/personas.html http://boxesandarrows.com/making-personas-more-powerful-details-to- drive-strategic-and-tactical-design/ http://uxmag.com/articles/personas-the-foundation-of-a-great-user- experience http://www.amazon.com/The-User-Always-Right-Practical/dp/0321434536/
  • Create Personas Debbie Do-it-Yourselfer Debbie is a 35 year old married woman with 2 school age kids. Debbies home is important to her. She likes to entertain and takes pride in having a stylish home that others admire. Debbie enjoys reading home decorating and gardening magazines. Debbie and her husband Dan are of middle income but Debbie aspires to the types of homes she sees on TV and in the magazines. Dan Do-it-yourselfer, Sam Small-contractor, Dan Developer
  • Whats Important to Them? What works for your competition? Dont be afraid to be a fast follower for a while. Ask around Phone Calls Picked (via email) a group of customers then we simply phoned them and asked What do you like about the site? What resources do you use to do research? What other sites do you like? What matters to you when you make a decision? Do you use Facebook, Twitter, browse on your phone, etc. Etc.
  • Where Do You Talk to Them? Suit the medium to the audience Dont just think about online Participate where they do Developers might be Reddit, Hacker News Marketers might be Twitter, marketing blogs Retail buyers might be Facebook, your own blog, shopping blogs, etc.
  • What We Did @ BuildDirect.com Started with an assumption of who they were We were WRONG Talked to customers, surveyed them, built personas What did they want? Aspirations. Dream home. Give them what they wanted room scenes, blog posts on interior design, engaged designers, participated in forums Went other places they would be: TV, Home improvement shows.
  • What We Did @ BuildDirect.com Tried FB and completely failed, it wasnt what they wanted Gave away free stuff (samples) with tons of our branding Long slow build Follow up, customer service, and word of mouth was one of the best audience builders. The audience was built by other audience members, but not through social One way was to let them show off their homes, let them do the promotion
  • What We Did @ BuildDirect.com Then went after smaller audience segments (builders) Industry organizations (even local, Twitter) Use different speakers for different segments (CEO for getting professionals to follow on Twitter, etc.)
  • What We Did @ BlackFriday.com With Black Friday it was very different The basic audience was everyone who shops on Black Friday. This year that was 247,000,000 Americans. 80% of the country. First step, again, figure out who they are Women, 25-45, middle income and middle education, overwhelmingly with kids 0-17. Previous owners made no attempt to develop the audience through any means besides the site and reactive PR. No content (none) and no customer service.
  • What We Did @ BlackFriday.com
  • What We Did @ BlackFriday.com Started the same way as BuildDirect. Same audience must equal same tactics, right? Wrong!!! Back to the drawing board Not just who they are but what they want Talked extensively to former owners several very experienced retail people who had BF experience, internal and external people who loved BF
  • What We Did @ BlackFriday.com Now I had a better idea of what users wanted from us Did not want to hear from us out of season They wanted quick hits, things that made life easy Go back to who they are, what they like, and where they are Timely updates (the fastest), easy to read, not complicated, not too far of what they expected (yet).
  • What We Did @ BlackFriday.com Armed with the knowledge that they were moms, etc, we out together a totally different campaign Given the audience, Facebook was the best place to test Looked at FB stats to confirm 75% female , 55% age 25-44 Went to image based posts that women, esp. moms could identify with The audience on FB began to grow rapidly Former best post was 20K views, 783 Likes, 136 Comments, 292 Shares
  • Facebook Ask for the Like, Share, Comment, etc. Give them a reason to visit the site 50% of our growth came from mobile on Facebook Mobile ads to Like pages Images, Images, Images! Make sure images are optimized for mobile. (403px 271px)
  • Facebook Give-aways Simple to run I like Wildfire http://www.wildfireapp.com/ and Strutta http://www.strutta.com/ Almost $0 outlay on our part added 120K email subscribers People love free stuff
  • Email Email is our fastest, most reliable, cheapest way to reach our audience Make email signup obvious We place it on every page and have it follow the user as they scroll Strong call to action and create urgency Match email to the rest of your audience building Leverage email to build audience in other places
  • Mobile 38% of traffic was mobile (18% last year) Created iPhone and iPad apps Used other media to push apps #1 Free Lifestyle app in 24 hrs We can push content to them and keep us top of mind Lets us provide the content our audience wants
  • Future Growth We continue to learn by listening As the network grows they will tell you how to grow it more Where? UserVoice http://www.uservoice.com , FB, site comments, social media monitoring Now we know better what they want and can create that content
  • Results Has this stuff worked? Since mid Sept we have increased our audience by: 800K Facebook fans 500K email subscribers 900K mobile app downloads 1 in 20 Americans visited the site in Nov. 200M pageviews 45% Growth YoY
  • Tips - Where Facebook just use pics and video Twitter much better for growing professional networks, really hasnt worked in either case for us for retail stuff Use every medium that makes sense Think beyond the traditional web. Mobile, apps, print, radio, TV, web video, are all ways to reach your audience. How do they work together to present the same message and to drive your audience to your most effective media?
  • Tips - What Dont give them too little, but also dont give them more than they want Dont underestimate or over-estimate your audience Respond when they ask questi