I am an online marketing specialist at Pollenizer and we represent Blurb, a print on demand creative publishing platform in Australia.As marketers we care deeply about storytelling and we do this through community participation to enable the creation of new opportunities.As we all know the social web, by its very nature, encourages storytelling and participation.So I am going to share with you a couple of case studies about how to build your band with social media from work with one of my clients, Blurb.Blurb is a technology company which enables people to tell a story, participate in a community and find new opportunities.Your book can include your poetry, text, images, business inventory or fundraising efforts. Blurb believes passionately in empowering you to publish, share and sell your content by means of a book.A key prerogative for marketers is seeking new ways to tell stories and to empower your community to share their stories.Growing your brand in this era of real time marketing on the social means you need to be responsive to activity in your community.To grow your brand you need to recognise you exist in the context of a community where in stories are an important currency.Three important aspects of real time marketing in the context of storytelling are participation, generosity, and team work.
A great example of a social media enabled opportunity with Blurb was The Perfect Gift For A Man.Two high profile bloggers and social media enabled influencer, Mark Pollard and Gavin Heaton, started writing about men’s health issues back in 2009. They shared personal stories and asked their audience to share back. Soon enough they had seeded lots of conversations online about this topic.So here they were with lots of content, interest and good will online. Mark and Gavin were also passionate about supporting Inspire Foundation, an NGO that works with young people in tough situations, through fundraising.Now it was time broaden the conversation beyond the existing tech savvy audience and take this to mainstream media.Perhaps a book might be a good vehicle to broaden awareness.Gavin tweeted that thy were working on turning the blog entries into a book.I picked up on the tweet, followed up and before you knew it, through our social media participation, we’d created an opportunity to work together.The book’s been published, received lots of buzz online, and importantly broadened the conversation to include a much wider community.The discussion that ensued created lots of opportunities for leveraging the product and our brand through traditional media outlets such as print, tv and radio.
To participate in the social web you must be responsive, willing to share your ideas and give back.In my experience to truly be community minded you need to be generous.Generous with your time, resources, product, team and energy.Make generosity a key brand attribute you live and breathe. After our customers asked if we could do more to help them reach their fundraising goals, we launched the Blurb for Good Platform.Why? It’s an opportunity to enable our customers to give back to their communities and for Blurb to give too by contributing an extra $1 for every book sold on the platform.The Perfect Gift for a Man book was promoted on this platform.Example 2: Responding to an eventBlog Aid – recipes for HaitiCanadian food blogger community decided to contribute to the Haiti Earthquake emergencyUsed their social media networks to get the word out that buying the book would raise emergency support funds–Raised over $40K for charity over 1 month Created more demand for the book by limiting the time it was on sale for.In this example Blurb is facilitating people giving within a community to something and creating good will around its brand because it’s participating in an event that has captured the world’s attention.Other ways you can enact generosity right now is to give away content, videos, tutorials to your community and give your product away through promo coupons for community groups, tastemakers and influencers.
Once you understand your community and how to participate and give back to uncover opportunities, you need the the right team to get the job done.We hired talent with:Deep reach – find the expert in your community, or the loyal customer who is a fan with a social media following and hire them.- In our case Blurb’s community at heart is the creative one, so we searched for an individual with contacts who also happened to be a talented photographer, problogger, artist and designer. Then we hired them.Digital Citizen / Content creators- We hired an ex journo, social media influencer and problogger who had deep reach in the blogosphere and socialmedisphere.Identify and hire in a gutsy community manager who can reach out to and nurture blogger and social media influencer relationships. These people spend their time being Father Christmas enabling influencers and tastemakers to experience your product or service and share this experience with their audience.Be agile which means being responsive and flexible to a rapidly changing marketplace.We have a team culture of experimentation and testing so we can fail fast, learn, test, iterate and pivot in our marketing programs.And this is reflected in which partners you chose to work with. They become part of your team too. You need to be agile in your approach and acknowledge your community is at the centre of your brand. Remember create a culture of storytelling and participation so you can uncover new opportunities for your brand through the social web.
If you’d like to try making a book with Blurb, please grab me for a voucher
Jo sabin preso
Real Time Marketing Workshopwith David Meerman-Scott<br />PR-Marketing MasterclassSydney31 March 2011<br />
Topic<br />“Stories from the frontline:<br />The application of social media to build a brand.” <br />A 10 minute case study<br />By Jo Sabin<br />