As businesses and brands we are used to paying for attention. TV, Radio and Print.
We call the “Ad” agency and ask them to create the “TV Ad” that is created, published and paid for. Stop paying and the ad and attention stops.
The PR agency is contacted and we brief them on the the latest public relations worthy news event that we think the world needs to hear about. The journalist is tracked down and convinced that the story is worth publishing. The successful result? We get some column inches in a national newspaper. That is lining the bin tomorrow. We pay the PR company for their time and influence.
It’s the way things have been done for decades. Businesses are the paying advertisers and newspaper companies and TV networks are the publishers.
But there is a different way and a source of free attention. There is an often forgotten tribe of marketers who can amplify your brand for free.
The media landscape today is a very different beast and we need to learn how to play with it.
Become the publisher
In 2011, Coca Cola decided to move from agency driven “creative excellence” in marketing to “content excellence“. They decided to become the publisher. Content excellence starts with creating your own content. it could be videos, images or blog posts.
Their goal was to create content so contagious it couldn’t be controlled and create buzz and virality online.
They flipped the old model.
The flipping of the “old model” and becoming the “publisher” is a challenge. The typical company doesn’t have writers, video producers or editors. It is an internal and cultural challenge and outside the management’s comfort zone to do something different from the norm.
Paying for attention the old way is easy. it is the way things have always been done. The brand has the systems, processes and key staff to do what always has been done.
Changing is painful.
The hidden tribe of publishers
Becoming the publisher is one thing but the true power of taking control of your own content and publishing lies in what follows. When the online crowd shares and even creates more brand related content. It is the hidden and often forgotten publishers. It is your fans, advocates and customers.
So social media has provided crowd-sourced marketing for free. What is that worth?
The scale of this will surprise you!
Octoly.com have tracked and measured “user generated content” (often termed “UGC”) on YouTube around and about brands. The numbers are a revelation.
- 95% of the views on YouTube about “Call of Duty” were not created or owned by the brand but created by users. 95% of the 9.3 billion in total views were earned. That’s 8.84 billion views just from fan created and shared content.
- 99% of the views about “Lego” are user created. Of the 8 billion in total views 7.92 billion views just from passionate advocates who created and shared content about the Lego brand.
- 99% of the views on YouTube about Apple were not bought or “owned” by the brand. 99% of the 4.2 billion in total views were fan created. That’s 4.16 billion views just from fan created and shared content.
The brands started the conversations by publishing. The online fans amplified it.
You cannot buy that level of attention.
Infographic source: Octoly.com
Where is this going?
The savvy brands are taking control of their marketing by becoming the publishers. The technology, the platforms and the social networks now exist to reach your audience without always paying. New media has given businesses the means to amplify their content and marketing and engage with their own audience.
Red Bull hardly spends a cent on mainstream advertising but instead spends it on “publishing” and lets the the crowd do the heavy lifting. Distributing, co-creating and sharing the brand globally.
Let’s have a closer look at the specific numbers for some brands that get content marketing and are receiving free marketing through user generated content.
In the “Fast Moving Consumer Goods” category (FMCG) Coca Cola is the standout with 24.2 million social actions.
In the fashion category Vctoria’s Secret’s fans and “other publishers” produce 92 times more videos than the brand itself.
GoPro, the high definition mobile video camera manufacturer in the “Tech” category shows that earning free media attention isn’t just for the big boys. Creators produce 125 times more videos than the Official YouTube channel.
The social web has provided a “new” and alternate way to get attention. Are you ready to become a “publisher”? Are you creating content and building your social networks to amplify that content?
What about you?
Are you paying or are you working on “earning attention”. How many articles and views are created by your customers about your brand?
Look forward to hearing your stories and insights in the comments below.
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