Welcome to Third Tuesday at Century Restaurant in Vancouver! The wifi is spotty at best so the majority of this post may not be live.
Tonight’s speaker is Darren Barefoot who will be talking about “Getting the Attention of the Web’s Influencers”.
Update: Darren introduces his company, Capulet Communications and one of its facets which is ‘web influencer outreach’ or ‘blogger relations’, and will be presenting a case study: ThoughtFarmer, which provides intranet solutions.
Darren believes in making a marketing campaign “cool”, see: Apple. For this particular client, they wanted to market to business bloggers, those who would have a true interest in the project.
Here are some assumptions to be made when going into a project like this:
– Everyone is Busy (which leads to how do you get noticed amongst busy bloggers?)
– Email Doesn’t Work (people respond to originality) ie. the comic Darren created when pitching John and I about the Brother Printer Campaign
– Marketing equals Thing You’re Marketing (giveaways work!) same example, the Brother Printer giveaway
– Funny beats Unfunny every time (it’s risky because humor levels may vary from person to person)
– Get people to visit your site (more links from your campaign participants equals more people tracking back to your website).
Darren suggests having a database of bloggers; find your target bloggers, narrow it down to blogs with a big enough audience, and balance out content and reach.
Update: Back to ThoughtFarmer. Since it was an intranet for businesses, Capulet created a fake company (Tubetastic) and even built them a website. They also created profiles on the site as though bloggers they were targeting were employees of this fake company ie. Robert Scoble was the Tube Janitor. Essentially it was a micro site with content from all the bloggers’ sites, aggregated over at Tubetastic.
To recap: Fake company, fake employees, prominent bloggers, and an intranet. It was an entire scenario and experience for the bloggers who were in turn feeding content surrounding the product. They were engaged.
Update: Remember the value of an ‘elevator pitch’, your quick, simple, not-too-much-time-to-explain pitch.
Another thing on the humour side, was the use of snail mail to send an employee welcome letter to bloggers from the fake company Tubetastic.
Seth Godin quote: “Safe is risky and risky is safe”.
Update: Note: Bloggers are very public people. Couple of things that could go wrong…
– Snail mail fail could happen.
– Wikis could go bad ie. unrelated content being posted, content altered in a bad way etc.
– Blog posts that become more about the campaign (in this case Tubetastic) and less about the actual company, being ThoughtFarmer in this case.
Results of the ThoughtFarmer campaign were all positive and traffic to the site doubled. Something that they noticed however was that there were fewer full length blog posts since folks were publishing their thoughts instantly on Twitter or microblogging systems.
Update: Formal presentation is over, now time for questions. Monique asks how traffic is tracked via Twitter – Darren says through ‘follows’ and I would assume Twemes or hashtags.
David asked how many physical packages were sent by snail mail. Out of 50 about 35 were sent (some addresses weren’t found etc.)
The question is raised about distributing the likenesses of the bloggers. From personal experience with Darren, he used our Creative Commons licensed Flickr photos but still always asked permission to publish them, either on his site, in his campaign or even when our mugs showed up in the Wall Street Journal.
Darren goes through the criteria he looks for when looking for a blogger for a campaign. From things like Google Page Rank, Technorati Rank, number of posts a day (how active they are) to blogrolls, discussions, design, etc.
More words of advice are things like linking to your bloggers – bloggers love link love. A question from the room asks about negative reactions etc.
Bruce asks how do people differentiate Darren’s emails from spam? Darren quotes Tim Bray, mentioning it’s unsolicited commercial email from someone you don’t know. Darren always tries to add a personal element when reaching out and tries to get the blogger in the loop as soon as possible.
Question from the audience: How to pitch you, Darren? “If you read my blog, you’ll know.” Local, for a good cause, do you have a good story to tell? Also, “we don’t deal with press releases anymore, we just point people to blog posts.”
Update: Metblogs meetup is currently going on over at Library Square.