Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jab, Jab, Jab, RIght Hook

Give value before you ask. That's the advice of fast-talking social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Vaynerchuk was a speaker this week at Rotman and he was energetic and frenetic. He was promoting his new book, which he described as being full of specific strategic and tactical advice for succeeding in social media, wrapped around about a hundred case studies.

In a world saturated with content across all manner of media, you have to work hard to get attention. And you do that by providing people with value. Provide that value and build a relationship before you seek a transaction: to buy your product or to make a donation. In other words, Jab by providing content before you put out the Hook.

Don't use social media sites like Facebook primarily to attract people to your web site: build your relationship there, where people already are. For instance, don't start your own hashtag; jump onto an existing one. Get used to the idea that you don't own your content: once you release it, whether it's in an ad or a YouTube video, it belongs to the world.

Vaynerchuk is very excited - and, believe me, his excitement is very transparent! - about the ability to target very specific segments on Facebook. TV segmentation is about 27% accurate, whereas Facebook segmentation is about 92% accurate. He recommends going for depth, not breadth. Wouldn't you rather connect with 1,000 people highly likely to buy your product rather than 100,000 who aren't at all interested? Use Facebook dark posts to target these people; through them you can get your message out subtly without putting something right on your Facebook page*.

Vaynerchuk's strongest recommendation was this: Become a media company. Provide valuable content to build a relationship, and then slip in your message among the rest of the media. Frankly, I found this advice disingenuous: if every organization becomes a media company, the content market will become even more saturated. Only the early birds are going to catch this worm!!!

The format of this session was mostly Q&A, which worked quite well despite the fact that Vaynerchuk was participating through two-way video. His most common advice to the people with tactical questions was 'become a media company'.

* I definitely have to do more research to fully understand these dark posts. Vaynerchuk's talk was liberally sprinkled with acronyms and was clearly aimed at people who already knew a lot about social media.


Rohan Jayasekera said...

"Content marketing" is quite popular already, and I don't think there is a saturation level because it's only directed at people who are potentially interested. It's just a continuation of the white papers etc. that companies have been doing for a long time: educational content on a topic of interest to only some people – that just happens to promote the company that created it, directly or indirectly. What readers/viewers/listeners are getting quite sick of is advertising that doesn't tell them anything other than "buy our product".

Lib Gibson said...

The way I was thinking of it is that if Nike already have built a content-based relationship with runners and people interested in personal health, I find it hard to believe there's room for Adidas and New Balance and other players to build a similar relationship.

Rohan Jayasekera said...

Adidas won't let Nike get too far ahead without jumping in themselves, plus many of their fans will be resistant to anything from Nike. There is some zero-sum-game here: just like Coke and Pepsi feel forced to advertise just because the other one does, perhaps cancelling each other out, companies will feel forced to do content marketing as a competitive response.