Some interesting news: Snap Spectacles are now available on Amazon, though the $129.99 price tag still hasn’t lowered. There have been rumors lately that the next generation of Snap Spectacles will include some augmented reality features, which is a topic that I’ve been itching to write about in relation to digital journalism.
I’ve been itching to go back to my roots for a while, but alas a few recent events have forced me to go with something easy this week.
We’re going a little old-school and heading right to Google.
One of my good friends works for a consulting company that uses the WeWork space in the Arts Building in DTLA. WeWork is a coworking and office space where startups or organizations can make use of its facities for a monthly fee. Facilities often include conference space and networking/lecture/workshop events.
My friend and I took advantage of one of those events by attending a Google Marketing module. I went partly inspired by my time with MAKE IT IN LA; I’ve seen many entreprenuers and businesses making really great products in Los Angeles. But having a great product isn’t just enough for businesses anymore. Technology evens the field for smaller businesses, which is something I touched on when I wrote about influencer marketing on Instagram last week. More and more people are conducting online searches as they shop, which means that businesses ought to learn how to wield the tools available to them.
There were a variety of people at the module such as entrepreuers and consultants, and the module was crafted to cover things that were for people completely new to digital marketing. While some tools like email campaigns, Instagram, and Snapchat might be new to people, there are still a few principles of communication and marketing at its heart.
There were two major activities that I personally found helpful in this module. The first was understanding the “perfect customer,” or as writers say, “the audience.” And in order to understand one’s perfect customer, one must:
Identify a big problem a person is trying to solve
What results/benefit they’re looking to achieve
What your audience’s life, habits and personality looks like
It might seem a little hard to answer those questions under the context of a news outlet, but let’s take an easy example like Buzzfeed’s Boldy channel:
There’s a need for content for women by women
Watching this sort of content informs women of beauty products and entertains them with relatable content
Bodly’s audience comprises women who are always interested in new products to try or to see content that they can share with friends
The second part of that exercise was crafting your unique selling proposition. In other words, why people should flock to your site/channel rather than your competitors’. First step is thinking about why you’re setting out on the venture in the first place: your combination of skills, experience and education is what makes you attractive. And from there, ask the following:
Out of all the businesses/creators in my industry, what do I do that others don’t?
What benefits and results do we consistently create for our customers?
What features of our business sets us apart from our competitiors?
What will a prospective customer gain from us as opposed to one of our competitiors?
As a writer, these questions are too set in the way of business (though it makes sense, it was a workshop for businesses). If you look at all writers and creators from Megyn Kelly to Pewdiepie, all of them have a product that they want to spread to customers. In this case, content is the product that needs to be spread to the audience.
Side note to any creators out there; this is why my professors encouraged my classmates and I to set up our own websites and official social media profiles. In the age of tech, the creator is a brand. And even though some old-school journos aren’t used to promoting themselves, people are now used to having a closer connection with the those who create the content they consume. But I digress.
Taking the Boldy example again, we can look at how they compare to their competitors:
They are typically the first ones to set video trends on Facebook or Youtube, like testing a new beauty product or fashion trend
They consistently entertains and easily pull in hundreds of thousands of views within the first 24 hours of posting
The Buzzfeed employees have become known and beloved creators among the audience
The video is higher quality
In terms of whether a business has to attend one of these workshops, I would say that a person can find the same advice online with a few Google searches. Better yet, you can access some Google business resources here. The module, however, is really good for people who like to sit down and ask questions when something isn’t clear. The picture above gave people some ideas of how they can craft a digital marketing strategy, but didn't delve into how to create email campaigns or the best way to design a website. The module also came with a pretty handy workbook that allows attendees to take notes, write goals, imagine their targeted customers, etc.
I enjoyed the module because it provided one way to organize one’s target audience and goals, and I’d really like to see a conversation on this; is there a business, channel or content creator where this formula wouldn’t apply? I wracked my head about and I can fill out those questions for just about any outlet or business.
If something doesn’t fit, let me know, and I’ll catch you next week!
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