Call Me Maybe? Sound Off, Definitely!
What do Katy Perry and IMA President Bill Faeth have in common? They both tend to reference Carly Rae Jepsen's earworm of a song "Call Me Maybe." A lot. For those of you who don’t interact with the female teen demographic at all, the tune is a sparkly pop song that is infectious, bouncy and seemingly ubiquitous: it’s birthed a plethora of Youtube videos in which users—ranging from the relatively unknown to Olympic swimmers to big-name stars like Katy Perry, who has performed a cover of the song during her concerts—lip-synch along, as well as spending two months at #1 on the Billboard charts.
And it all started with a tweet from Justin Bieber.
On Dec. 30th 2011, Bieber tweeted that the song was “possibly the catchiest song I’ve ever heard lol.” Bieber was so taken with “Call Me Maybe” that he and his manager ended up signing Jepsen to their label Schoolboy Records, and Bieber additionally recorded a video of him and his friends playfully dancing and lip-synching to the song, spawning various copy-cat videos made by the individuals mentioned above and making Jepsen into a star—all thanks to social media.
Jepsen’s sudden upward trajectory into fame is a prime example of how powerful social media can be. You can tap into a similar power to maximize your business’s online influence—even if you aren’t Justin Bieber—by creating a relationship with your client base and peer businesses online and presenting yourself as a relevant and trustworthy information resource. How can you apply the marketing that surrounded this viral hit to your own inbound marketing strategy?
Blogging is a beneficial promotional tool for various reasons. Firstly, the more content you create, the more likely your site will appear in search results; in fact, 57% of companies that blog have gained customers by doing so. Secondly, communicating with your customers will let them get to know you in a more direct way than a website only containing descriptions of your services. But most importantly, if written correctly, a blog will help you establish a strong connection with your readers and make you a trusted and valuable resource for them when they make their buying decisions.
Who You Want in Your Audience and How to Draw Them In
Having clients who read your blog is good. Having peer businesses that also follow your blog is very good. It’s common to see a blog post that begins with “My good friend at (Insert blog name link here) wrote an interesting post about…” Connecting with your peers’ blogs will create the possibility that they bring their readers’ attention to something you’ve said, resulting in a wider audience for you.
But it may be awhile before you can reach that point. Like anything that will reap great rewards, blogging takes time and patience, and in order to become such a strong influence that other bloggers cite your ideas, you first need to put yourself out there and start communicating with other people in the blogosphere. Try engaging in some of the following practices to start:
Read and comment on their blogs. Establish an online dialogue with the companies that your business deals with. Read their blogs. Comment on the thoughts they share by considering the following questions:
How does your own experience compare with the topic discussed in their post?
Do you disagree with anything they said? If so, why?
Do you have any additions you would make to their statements—further explanations, examples, etc.?
And of course, if you have a post in your own blog that relates to your peer’s, be sure to include a link to it in your response, so that they can learn your thoughts on the matter, too.
Invite responses to your blog. Ask open-ended questions at the end of your blog post. Ask readers what their experience with these marketing circumstances has been, or what their experience with that particular product has been. Your goal is to involve your audience, rather than just providing them with a one-man or one-woman show. Don’t just talk at them—engage with them!
Respond to their responses. This way you’ll truly have a conversation with them, and show them how much you value their insight. Actively acknowledging their contribution to the conversation will also demonstrate your level of investment in your business relationships, making you more attractive to the reader.
When you build up your online presence and gain followers who are interested in what you have to say, that relationship is a powerful tool. With some persistence and adherence to the above advice, your peers and clients will see that you produce a quality product or service, and thus will take your input on business trends, recommendations and advice very seriously. Once you’ve made a name for yourself in the blogosphere, your words can have a far-reaching impact on what choices your readers make, which services they choose, and what products they purchase. In that case, your input may be all that stands between a “maybe” and a “definitely.”
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/marin