I’m Not Buying It

People on Content

We refuse to be your monetization strategy, said Shiv Singh at at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. For some reason, that post is not live on his blog yet. Instead, I found another that is good food for thought: when a trillion impressions aren't enough.

It does sound like they're part of the same thought continuum — and something Shiv is working on. He says:

For example, I cannot accurately quantify the value of a Pepsi display banner advertising impression versus a paid search impression, a mainstream news story about Pepsi impression, a FourSquare check-in impression at a Pepsi location, a Get Glue impression of a Pepsi branded sticker,  or a Facebook edge ranked surfaced newsfeed impression of something the brand is doing.

I'm not even sure if the Pepsi target consumer is seeing these impressions.

I also don't know exactly which is more important, how do they influence brand affinity and which drive purchases the most. And this is just the beginning of it.

What I do know however, is that every publisher, technology company and many an agency wants to sell me a lot of these new brand media impressions that are now in our ecosystem without anyone knowing or assigning an accurate relative value to them.

Digital media is maturing, and we should expect more from it. Likes and +1 were designed to reduce the impact of taking action almost to zero. Literally. Got hands and trackpad or touch screen? You too can click, then. Where do all the likes and +1 go when they're given?

Often nowhere. They are the potential preamble of something else that could happen, like clicking on something that looks more like a buy this button. I like many things I'm not buying, though.

So now you got the likes and fans and followers you can tally, impressions under another form. Sure, measurement needs to catch up. People talk about engagement and social as if social engagement were a shoe in. Is engagement alone sufficient to indicate purchase intent?

Considering that we still get things done through search, you could be tipping the scale in your favor by writing compelling content: here are 7 ideas. That's an investment in time and resources, and if your business is not set up to integrate content into the way it behaves online, tough to pull off in the short term.

And, unless the content reflects the voice of the business, unless it shows and tells (instead of just selling) and reminds people constantly about the promise the business trades, it's a waste of money.

Your interactions may look like engagement, but they're not real involvement.


[one of my slides for next week's keynote at Social IRL]

0 responses to “I’m Not Buying It”

  1. Society has grown increasingly what-oriented. I don’t see much in the way of useful conversation building on such foundations. Still, the pervasiveness of what-mindedness presents a great opportunity for those who communicate in terms of why and how.
    To your point, Valeria, business which think about WHY they want people to like, retweet, and pursue the latest social widget (there’s your promises) are better prepared to figure out HOW those activities support the business and develop communication strategies which drive real impact.

  2. it’s the other way around. Businesses that trade their promise are based on an asset / value exchange. They should focus on the trade, and let people decide about spreading the word making it super easy for them to do so. What businesses get back when trading the model is strength, resilience, and endurance.

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