Content and Community

By David Sauter, CEO

Published: October 1, 2008

Captivating, Content, and Community are as important to interactive marketing as the three R’s are to education. The goal of interactive marketing is to captivate your current and potential customers. The best way to produce a captive customer is get them to want to be captive. The question is how do you get your customers to want to be held captive?

In their recently published book, Get Content Get Customers, Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett explain providing content that makes a purchase decision easy enables a company to build a trusted relationship with current and future customers. This is accomplished with captivating content. Captivating content is “comprehensive and easy to use” according to Pulizzi and Barrett in their recent case study of in Chapter 8 titled Yes, Content Marketing Can Make Welding Cool!. Without captivating content you cannot have captive customers.

How do I motivate customers to stay captive? Captivating content is only part of the equation. Content is a one-way communication tool. You speak and the customer listens. Content is a passive tool. As Jeremiah Owyang a social computing senior analyst at Forrester Research put it in a recent blog post, it is like playing a game of solitaire at a party. Active communication is what motivates customers to continue to come back day after day. Creating conversation is what captivates customers. They want to participate. They want to be heard. Participation is achieved through community.

Communities come in two forms: organic and inorganic. An organic community is a community based either on your product or on what makes your product necessary. These communities spring up naturally in different places such as Facebook or Flickr. Inorganic communities are the ones you create to fill the void by artificially pushing a niche community over the tipping point where one doesn’t exist currently. The beauty is that either type of community is built in a similar way. Larry Weber, author of Marketing to the Social Web, lays out seven steps to building a customer community: 1. Observe and Create a Customer Map, 2. Recruit Community Members, 3. Evaluate Online Conduit, 4. Engage Communities in Conversation, 5. Measure the Community’s involvement, 6. Promote Your Community to the World, and 7. Improve the Community’s Benefits.

The three C’s, Captivating, Content, and Community, are a vitally important addition to your company’s marketing strategy. Today, Envano has services to assist you in all of these areas with a proven portfolio of interactive media success to back it up. Contact us today to learn what interactive media can do for your business.