Perhaps the best presentation at the recent Direct Gardening Association conference was that given by Brad Schwarzenbach of Tippingpoint Labs on Discovering the New Web World and Leveraging It to Better Your Business. One of the many practical points Schwarzenbach made was on how the most effective methods of reaching your audience are shifting.
By way of illustration, he divided the online world into four groups: those that create new content, and those that lead the discussion about it, those that seed the discussion, and those that read it. He described each group as follows:
1) Brand journalists – the small number of people or companies that create new content
2) Digital influencers – bloggers and others who repurpose existing content, add their own point of view, and republish the information. They lead the online discussion.
3) Prosumers – The larger number of consumers who read what digital influencers write, and forward it and/or comment on it. They take already existing information and seed it to a larger distribution.
4) Consumers – The largest group of all, most people simply read what others have written without engaging in the discussion.
Schwarzenbach went on to compare the results of one company’s two campaigns. The first involved a $1,000,000 television campaign to sell a $270 product. It generated 5,642 web visits and 19 sales. With a $52,630 cost per sale, those results are pretty abysmal.
So the company tried a different tack, and gave product to a single digital influencer. That influencer reached 96,000 people, which in turn generated 4,787 web visits and 37 sales. Considering the infinitesimal budget, that’s pretty darn good!
Because traditional media – TV, radio and magazines in particular – are so public, it’s hard to believe that anything so unobtrusive as online content can be effective. But beware – if you don’t at least try new opportunities, you may find yourself in the company of those paying $52,630 per sale.