ExOfficio: Content is King — Live from BlogWell

2:10 — Andy Sernovitz introduces ExOfficio’s eCommerce Manager, Kenny Rowe.

2:11 – Kenny talks about his company which specializes in tech apparel.

2:12 – Kenny: We all know there is a big opportunity with social media and it is different.  It’s not a one way conversation.  What content builds this loyalty/reaches customer? Our core customer is sporty and likes the outdoors.  What do we need to put out there to build value and connect with them?

2:12 – Kenny: 4 types of content that connects.

1. Interesting Relevant Links.

2. Corp Culture (who we are – we are unique).

3. Product information and sales messages (deals/promos)

4. Giveaways (people like free stuff but only if it’s good).

2:13 – Kenny: Interesting and relevant links. These links are not always about us (or pushing a marketing agenda). We share links that customers will find valuable.  We use bitly to track links and how things are working in a broader sense; see clicks/tweets/how popular message is. Over enough time, you’ll get an idea of what content is good/bad and dial in on it. Operationally – we use RSS feeds, search, etc to find content.

2:16 – Kenny discuses case study “Sam” on twitter.  How many people he follows and how many people follow him.  Is he reading tweets? Probably (since he has a manageable amount of followers).

2:17 – Kenny: Corporate Culture. Cool culture – we like to share.  Personable – brings a face to our company.  We do trade shows, B2B.  Utilize hashtags.  Charitable giving – we do a lot for our community.  We don’t care about how much we need to give to get x amount. We don’t do that – we just give to our community without regard to marketing value. We don’t do things specificly for ROI – but we do let people know about them.  Halloween – we go all out.  Highest number of interactions from Halloween contest (via facebook pic).

2:20 – Kenny: Products – that’s what we are selling and that’s what people want to know about. People love sales – these messages lead to direct ROI.  Direct connection seen from these messages on Twitter/FB.  Example – Sean – he is a fan on FB.  He clicked on ad – went right to site and purchased.  Direct revenue is seen.  We have twitter feed that is just promo messages.  It continually brings people back to site (and get new customers).

2: 21 – Kenny: Giveaways – these have such a dramatic effect.  Key thing – make it good stuff people actually want (and that’s sellable). Tell us what your language is. What is your routine during/after trip?  How do people use our products?  This builds affinity/builds brand community.  Stats for giveaways – provides massive returns. +300 % return via FB. Increased followers. Gets the product in their hands.

2:23 – Kenny: point of social media is to be relatable, identifiable and personable.  Need a good reason for people to go to FB page.  To do this, develop content for your core customer and ID these people.  Give them content they want.  This leads to long term brand loyalty and affinity.

Q & A

Q: Andy – who is involved/who is the team?

A: Kenny: We have limited resources, but still team effort. E-commerce, web producers and copy editors are involved. We utilize a lot of automated tools.

Q: Linda from Kraft : Is content custom? Or do we get it from other sources?

A: Kenny: Small team.. so we leverage existing content.  Or… use 3rd party sources.  Trade shows/direct partnerships/etc – finding content that’s relevant.

Q: Free Agent – how do you use Twitter? Link to web site?

A: Kenny: The strategies are similar. It needs to be tailored by medium.  Some content coming to site… we have 2 different twitter feeds (one for products and one for sales).  Not so much focus on how often we post – don’t want to over do it.  Twitter is great way for targeted short bits of info like sales.

Q: Rich :  Represent on Twitter as one voice? Or individual?

A: Kenny: No… one voice (not like multiple voices behind Comcast cares).  We do want to be personable so show lots of faces of employees.  Need permission from people (not everyone wants to be on there).  People come and go – so we stick with one brand.

Q: Wunderman: Do you have an anecdote for user generated content?

A: Kenny- Social media is great but still so new.  We have a unique email list that we can rely on and can predict the return. IE. Essays – people write their hearts out.

Q: Dennis from Sportswear : How do you avoid making messages too salesy/discount/coupon oriented (train customers to not just look for deal)?

A: Kenny – Annualize promotions.  Train customer to not just look for promos (though with annual calendar – they know they can look for these at a certain time of year).  Sometimes, we have to do promos to liquidate excess products

Q: Any knowledge sharing within brands under parent company?

A: Kenny: Exist within specific branch – but we do all talk to each other.  Talk back to corporate and share knowledge.  The more diverse the brand, the less interaction.

Q: AT&T : Do you tie in retail analytics to what’s going on online?  How do you assign credit?

A: Kenny:  It’s hard to prove with multiple shopping cycle.  Who gets credit?  More of a marketing credit – don’t need direct ROI – more big picture.  How many touches does it take to get customer to come back?

Q: Expedia: Attribution modeling – how much can you tell if someone comes back much later?

A: Kenny – Hard to track entire life cycle. With cookie could it’s possible. With PPC marketing – use click stream (did they come to the site through organic or paid)?

Q: Andy – What’s your tool box?

A: Kenny – Google reader (browse tons of content and review later), hoot suite, spreadsheets, bitly (which offers pro-service….can customize links).

Q: Penelope from Brooks – Interested in Sam example… not a lot of followers – is that bad?

A: Kenny: You can’t just look at # of followers.

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