Thinking Outside Sites: Branding Without Borders


The ever increasing popularity of social media sites YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook  reveal the necessity for brands to  connect with their customers in these arenas. This SearchEngineStrategies New York session will touch on  advanced tips for increasing online brand awareness & brand equity protection in a shaky economy.

  • Moderating the session
    Fionn Downhill, CEO & President, Elixir Interactive
  • Panel Speakers:
    Kevin Cobb, Interactive Brand Manager, EMBARQ
    Tim Kendall, Director of Monetization, Facebook
    Ron Diorio, VP, Product and Community Development,

Fionn Downhill
Introduces the session as a part of the C level track. The session will be about providing support for C-level decision makers who need to move on digital assets.

“Just when marketers thought they had it down, along comes video search, web 2.o, social media & universal search.”

There’s no doubt that as the landscape changes there’s a need to adapt with it.

Kevin Cobb of EMBARQ
Kevin kicks things off with an ice breaker. Something embarrassing about himself – “When I walk I tend to hum.” I don’t find it to be that embarrassing. Maybe that’s because I’m all about the hum and walk myself.

Kevin proclaims to be a passionate social media advocate. I’m right there with ya Kevin. So…How to Build Brand awareness:

Create a presence in an online community where customers and prospects are already engaged. I think YouTube just might be one of those sweet spots.

Interesting YouTube facts:
– 4th largest US site
– 2nd most popular search engine
– 1:4 searches – YouTube

Hundreds of thousands of customers are seeking product info on Youtube. They needed to see what the techies were doing.
– We found that many are looking at technology product reviews
– Technology videos on YouTube prompt conversion!

– 27% of viewers that watched product review videos were more favorable towards the product after doing so. Take the time to test your ads! (Multi Variate testing)

Videos to Address Customer Service Issues
Looking to address the top 10 customer service issues
Online Outreach
– Call centers (Who’s calling? What are they lookin for?)
– We found videos to be a great way to connect with customer on service issues
– Continue to interact/use feedback loop

Objectives synched with brand promise
– Channel objectives:
– Build promise: practical ingenuity
– Brand pillar: customer focus
– Brand personality

Getting the word out
– Integrated online media campaign/communication plan : The 48 seconds contest

The idea: it takes 50 seconds to load a page with dial up. On the other hand it takes 2 seconds with high speed Embarq). The question to users was, what would you do with the extra 48 seconds? Users were encouraged to post the most creative 48 second videos.
– Created incredible buzz for the brand

There’s a simple reason why this type of marketing works, and that’s the difference between one way and two way communication. Give your customers the chance to interact with the brand and you’ll be amazed the trust  and engagement your brand will recieve.

Tim Kendall of Facebook
Building your brand on Facebook

Tim will share the Facebook elements he sees to work from a marketing perspective.

He notes two main elements:
1) Ads
2) Marketing Tools
– Marketing tools are the foundation before you even start thinking about running ads

How consumers have historically found information
– Directory(phone books, local ads, etc)
– search (search engine marketing)
– UGC + social context (social communities)
– Helps individuals discover the world through the lens of your friends.

The Filter Factor
– Massive amounts of content
– Friend’s filter by way of content endorsement

The power of social distribution

Find them before they search:
– 2 groups: demand fulfillment, demand generation (10 x bigger)
– demand fulfillment – Want to by a camera – Search google
– demand generation – Really interested in photography but not ready to buy a digital camera

With Facebook you have the ability to identify a 22 year old female interested in learning to play the piano. The ads are highly targeted and teamed with great ad writing can be a high powered conversion machine.

Free marketing tools amplify your message
– pages – feel more like a profile, users can fan the page and get continuous updates
– events
– applications
– share & connect (across the web)

How do they go about promoting?
– The stream of endorsements among friends is propagated real time.

Ron Diorio of
The Economist fully engages web 2.0. It’s a lifestlyle brand.

The content seeks to inspire rich discussion and is geared to be a highly intellectual community.

The brand extends offline with Meetup.
– Opportunity for fans to meet in real life and discuss and debate key issues, from the magazine

Fan Translation
– Economist is now translating the magazine. They found that a group of fans in China were translating the Economist content while upholding the brand. The instinctual move was to call up the legal department, but instead they entertained the question, what would happen if we sat back and let them translate the content?

– They’ve found that the translations are expanding an untapped fan base as well as sending new subscribers to the publication.

– A similar situation happened when somebody created an Economist Facebook page. The page received over 90,000 fans before being offered back to the Economist brand.

Utilizing the free tools that your users are already engaged in, is a sure shot way to reduce the cost of reaching new customers & users.

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