For years I’ve been telling clients that one of the best things they can do to build relationships, enhance their brand and drive sales is to establish themselves as the thought leader in their domain and provide to their users information they can’t get elsewhere or, at the very least, is easier to get from them. Now there is research to back up my assertion. A new report published by eMarketer suggests that one of the best ways brands can capture the attention of internet users is by “providing relevant news and analysis” as well as providing “new ideas and thinking”. In other words, being a thought leader.
One of the companies I coached about this and does it well is Envysion. Through their MVaaS blog Matt Steinfort, Rob Hagens and Darren Loher have established themselves as the experts in the Managed Video as a Service space – at least as it applies to the technologies. The only thing they haven’t done well is provide a place for their customers to get additional information that is important to them but that doesn’t necessarily revolve around the technology of managed video. For example, since a lot of Envysion’s customers use the application to facilitate loss prevention Envysion could provide more information about loss prevention on its blog – trends, tips, tricks, etc. This would be a way to get more of Envysion’s current customers to come to the blog further cementing Envysion’s place as an expert/information source.
Additionally, Envysion could take advantage of microblogging to get additional traffic from other sources. Since word-of-mouth was the No. 1 purchase driver according to the surveyed consumers the use of Twitter and Facebook could help Envysion build a base of word-of-mouth referral sources.
One of the results of the study that I found most interesting is the fact that US consumers found social network contacts and bloggers that they read regularly more trustworthy than major journalists, television news readers and radio presenters. This to me is proof positive that the tide has really turned and that business must begin to include social media marketing as part of their overall marketing strategies.