Digital Marketing Blog
November 9, 2014
So. Now that you have the framework of “The Index“, we can now start moving move into how to apply this thinking when working with digital marketing and PR. Let’s say you want something to grow organically.
Well, if you are to be successful, then you have to have the ability to move between nodes/filter bubbles of The Index. But, you cannot move between nodes within The Index, but you need to move in and out of The Index to make this possible.
Or, in other words, your best Facebook strategy, might be running a blog outside The Index, bring people to your blog through advertising on Google, and then let the users share the content back to the Facebook platform.
Topical vs. personal influence
In order to fully grasp this you have to understand the underlying concept of topical vs. personal influence. Topical influence is what the algorithms decide topical visibility on. This means that if a person likes something, they are more likely to get to see more social objects on that topic.
Same goes for people. If a person is considered influential on another person, they exert a personal influence upon that person, and regardless of topic, that persons posts will be more likely to show up in the feed of people they influence.
Or in other words. If you want to market your brand of Cornflakes to someone who is really into another brand, you will have to reach them through a platform or place where their preference is not taken into account.
I mean, think about it. If Facebook or Google knows that you usually eat Kellogs, then why would they want to show you Quakers? You are less likely to interact with information coming from Quaker since you love Kellogs.
Thus, you have to put your Quaker information on such a thing as a blog, an Instagram account or on an editorial website such as a news website or your own website for that sake, which is not indexed or dependent upon preference.
Once you have understood this. That it is highly unlikely that you reach someone who doesn’t already like you on Facebook, when you, yourself, post on Facebook, it also becomes logical to ask someone else to do it for you. Someone who exerts a personal influence, rather than a topical influence over the person that you would like to reach.
For the sake of things. Let’s call those people or message bearers Gatekeepers. They are the ones who are able to carry your message from one filter bubble to the next.
The above vendiagram was produced as a comment to my post about The Index by Anders Davén. I believe it pretty neatly describes what it is that you have to do in order to reach from one node/community/group into another. You have to identify what Anders and I came to define as the Gatekeepers.
The rest of this blog post will help you with understanding what you need to do in order to navigate both the algorithmic/topically driven as well as the personal/relationship driven influence you need to have in order to gain visibility in the digital space.
There are two types of Gatekeepers of interest:
1. Broad interest – interest broad and active Gatekeepers.
2. Early mover – people who’s interest is defined as being interested in new things
1. Broad interest Gatekeepers
These guys are undefinable by the algorithms as they are connected to many different brands, people and things in the platform they are in. These guys are generalists and highly active. They like just about everything they see. They comment a lot, and have a lot of opinions.
In the 1-9-90 model, these guys are definitive 9’s for many different brands, products and people. In a sense, I am very much a mix between being a 1 in digital marketing, yet I am very much a 9 in all other areas of life.
As these guys are very difficult to define by the algorithm, and they are very active in many peoples digital life, they also become of interest as their visibility crosses many different filter bubbles. Or in other words, they have so many opinions that they are considered having no opinion at all.
This is where you step into action. You can arm these people with your opinion so that they become more interesting in their dialogue in the filter bubbles they are connected to. They become your Gatekeepers and the ones you have to look out to please.
But you cannot please them with whatever content in the world. If your content is going to make any sense being used as a way to make the Gatekeeper more interesting, then they have to be able to use it as a tool to communicate.
Have a look at my 5 C’s of Viral marketing in order to get tips and tricks on how to create such content that they will carry from one node/filter bubble, to another.
2. Early mover Gatekeepers
These guys work sort of similar as the first kind, however, the algorithm has defined them as people who like new and original things. One might suspect that The Index is able to detect them by them being the first ones to post material onto the platform.
In order to get these guys to work for you, you have to be innovative. For example, if you are launching a new product or service, then these are the kind of behaviours you should be looking for in order to get your initial reach.
A good tool to use in order to find them is Ripples on Google plus. You can see where a story started, and you will be surprised of how some people seem to be the origin of most things that eventually reach to you. Would love to be able to do the same visualisation of the social graph on Facebook as I would then be able to tell who I should get into my focus group, beta test group, or who I should limit my invite count to.
The early mover Gatekeepers rock, cause they will see the stuff you haven’t been able to build a network for yet, and thus, as long as you can identify them, you will also be able to use them to channel your ideas to the nodes/filterbubbles they are connected to, and influential in.
Common for all Gatekeepers – Learners
The common trait for all Gatekeepers is that they are all learners.
This means that they are subject to you, teaching them how to use your product. As long as you give them the time that enables them to become experts, they will then use their influence to convert other people they are connected too.
This makes perfect sense and is in line with much of the earlier theory about how to build a community through tribe leaders. However, the new perspective here is that we take the algorithms interpretation of these people into account. These people do not have to be tribal leaders, however, they are tribal connectors. They like to play football, AND Dulce Candy make up videos on YouTube. They like to do drugs, AND are for a sustainable society. etc.
And it is perhaps in this area that the perspective of The Index will be a valuable contribution as it takes our focus from trying hard to connect with tribal leaders, into connecting with tribal connectors, in order to ensure our message is shared between nodes/filter bubbles.
So, what should you do with this newly found information?
1. Well, you should start out creating content that is possible to use for starting conversations. Tailor all of your content so that you can put it into context with a “did you know that…” as put forward in the 5 C’s of viral marketing.
2. Secondly you need to do your social listening with the purpose of finding out who is a Gatekeeper. You need to start studying who, and now how many people click your ads and engage on your posts. You need to collect their user id’s, e-mails and other such assets which enables you to retarget them and test different content towards them.
3. You need to stop thinking of campaigning and start to think of growth. Campaigning is way too risky as you do not know if a Gatekeeper will pick it up and let you in. Rater build on what you have, take small steps and build infrastructure through relationships.
4. You need to have an opinion, and set forth a mission that others can buy into. This mission has to be coherent with the true value of what you are selling. A few “jobs to be done” workshops wouldn’t hurt when developing this content as it will put your focus in the right place.
October 16, 2014
Usability and ease are killing the open web – Adapting to the Filter Bubble – Algorithms vs. Humanity
I held a talk last night at Hyper Island in Singapore. I had been left with a bad feeling in my stomach over what I have been doing to the web the past few years. My job is to figure out how the mechanics of online algorithms and networks work, and then use them, sometimes abuse them, in order to get marketing results for brands.
It sounds horrible when I say it that way, but it is the way it is. By understanding how networks work, human behaviour, and the algorithms that govern these behaviours, I have been able to produce some fantastic results. Modern day marketing. Growth hacking. Viral marketing. It all builds on the same notion. Just as old school creative, emotional advertising hacked the emotions we guide ourselves with.
My presentation yesterday was about algorithms and how they are filtering our worlds based on what we like. The frictionless web, where we enjoy shit so much that we never have to get disappointed. The counter side of this, is that we do not see things that oppose our current world beliefs. We are only fed with things that confirm our own beliefs.
What I didn’t know at the time, was that a person – Eli Pariser (thnx for the tip @infotology) – had thought about the exact same thing, but three years ago. He had given it a nice name. The “filter bubble”.
What Eli predicted, is now coming true
However, he saw the first sign and predicted that this would have an impact. Today, we actually start to see how algorithms are effecting everything from journalism to politics. Real shit, that effects us on a very broad scale.
Question such as, why racism is growing in Europe, why some people don’t believe in the effects of our pollution on global warming, why IS can reach their intended audience, without being detected. The filtered web confirms bad ideas too. And so, if the algorithm sense that you are into something such as racism, it will start showing you more racist content, confirming your idea that the racist thing is the way forward. Thus cultivating your idea, into a strong belief.
And I truly believe that the pleasing algorithms, demoting opposing opinions, is a big part of this.
The worst thing is that main stream media. The old gate keepers of information are starting to adapt to the world of likes, producing their clickbaiting, like hunting information types in the shape of headlining their websites with gossip, entertainment and buzzfeed tilted headlines.
Yes. I have a bit of a foil hat on when I discuss these things, but as a hypothesis, it would be interesting to look deeper into it.
Why usability is killing the web
In a sense. No one dislikes this development.
The technology companies producing the services, get more popular if they adapt their algorithms to show things people like. The people receiving the algo-edited information, likes it more than having to scroll through things that are “irrelevant” to the urge for solving a quick question. I love it, as I can predict how to work with information in order to get into the news feed of a particular person, how to get on someones radar.
No one really has an incentive to change things. We all have an incentive to keep this going. However, my question right now is, do we have a responsibility to do something about it?
September 1, 2014
From the makers of word of mouth, omni-marketing and viral apps, comes the new and evolution sloshing concept of – Everything Marketing!
This new type of marketing says all that all others have said before, but uses the new, and super all inclusive term of Everything to precede the word Marketing. Thus, now marketers do not have to reinvent their business every other year! NO! From now on, marketing is EVERYTHING! Not only this! Meaning the stuff we have. But also all future rebranding of that same thing!
- SEO – yepp!
- Social media marketing – yepp!
- Viral marketing – yepp!
- Omni channel marketing – yepp!
- Content marketing – INCLUDED!!
- All future and other types of marketing – FOR FREE!!
Seriously though… wouldn’t our industry be so much better off if we just sold our shit based on what it actually helps solve, rather than that it is the newest kid on the block?
August 24, 2014
This video was shot in collaboration with Hyper Island in Singapore – Read more about Social lab here
I have been fortunate enough to be able to work in the “real world” a bit these past few months. It has been fun, and it has truly engaged me in the quest of turning the world into a website.
Not in the sense that I want to change the way we interact with each other, find a marquee tag for street lights and make window items clickable. No. I want us as marketers to start considering the methods, tactics and user funnels we use in the “digital world”, as means to drive conversion in the “real world”.
My main point being – the two are merging, and although we do not see the full extension of possibilities with the Internet of things yet, we are on the verge of this kind of evolution. However, we are in the early days, and just as in the early days of the web, user behaviour is still very simplistic and next to analogue. Thus you will have to use the equivalent tactics of the “Space jam 2” era, in order to decrease the friction between the perceptually two different worlds.
Or in other words:
1. Most of the stuff being shared online, happens offline and thus brands should spend their time trying to simplify online activation from the offline world if their goal is to get attention
2. We are in the early days of this, and so our solutions cannot be that fancy. Even though the technology is there, the user behaviour is not and thus we have to simplify shit in order to make it work, instead of making it fancy fancy and expensive.
3. Triggers are more important than coolness. Meaning a dot in the ground saying “Selfie spot” will actually induce more shares to the web, than a colossal blinking pillar with 2000 sqm of LED.
In the somewhat laughable video above, I elaborate on these thoughts.
This video was shot in collaboration with Hyper Island in Singapore – Read more about Social lab here
April 3, 2014
Many have the critics of Facebooks latest changes in post visibility for brands been. But equally many have the defenders turned out to be. The one side says “boohoo, no more free space for advertising”, whilst the other side says “Facebook is not an advertising platform, you will have to do better“. Both sides are missing the point. Most people do not agree with either side.
It is not true that most people want to engage with your brand. It is really not. Most people want to be entertained by a brand. From the 1-9-90 model onwards, all empirical studies have shown that all people have their favorite activity to do in the digital space, and they like to engage with that. This means that a lot of people are engaged – SOMEWHERE – in the digital space. However, this still usually means that they are not engaged in you.
The difference between wanting to be engaged, and liking what you do, are two extremely separate issues. And this is where I am starting to get fed up with the pro-facebook-changes hardliners. Misinterpret me correctly, I LOVE FACEBOOK. It is just that I think they are doing a poor job hiring business developers able to put the money where the company values are.
Cause, why should Facebook be the only one allowed to be lazy?
If they argue that advertising and one way communication is wrong. That content needs to be truly engaging and genuine.. yada yada… then why the heck do they, themselves work on a business model that solely rely on the bullshit they say they are so opposed to? I do not get it. See, this is how it works, Facebookers, and you should know this – If you say something that smells like rotten fish in the connected world, someone will pick up on the scent and stick it too you.
At least advertisers openly admit that they are trying to “build demand” for services they are working for. At least they try to be creative and game the system. But in the case of Facebooks creativity… “let’s expand the ads areas on the right hand side of the feed”… I mean COME OOOON!!!
You have the largest network of connected people in the world, and that’s what comes out of your biz-dev meetings? Or is there a grumpy developer somewhere who is not willing to build what you ask of him or her?
- Collective payments – simplifying group purchases so that the super users of the
- Pay for privacy – the ability to use your platform without you being able to sell data to third parties
- Game spaces – where you use the micro payment structure of gaming to earn money
- Simple workflow/onboarding – for brands to use on their landing pages – the “premium” version of Facebook connect
Those were fore revenue driving ideas that came out of my mind in four and a half minutes. And there are a lot of brighter people than me around.
I have met Facebook representatives in many countries. Most of them have no idea on how to use the platform to build truly engaging content. They know ads formats. “Engagement ads”… I mean… come ON… with all the jibberish about genuinity… what kind of name is that for a banner?? Rarely have I met a representative that understands the meaning of how to use your ads formats in combination with other online products in order to create true value to a company.
And here is where I usually bump into problems with the “Brand-hating-squad”. But I believe their view on the world is way too simplistic and not in tune with the complicated lives most of us live. Most people have real problems and are not concerned whether or not a post in a feed is from a friend or a brand. They solely care if it delights them or not. If it touch their space of emotion that generate a feeling in the gut.
With that said. Most advertisers don’t know how to do this. They remain in the “big idea world”, and try to apply it to the fragmented space of the digital context. Which doesn’t work. There is no longer such a thing as 360. 360 takes a message and brings it too a user. The digital and connected space of “always-on”, requires you to meet every online user individually, and there is simply no way to do that with big-idea-communication.
Instead, you need a platform consisting of persistent values and exchangeable tools through which you can creatively respond to, interact with and build upon the requests from the people you meet online.
Yes, you still need your marketing department. But, you actually need to do work, and not hand it off to agencies. Yes, you should still post information on where to buy the product you are trying to sell, and you are highly recommended to do fun and creative shit. However, you also need to understand the user journeys occasionally touching the outer layer of your brand presence and allow those users in.
Facebook used to support this kind of arena. Increasingly so, they are not anymore.
And of course I am a hypocrite!! I sell services that help companies do this. However, I know that side of my business is out the door soon, and I fight to get companies onboard for the next few years (that are actually right now), but it is tough when too many companies, consultants and advertising professionals talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.
Such as Facebook.
So. Mr. Mark. If you truly believe in what you say. Then why not help change the people trying to make this happen? Why should you be the only one allowed to remain lazy when everyone else needs to change?