I have been spruiking the merits of online publicity and social media to my clients for a while now - it’s inexpensive, fun for staff, engaging for customers - what a great way to spread the word of your brand. However, on the flip-side how are social networks and new media shaping our media consumption online? Laurel Papworth’s blog post, shows how online ads are slowly falling in price when placed within social networks, she states “if you ever wonder why advertising is the lowest revenue when monetizating for social networking it’s this: we are in active mode, not passive. We are in creative mode, not receiving.”
I know from my own experience with media consumption, I’m more likely to respond to/engage with a conversation, or a dialog around a brand, rather than click on an ad and check out a website. When I’m browsing online, chances are I’m refining content for my blog, checking out what my client’s competitors are up to, watching TV and making sure dinner isn’t burning! So for a brand to be part of all this chaos, I need something I can engage with, interact with that will actually steal my attention away from whatever else is going on. A great example of engaging media campaign that have gotten my attention lately was the Sportsgirl blogger campaign.
Now, I feel like I’m always advocating Sportsgirl, but I love how they have embraced digital media, blogger culture and knowledge sharing. This campaign was a follow on from an earlier blogger campaign in which high profile bloggers were asked to style model’s in Sportsgirl clothing and accessories for a an exclusive Sportgirl runway. This second blogger collaboration saw three of the bloggers designing window displays for Sportsgirl’s larger stores in Melbourne and Sydney. The exercise resulted in cross promotion between the bloggers, such as Fashion Hayley, and Sportsgirl, devoted Facebook pages, and Twitter chats where users were encouraged to chose their favourite window designs and comment what they liked about them. What a great way to involve the consumer and integrate contemporary media within an established brand’s marketing mix. Currently, Sportsgirl are launching a retail community - “an attempt to socialise the ecommerce experience by providing customers with a voice.
The creators are hoping the community will be a destination for discussion on fashion, style and culture. Users have interactive tools such as forums, blogs, vlogs, vox pops and polls.” (via www.marketingmag.com.au July 2010). The objective of the retail community is to keep customers online, and to further nurture the B2C relationship. Sportsgirl already have significant representation within social networks and there are many opportunities for users to interact with the each other and the brand. It will be interesting to see whether consumers will want to engage with the brand within the Sportsgirl site (as opposed to / in conjunction with doing so on Twitter and Facebook) and whether this further engagement and interaction will encourage more online sales. In short - have Sportgirl over-done the social aspect of their online strategy?