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Weekly catch up

For anyone who just awoke from years of Netflix hypnosis.

If you like keeping tabs on how much money big companies make:

  • So far this year, Facebook has made about $48 per North American user. Check out this chart for more details.
  • In case you’ve lately been underestimating the virtual stage that brought you the Evolution of Dance and Susan Boyle’s career, YouTube says its Q1 ad revenue increased by 49%. According to Social Media Today, “That’s a huge result, which now puts YouTube on pace to beat digital video rival Netflix in annual earnings.”

If you’re a normal marketer:

  • Search Engine Land updated their comprehensive guide to Google Search Console (GSC). It’s a great article if you’re setting up or getting started with GSC, but it’s also worth a skim if you’ve used GSC for a bit and want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.

Interview with Heather Alter

A brand community starter kit (that even B2B companies can use)

Heather Alter

Heather Alter led her team as they launched their community and grew its membership to about seven times its original size for a current total of 12,560+ members. But Heather doesn’t work for a B2C company (which is what we often picture for community building). Heather works at Gigamon, a B2B network monitoring company. So even if your organization might not seem made for community building…

Here are three steps to get you started.

Capitalize on what your audience values.

We remind you of this repeated concept because we know it isn’t necessarily easy to do. Heather noticed site visitors going to both Gigamon’s pre-sales pages and their support pages. This data and much more led her to conclude, “Prospects are checking out how you’re treating your customers.” Or in other words, “Service is the new marketing.”

Take inventory of what’s already working.

Gigamon originally had an internal support portal for their customers which housed robust knowledge-base content. Their team decided to take that great content, build community features around it, and make it available to anyone who created a community profile.

Their community solution combined something already working for them (robust knowledge-base content) with an audience need (proof of service quality).

Shape an environment for members to communicate with each other.

A community is not a group of people all interacting with the company, that’s what’s happening in many other places (like your site). Your community should give members the ideal environment for interacting with each other. For instance, Heather told us that they encourage other members to answer questions posed in the community, and members can create groups to discuss more specific topics.

When you nail those three steps, benefits start flying around.

What Gigamon gets from having a community:

  • Generating leads and opportunities (last year they generated 70 sales qualified opportunities).
  • Support is easier to handle because their customers often answer each others’ questions.
  • Their brand awareness has grown.
  • They have access to new audience insights.

What members get out of the community:

  • Organized, knowledge-base content
  • Quick support from Gigamon and other customers
  • The ability to vet customer service (for prospects)
  • Insights and networking with industry peers
  • Feeling valued for sharing their solutions and insight

This feels like a win-win-win, right? Your audience wins, your company wins, and you win (because now your company will shower you with praise and money, we hope). So even if community building seems like a less-obvious avenue for your company, don’t ignore its possibilities.

    (Mostly) Wordless wisdom

    Puts a few things into perspective, doesn’t it?

    Google is the new homepage