I sometimes work with brand managers that are enthusiastic about digital marketing, but feel a bit overwhelmed in evaluating all the options available to them. Because I learn best by doing, I suggest they commit 10 minutes a day to the 5 steps outlined below. By learning these 5 behaviors common to all aspects of digital marketing, brand managers can think clearly about how to leverage these consumer behaviors to build brands.
Step 1: Join a network. Choose one network in which you will participate. It doesn’t matter which network you choose, you are just trying to learn the behaviors that are common to all networks. If you are already a member of Facebook, LinkedIn or twitter, use that – you have already completed step one. If you are not already a member of any network, choose one your friends or coworkers already use, create a profile there; you can always delete your account later. If you really don’t want to join a network, subscribe to an RSS feed.
Step 2: Find interesting content. In the network you have chosen, or on a search engine, do a search on a topic that interests you: sports, movies, books, entertaining, cooking, whatever. You will find content in all different sorts of formats: blogs, videos, reviews, web pages within large portals, small web sites.
Step 3: Commit to doing this 10 min. each day. No more, no less. Over time, you will find more and more content sources about the topic you chose. You will learn whose opinions are reliable, which sources are the ones you value. Make notes out your favorite sites. If you want to keep digital notes, I recommend Evernote.
Step 4: Follow the links. When you read something interesting, click on all the links within the article or post. Or the site may recommend other content to you: try it out (but stick to your ten minute limit!). This may lead you to another content source from which to learn.
Step 5: Share. When you read or see something interesting, entertaining, or intriguing, share it with others. If you joined a social network, you can use a status update to share the content. If not, you can just send a link to someone in an email.
It is been said that the Internet is no longer a network of websites, but has become a network of people. By recognizing the digital behaviors of our consumers, we can create a digital brand presence that is compelling and engaging, and a welcomed member of the consumer’s own network.