Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Guerrilla Marketing: Online Tactics For Independent Web Publishers

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Want to market, promote and monetize your best quality content and find out which are the effective guerrilla marketing actions that could help you the most? In this seven-minute excellent video presentation recorded last November at the nextMEDIA: Monetizing Digital Media event, Will Pate, shares with you some of the very best content marketing advice you can get around.

Photo credit: Hugo Maes

Now, this may not be Robin Good's best strategy to market yourself and your online content, but it definitely brings together many of the most popular tactics online marketers are using today.

I have quite a few doubts about some of these, but I find it more than useful to study and analyze other people experiences in these directions. What I don't like is the fishiness, the ambiguity, the double standard and eye-to-the-dollar-glaze which somewhat loom behind all of these "get-popular-fast" schemes tend to embody.

My marketing nature is more organic. I wouldn't befriend anyone, I wouldn't befriend someone just because she is very popular and I may indeed loose lots of opportunities. But my marketing school and tradition is based on a more genuine, sincere and altruistic impulse to serve some real goods to others first, with no other second goal in mind.

I also strongly doubt that Dan Ackerman Greenberg is running for shelter for having said what he thought be the best and most effective video viral marketing strategies. I think he has had the greatest business boost in life after that Techcrunch article and that being ethical should not be an attitude to adopt when you market online. Either you ARE ethical, or you won't become so because someone suggested you be so to do better online marketing.

But again, if you are an online independent publisher, or a would-be one, I would definitely recommend you give a good look to this, while taking some relevant notes.

In case you need it, I have added also a full English text transcription to the video, which you can find right below.


Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Online Publishers

by Will Pate

This is not how to buy ads. This is purely about guerrilla marketing for your content.

(a full text transcription of the above video presentation)

Start a Blog

The first piece of advice I'm going to give you is get a blog.

Someone who is a lot smarter than me figured out that "blog" stands for "Best Listings on Google." If you do a Google search and see blogs show up all the time, there's a good reason for that.

Google likes the kind of content blogs make. It is relevant, it is frequent, it is SEO ready, and you also have RSS feeds which help search engines.

So get a blog and start blogging about both your content and content around what you're creating.

Also, offer email newsletters and RSS subscription.

Something I didn't realize until I stumbled upon it, is that a lot of people still want to subscribe to stuff via email. Sometimes in the tech world we tend to get into our own world and think that RSS is the next big thing, but it turns out email is still pretty huge.

Enlist Social Media

The next step is to get accounts everywhere, and when I say "everywhere" I mean everywhere.

This is a short list to start, but if you go further down the rabbit hole you will find that there are 30 competitors and variants of any of these sites.

The list goes on and on.

When you create these accounts, use people names to register, not companies.

I really want to be friends with
George Stroumboulopoulos on Facebook. I don't really care if I'm a friend of The Hour or Tide.

I want to be friends with real people, or at least personas or characters that I'm watching.

That's why lonelygirl15 was so popular. You weren't befriending the production company that made her, you were being a friend of lonelygirl15 herself.

Build Relationships

Make friends. Go out there and add people as friends. Find them, search them out, and accept every friend request you get.

I've got 1,200 Facebook friends. I've probably met 500 of them. The rest are people who have seen my work or watch CommandN. I add them all as friends, and they can see all my wall posts, but its not that big of a deal.

You want to make friends with people who make content like you. So I make friends with people who do technology videos, people who talk about technology - people who are in my space.

Affiliate With Popular Brands

I also make friends with people who are really popular. They may not not be into my subject matter but, like say on Digg I have all the top 100 Digg users as friends - and that's for a reason.

They may talk about automotives, and that may not be my thing, but I want to know what they're talking about so I can support their work.

Then when I come and say "hey I've got something cool" they think "you know what he supported my work, I'm going throw him a favor back." It's really that simple. It's just an easy system of them saying "hey can you Digg this link for me?" - "sure ok no problem."

Next week, you can say "hey I've got a link can you Digg it for me?" and they will respond "yeah no problem it's all good."

That's how a lot of stuff gets popular. If you look at Digg, over half of the content that makes it to the front page is submitted by the top 100 users.

That means a cabal of 100 people, on this super popular site that drives tons of traffic, control a ton of traffic on the Internet. So you want to get to know these people.

You want to have a relationship with them that's not just based on you always coming to them and saying "hey I've got something cool can you pimp it for me?" because then they're just going to say "well get in line because there's a lot of people asking for me to do that."

Study Popular Trends

Study what is popular on those sites and tailor your content. There's two ways to do that:

  1. You can look at what is popular on a site like YouTube just in general.
  2. You can look at what is popular in your categories.

Go across all the sites and see what's showing up as popular content, both across the site and in the sections of stuff you create.

The reason you want to do both is because you'll start to see trends and patterns. One thing I noticed that nobody else caught on to was on Christmas morning.

I logged into YouTube and I looked on the most popular page (most viewed today). It was all stuff from Japan because everyone was opening their presents right now.

So there's an opportunity for a clever marketer to come up with something to access the Japanese market on Christmas morning - when they've got a captive audience.

You will start to see these little trends and these little things happen that say there is some opportunity there.

Publish Lists

There is some stuff that is always popular on the web and always popular on the big sites: lists of 5, 10, 50, or 100 "rules..." or "ways to..." or "tips on..." You know - long lists, short lists, provocative lists, all these kinds of things.

Those are always really popular because let's say you're looking at Digg and you see "Top 10 Reasons To Do Something." I can skim through it, that's pretty quick, maybe I'll get one or two and that's ok.

That drives a click right there, as opposed to "My Personal Essay on Why My Car is So Awesome."

Be Ethical

I'm going to give you a piece of advice, and this is not always the most popular piece of advice that I give people.

Never do anything unethical.

I have friends who have made this mistake. Maybe there are people in the room have made this mistake, and you may have gotten with it once, you may get away with it twice, you may get away with it 10 times.

You will get caught and it will kill your brand - it will ruin your popularity.

This is the reason I say don't do it. There was a post on TechCrunch - which is one of the most popular blogs - last week. The guy was talking about how to make videos go viral online, and it was a series of unethical ways to do it. This created a huge firestorm and now the guy is running for his life - seriously scared because he ruined his personal brand.

People came out of the woodwork to say "you're wrong, this is the wrong way to do it, this is getting it cheap and quick and you could sacrifice your brand." Now this guy's name is going to be synonymous with how to be a douche bag on the Internet.

That is a problem for him because now he has gone from being a student at Stanford, who had a good small business helping people promote videos.

He didn't even do half of that stuff, he was just telling people how to do it, and now his brand is associated with it and this is a big problem.

Use Video Wisely

Lastly I'm going to give you some special tips for video just because it's a little different.

Keep videos short. You can write long blog posts that are 100 lists of whatever, but look at the most popular content on YouTube - its mostly two minutes or less. Look at the most popular content anywhere else - its mostly two minutes or less.

Cut it up, make it short, be vicious with your editing. Just be cruel about it. Cut yourself out, cut your friends out - whatever you have to do to get it short.

Use lower thirds with the URL of your website on the video. If you're putting a video on YouTube, that doesn't have to be where it ends.

You can put lower thirds on YouTube - if you post on other places, you want to drive people back to your website - which ends up becoming your brand.

Give shoutouts to your fans. You're going to get messages from people saying "hey here's a link" or "hey I love your stuff." Give them a quick little shoutout. Put it in the credits, say it in the video, it doesn't matter.

People just want to be acknowledged, although most people are used to television and video being one way. So if you can even make it a little bit two way and make a little bit of a conversation out of it then you're far ahead of everyone else.

Original video by Will Pate on January 11, 2007 for Will Pate's Blog and titled "Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Online Publishers."

Will Pate -
Reference: Will Pate's Blog [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Thursday, January 17 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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