A New Definition of Marketing (with Brendan Gahan)


Smart PR for Artists & Entrepreneurs


Lesson Info

A New Definition of Marketing (with Brendan Gahan)

So brendan you our director of marketing at director of social media mechanism which is probably one of the best it's a it's a viral media agency work full service agency now but we started out as, uh kind of best known for early kind of viral social media branded content the guys started the company basically founded on the idea that the thirty second tv spot was going to die so um the first you know, early successes were all web films and we've kind of built it from there and really carved out our niche early on is is kind of the social media and marketing agency so your social media marketing agency they you did a super bowl commercial this year so I think brennan I share uh on approach in a philosophy about marketing so I'm going to sort of go through some stuff I'm gonna ask you guys a bunch of questions and then he'll be here as a resource you sort of kick back and uh we'll just talk about this stuff so I want to I want to redefine what marketing is and I guess first let's sort o...

f maybe we collected what do you guys how do you define market? What is marketing to you guys? Well, they grab a mike sorry ivan under undergraduate degree in marketing, you know, and I hear that man I still think about the classic for peace product price promotion in place that's one thing that still resonates stays in my mind from that marketing one o one class. I don't know how to use those four things, right? But that's what I think about how about how about you guys? S o I first think of it as identifying who my potential customer is right? Because knowing who you want to target, I think, is the best strategy to marketing and then figuring in outlets in which they read, they said they they absorb and then figuring out, you know, what they do and how they do it, right? Sure, I I guess along the same lines it's ah, you know, how do you talk with your customers about, um, what your product is and why would be why it solves a problem for them? So I think the big mistake that a lot of people make is they think marketing is it's like it's advertising and publicity. I think anything could be marketing if you do it right. Anything that gets attention that tell that communicates directly to your customer is marketing. So and you've got to think about what is best for you and your business, so, uh, for someone it's, it's, it's, being on television and for someone else it's calling the one hundred people that matter in your space and just being friends with them one of my one of my clients is is tim ferriss who wrote the four hour work week before about in the for our chef and I love what he did with his first book launch which wass um he took all the money that he was going to spend promoting the book and he just flew around for a year toe every tech conference and he has met all the people who who mattered in his space and became friends with them and then they all independently wrote about his book the day that it came out and that's marking flying around, going to conferences and meeting new people is marketing just as much as buying ads is marketing just a cz muchas is hiring a publicist is marketing so in other words anything and everything is marketing and some forms of marketing are cheaper and more efficient than others like door to door by door to door salesman is a marketer right he's knocking on the door and telling someone about the product and that's how products were sold for hundreds of years and it was on ly with the invention of mass media that it became cheaper to reach people and tell them about a product through an advertising but at the end of the day all we're doing is telling someone about a thing and you've got to figure out what form or way it makes the most sense for you to do that um and so and brendan, maybe we could talk a little bit about what an attention economy is, but um disher does your name, but so uh what? What I've what I've realized is that on the internet, everything that's sort of all equalized you're ever everyone has equal access to every single little thing and cooking one link is justus good is clicking another so that the finite the valuable resource there is attention people's attention, we have very limited attention, spence attention is the currency that, uh, that everyone covets. So I like this quote from seth cohen attention is a bit like real estate that they're not making any more of it and unlike real estate, though, it keeps going up in value, so we we only have so much time. Our time is our most valuable resource in all every one of your products is competing against you don't think that you're in the same space, but you are because you're all competing for my attention and his attention and everyone's attention. And as I like to say on the internet, you're also competing against pornography because that's a click away one of my one of my favorite things aside is going through all your videos when you were submitting and these were the other things that were showing up on youtube that I could also watch, and I have to be honest, they were more interesting linear videos and that's what you that's that's why I'm saying controversy matters that's why doing crazy things matters and engaging in stunts matter because you're competing against fainting goats and cute puppy videos and all these other things that are equally clickable? Um, it's not like it's it's crazy when you think about it's almost it's really scary and intimidating, but there's, if you if you lose people's attention for a second now you've got a fight to get it back again. And so you you want to make sure that in this attention economy, you are doing things that capture and are deserving of attention. Yeah, one thing to kind of add on that, like, I feel like whatever you do, it's almost like, how can you get people? Um, and ideally with people with influence invested in your success somehow and like, fundamentally, like whatever you're doing, you want to create this, you want to make people feel like they're in on the ground floor floor of something really special and unique, and I think, that's one thing that julie was does so well is people feel like they're part of like this community and culture that is very unique to them and ryan I think some of the mission in your book but also is like the attention that we want are we actually ready for that fortune when it comes yeah so it's on and this is great so you get some attention you get a block post they go to your website your website doesn't capture their attention and now you've lost it and it's like you've got a hole in your boat and you want to make sure that what you're doing is that you've got your own house in order before you go out and try to compete in this very vicious fight because that that fight is expensive and costly and difficult um so what do you guys do to get people's attention how do you how do you break so I've come to you I'm a brand and I say uh I want to make a video that people see what do you do? Well, I mean the processes and I think I heard people talking about this earlier it's like you don't want to start with let's create a video it's taking a step back like what's your ultimate goal and typically that starts with the brief and then we'll be back out of that and make recommendations I mean oftentimes it's a video in this space you know stealing with big brands it's less of a sales focus more general like buzz and awareness and coverage um but typically what will do you no like using the video as an example if that's appropriate you know we'll zero in on you know, what's going to resonate with this target you create content in this story um our narrative around that and then take a really close look at you know where these people spending their time and more and more it is, you know, logs and you know, social media sites, et cetera and then will back out and we'll see you know, we'll create a list you know, like which which sites are important to these guys um and then, um, you know, as we're creating this content kind of in parallel to that we'll actually be cultivating relationships with the people that are relevant and in doing that we really try and get these people in on the ground floor and invested in the success of our campaign and that can take the form of you know that we can do that in any number of ways, you know, maybe it's, you know, exclusive experiences behind the scenes access on dit doesn't necessarily have to be anything big, but I think creating something that's compelling and unique to them is ultimately really important because then they feel like they're providing value to their readers or their audience and then, you know, once we feel like we've got enough of ah, you know network of blog's or influencers in on the ground floor we basically you know released this content in parallel with our are paid strategies and I think what happens and I think we'll talk about this a bit more tomorrow is you really want to create almost like this this echo chamber where wherever your target is you know those five sites they go to every day you know they're seeing it you know you're content or your story immediate launch immediately it launched and it creates this appearance of this thing is just huge and then it gets them talking and the story can just kind of snowballed from there and you khun ladder it up into bigger and bigger audiences and blog's so we talked about this in the intro which was this this new idea that the old media they had more material than they knew what to do with and now the media desperately needs material and if you make things that don't want to talk about you so I think that's really I think we could drill down for a second into the economics of how media works because it gives you a sense of what the opportunities are so I call this the block con um but this is this is sort of how this cycle works so something happens reporters popularized it so blog's create a story reporters popularize it so now they're both writing about this thing that I say the public loses its a graphic from the book, but basically now the public has been given this information and then blog's need more traffic and now they have tio that the right about this story again. So it's this sort of this loop that's going really, really fast, so it starts online, it expands that they're both getting paid jews and now they want more on dh they've got they've got add over and over again. So every decision that the media, right, that every decision that whether it's, a youtube blogger on influential twitter person someone with a lot of facebook fans or a blotter it's will this then get traffic? Will my readers enjoy this? And you think about that when you're producing content? Yeah, definitely going back to kind of looking at where your audience spends time and taking this into account you will always want to look at like, what are those almost like credibility indicators that make content make it appears if it's maybe more valuable than all the other content because, you know blawg, you know, big log like mashable, they're cranking out what twenty five, fifty articles a day are going to stand out, so, you know, you want a reverse engineer like, all right? So I'm I'm one piece of content and this just you know, pile of other stuff what can we do to make it be perceived is more valuable and one thing that we really try and do is almost like look att leaderboards within a lot of these sites so like um it's really interesting there's you know, going back to traffic there's there's all these indicators of what's popular and therefore more valuable you know and you'll see on sites like most read most popular trending you know twitter is trending topics all these indicators in a lot of these you can reverse engineer more or less like I t go to that so I had a client he got written about by business insider last week and hey has a bunch of twitter followers and so what he did he said he put out a tweet and he said, will you? He asked his readers to email the reporter to thank him for writing about him and you I don't know if you know what it's like to be a blogger but you don't get many thank you's from readers for writing this great post and so that sends a message to that reporter it's like some positive reinforcement like when I write about this guy good things happen and there's other ways to provoke that same reaction whether it's you know you you send your readers to it you you send out an email blast about you wanted when you were when they write about you you want to reward that in some form or fashion and traffic is the metric that matters the most to get that traffic waiting to put up a slat I think it's a previous lives before this one the chat rooms really explode with dialogue they want to know no maura about this right here is the castle for youto kind of walk through each of these in detail force maybe provides them some examples yeah um well here let's let's go forward and then we'll go backwards so like here's a great example so this's mike michael arrington is the founder of techcrunch it's one of these things that I'm sure he regrets having said but it encapsulates his attitude in the attitude of so many bloggers which is getting it right is expensive getting it cheap is first and so bloggers have this relationship with the truth that is not what we would expect with uh you know woodward and bernstein and the reporters of old which is they just want to get stuff up that does well yeah if it's true or not it's sort of like an extra bonus so like you guys brendan's team to this amazing video a few years ago for a movie you did rise of the planet of the apes and you did this video and it's ah it's ah chimp picking up in a forty seven and it's shooting it's crazy we should maybe we should watch it, but, um, that video first got a ton of attention because people thought it was really right, and so you go to this, right? Blog's decide this thing is really because saying that it's really is their first impression, and they don't bother to actually, like, see if this is possible or where the video came from or if you guys remember that video where, like the eagle swoops down and picks up a baby. Oh, sure, it's true, I can't believe it just happened. Lava block well, yeah, and even if, if you know, it's it's, great it's even better if a lot of people take opposing sides because it creates a dialogue, and then, you know, you've got this huge, threatened other people compared to you, I feel compelled to just dog pile onto it. And, you know, I think you're great at this is like that little bit of controversies is awesome for sparking more so the way that cycle would work with one of those videos is you put you make it, you give it to blog's, they put their stamp on, they say, oh, check out this stunning really video, and then the morning shows, pick it up, and they're like, check out this video that everyone on the internet is talking about because that's where they get their material now they've both gotten this story that's gotten a ton of aton of use the videos and millions of views the public is inform to misinform whatever you want to say on dh now they need more traffic so now they start to think about okay, we got it first now maybe we try to get it right where did this video come from? And now they get to stories where they should have probably got zero stories on dh that's sort of how this cycle works and and I want to show you how it works because it matters culturally, but then you also can start to see I'm not saying you go out and make a fake video tomorrow, but you see that they just want to post up that's interesting and entertains people and so everything that every decision they're making is will this get traffic? Does this entertain our readers? Is going to get comments is going to get facebook likes? Is it going to be shared? And if it's not that they don't want to write about it? And so people think it's like, oh, you should write about my thing because, you know, I'm like helping starving children in africa that's not a good enough reason if you're a blogger because the fact that you're helping children while great might be born into people and you want to find out what it is about your message that's going to help them accomplish what they're trying to accomplish quick question for you and I ask this question solely based on reading your book, and we'll talk about that initial entry point into getting to that blogger, blogger and something commission in your book. What I found interesting is that sometimes people create some fictitious email accounts to reach them initially, it was not me. Hey, I was on my side, but I'm not going to e mail you have someone else do it is other ways to go about that, right? So you guys make this a k forty seven video, you didn't send it to media outlets and say, hey, we're mechanism of social media agency passing you this video about chimp, and then we're hoping they're so stupid that you're gonna think it's really? Yeah, we were in a unique position, I'm so we work with big brands, we have to be a little bit careful way, but what we did was kind of going back to giving people invested actually brought a lot of bloggers and popular youtube to fox studios, and we just kind of give him like you know insight and behind the scenes of you know, like the upcoming film and this was before it was it was a few months down the line and then we kind of talked about the marketing campaign that was, you know, coming out and so they were in on the ground for they had like these awesome experiences they were super pumped up and then as content was rolled out we kind of just you know, piecemeal like gave it to him and said, you know, like we think this is awesome for your audience you know, they were super pumped on their experience and they were like, happy to like, pump this up right? So that was kind of like launchpad more or less and you know, it was nice we had, you know, some you know, small paid support for that as well and I'm not saying you have to have that then I think the people drove the majority of the conversation but kind of having that groundswell of people early on just created like, you know, all this conversation and from this little pocket of bloggers it just took off and it snowballed and like today it's like the eighteenth most shared viral out of all time, which is pretty awesome and you know it it went through that whole cycle because it went from you know, these small influencers to larger blog's you know, like a lot of the viral video blog's to news side to ended up on the sun and then from there went on tio news programs and he actually found a video on youtube of ah newscaster in india talking so went through that whole loop and and, uh it's pretty it's pretty fun tow tow follow that process yeah, and so it's like if pacey you decide to do this this you're going to start delivering meals to a homeless shelter. I don't know if you put out a press release announcing that your company is doing this so much as you send an email that says hey did yu to a reporter a local blogger hey, did you hear that it's uber food? Did you hear that what uber food is doing here are some details or I think it's really cool that over food is doing this you should check it out and then it's it's just more of a soft sell than a direct cell because if you're saying it now it's clear that it's purely for marketing purposes and you sort of got this headwind of art this person's just promoting themselves rather than this is something that is genuinely interesting you're saying that's something that you would have someone else email or like have my friend email or I would just register a fake email address and do it yourself yeah, I had kind of the same question it's like you want to create start creating these relationships and I've really come up against ok so here I can get this list of bloggers that are kind of in the space that I want to be in how doe eye and that they don't know me from adam but why initially start that without just being like, hey, I have this product I want to sell you know um you could build relations were going to talk about relationships to and how to kill them but you're a nice person who does interest in things you're not what joey was saying that douchebag in the bar that no one wants to deal with and as long as you don't imitate them there's already grounds for unauthentic real relationship um and so like, this is why I to go back to what I was saying earlier you should be reading and participating on all these sites in your space that matter so perhaps the first time that you interact your product doesn't come up at all um you're just talking about something that matters to your industry and then later you can pull up that email thread and say, hey, you know, I don't know if you remember me but we talked to months ago about this other thing we're launching a new product would you want to check it out? I think that those kind of authentic relationships are really important and into your point it's a deal if you aren't reaching out to them the first time asking for something on dh sometimes it's difficult and you know if you are you know I've had the best success and being kind of a little bit more transparent and real person you know like hey, can I have on the phone I've got this cool thing like and really try and take it a little bit more personal than just like a you know, an email like hey, I got the school thing can you do block post about it but you know ideally you've met them you know, maybe year so beforehand like tim is the best thing that you mentioned on dh ideally you are genuine friends I mean, I love so many of these people that we work with like, you know, I've been to their weddings and like on parting with them and like all these things and, you know, mixing the two you can have this authentic relationship but also haven't be mutually beneficial. So like for with my with my book company, I regularly suggest or recommend authors who I don't represent to these clients are teo media outlets I say hey, I met so and so in a party you should have her on your show and so when I do pitch one of my clients they know ryan as the guy who connects them too good guests and they know that when I give a suggestion that person performs on their show and like sometimes I have a paid relationship with that person and sometimes I don't but I'm I'm bringing value to them because at the end of the day they want traffic they want viewers and if I am sharing links or contacts or relationships with them that are that are doing that they're going to trust me when I come to them with someone that's an unknown and says this person is worth having on the show and there's this sort of karmic debt there where they they only a little bit because I helped them out no go ahead if you ever and I think it's interesting because as people who are trying to you know grow our business is we think that the media and bloggers are somewhat better or higher than us but you forget to do it just people who also want to build relationships that are based on truth and honesty and to your point about the chant bloggers or people you know, even just making comments on their articles that really helps it's a production you know and making interesting comments that differentiate who you are against the thousand of people who are making comments but my question is actually about content okay? You know, I'm sure you create expensive content it's expensive to work with you, right? I mean with mechanism yeah we're not transit for sure reading content that is differentiating your clients which will guarantee them audience an audience right way definitely worked with big brands I think it's worth noting though that and definitely do not believe you have to spend a lot of money to be successful I mean, you know, a lot of the bloggers air you two brews up, we work with their essentially you know they're with their web cam in front of their laptop and it's their personality that is is making their content travel so while you know we're in a unique position where we you know ah fortune five hundred brand has to have a certain like level of quality but I do understand the other side of things where it's the personalities can really drive a business and really like um you know, some of these people you know, with relatively inexpensive equipment can just fit like huge audience that's very foreign few in between, right? I mean it's really it's challenging to create content that's good and interesting and differentiates your brand right? I mean it's it's hard given example so american apparel are our most viewed youtube video of all time and we don't spend that kind of money that their fortune five hundred clients you but our most successful youtube video ever was a tutorial on how to put your drawstring in fact in your hooded sweatshirt and we spent money doing all sorts of other photo shoots and other related things but it's this one that says like how to put the drawstring back in your hoody that gets the most views and who knows if that sold hoodies but it provided value to our pre existing customers it provided value to people who are not our customers at it was just a cool thing to do and that's a positive brand interaction in a way that some high produced expensive siege I heavy video I wouldn't be able to replicate so I don't know if it I would say I wonder so something like this chimp video which is that one of the most viewed ads of all time probably pales in comparison budget wise to a lot of other stuff that you've done right. So it's it's just because it's expensive to produce doesn't mean that it's going to do well like I've talked to people who do huge ad campaigns for companies and like the pub, I know the publishers like putting fake comments or fake submissions on there just so the company doesn't think that nobody read it because it was boring, it was well produced and well made but boring so we're hoping to get a couple questions from online yeah, actually this one fits in a little bit so cold water steve says please expand on credibility indicators and reference to content and if you can give examples I think that was your phrase so what do you mean yeah I mean so credibility indicators I mean, uh I think one of the things that I'm really adamant about it is almost like the's leaderboards and stuff these indicators of popularity and I mean like literally khun b simple is um you know it could be uh you know, the most popular article within a blogged and and that could be if you have a small blawg I mean maybe let me take a step back I got a good example so people don't know this but uh anyone can write for forbes dot com yeah that's a great forbes dot com is exactly the same block model and compensation model as the huffington post but where would you rather have your company's written about forbes we're having in post um so there are all sorts of media outlets that spent, you know, forms one hundred year old media brand that in the last two years decided hey, anyone can write for forbes so those people are not you know, the intimidating grizzled forbes veterans they are some guy who writes a block for forbes that usually one hundred people read his articles if you the director of marketing of witchcraft says hey I want to give you a tour of how you know like we run our business or I want to show you like what a witchcraft buildout looks like or I want to show you about uh you know the social media secrets of witchcraft that's a that's a gift to a guy like that that he doesn't normal that doesn't normally fall in his lap and what you're getting out of it is and I've written for forbes and I would publish these articles literally about anything that I wanted with no editor I just hit publish and they will go live and I would see people on twitter being like oh did you see this article it was in forbes and it's like no there's a big difference between being in forbes and on force dot com but there's a big difference between perception reality and you look for what brendan's team does his looks for differences in that it looks for disparities between perception and reality so if the most commented article of the day that seems like some difficult accomplishment well maybe it only takes thirty comments in twenty four hours to make the most commented article of the day well that's not that hard teo fake let's say do or dio your fans to do for you to make some contests or whatever totally and now when now this guy now you sent a message to everyone at forbes when we write about witchcraft it makes the most it's a popular it's a success and you think you want to think about it and this is that was I think, the stroke of empathy near part to think these bloggers are just normal people and they have a difficult if not shitty job like I like this quote because um it's sort of explains the pressure that these blog's air in they took a few million dollars in venture capital funding and they have to show traffic growth every month and they are under the gun to produce things and you have things that they can write about that are interesting if you can figure out what their needs are and contort yourself to meet those needs you were going to be successful there going to be successful and you're both going to be appreciative of each other a couple questions more from the online I'll take it uh so greg d he has a question for you uh does does he so does brendan run these campaigns in tandem with ceo with ceo or does he class that is a separate process? Um you know, we don't really get too involved in the ceo I mean, we understand the basics and the fundamentals, but I would say like, we're really more about you know, this is a blanket seven, but for the most part we're all about, you know, within social media, big viral campaigns, we try and come out make a big splash, in which case seo doesn't really benefit us um, cents for surgeon an optimization. So you're optimizing the results that air there, what I do and what brendan does and what I think everyone in this room and hopefully the audience is probably in the position uh or in terms of their priorities, it's creating those media hits optimized them later, I think people get people try to do those things at the same time for some reason or they think like, oh, the top ten gurza ls that really matter? Blah, blah, blah I think the best the best ceo you can do is to create compelling new things that are happening all the time don't don't sit there and think about how do you how do you make the number ten result be the number four result? Just do something new that's going that's going to be the number three result and push them all down? Yeah, I mean, if you make a big splash, we're goingto make an impact on the search results. Yeah, right, it's impossible since we do have the studio audience here and all these guys are running their businesses and I just love where would I just like saying that out loud, yeah, rare wood but but is it possible like maybe do okay study with some of them and find out if any of them do have ad budgets or what type of marketing they're doing right now let's do it it's like someone and lock through what they're doing ah so I guess what specifically so tell us what you're doing what's going on with you and then let's weaken talk sort of about your marketing efforts and and how how what you're doing and what you should be doing fits into this new way of looking at things sure so I run a pantyhose or a really interesting ah pieces from you know I've sourced everywhere have gone to paris and london and found the most creative and interesting pantyhose available that's most notley not sold in the u s okay so I bring in to clients who are interested on dh my tagline is never wear pants again right kind of get your attention and I had to mail marketing that says you know two men of market to men as much as I do to women because men can buy the subscription for women and I had an email marketing campaign I went out last week that was pretty successful but I thought it would be much more successful and it was she looks better without pants right right I like it so people opened it but I'm having a challenging time than having people then go and buy right so your stuff's not converting its not converting its not converting his highs I would think you would convert I wonder if like so to me she looks better without pants that's more attractive as a blogger headline that has an email subject like that I click it I look at this photo and then what's my call the action right? So I'm wondering if part of your problem may be that you're thinking they're they're sort of your conversion based marketing and then you're sort of media public relations kind of marketing and you want to that's going so a great example so with american apparently made these controversial ads they get lots of clicks but they don't always convert the provocative ones so we're we differentiate between those sort of branded interesting kinds and then the kinds that are designed to make people buy things and email is about making people buy things where as that might be that might have been a great story to pitch to a beady a contact and say like look here's here's ten photos of a girl wearing pants and then a girl wearing hosiery which one do you think she looks better in and now that's either something they could just use yours things or they can recreate that and do it themselves or maybe that's a great video I mean to me that seems like that would be a video that I would click on yeah well that's that's a challenge that I face is the content I feel like I could create you know I did these youtube siri's and they're doing okay but creating content that goes viral is very specific yeah well I mean so the beauty and fashion category within youtube is huge and actually a few you know of the top youtubers have since expanded especially within the fashion beauty category have actually started the room beauty businesses I mean like michelle fan who's like twenty for like twenty fourth twenty fifth most subscribed actually started up a subscription beauty company based on the success of her youtube channel it seems like there's definitely a big opportunity I wonder if in terms of like kind of getting that initial traction you might want to collaborate with some of the other people out there in the fashion category because then you know you know maybe you come to the table and say hey like I've got this cool experience or I've got this awesome product um why don't we do a video together I'll give you all this access you point your audience to mind I grow you get this cool experience and it's mutually beneficial and that'll kind of get the ball rolling I've seen a lot of success with that I mean youtube collaborations is huge I mean we were actually just talking about this offstage with he's doing the book about uh fitness and it was well, he wants to do some case studies and so the originally the thinking was like, okay let's find someone and then we'll do like before and after pictures well that's great and it'll work and it'll convince some people but the trouble will be how do we get people to see this case study and then what I realize is we should do it with someone who has a platform or an audience on dso we're going to find a popular person on youtube and that person is going to they're going to be the case study so there's a guaranteed audience for those before and after pictures and that person is going to be incentivized to participate in it because there's going to be affiliate revenue he's going to be like promoting the book it's going to be beneficial for him? I think that could be something to think about so how can how can you and you said that's, how can you make it in people's interest to share your messages and media? And one of the best ways is just too make feature them in the thing because they're going to be more likely tio to spread it and that's a good point touching on the affiliate deals and this isn't my expertise but because I worked with some of these personalities I'm very aware of it within the youtube community philly deals are huge so it might be just bring that to the table with them and see how it works out the possible go through another steel you know we'll find out what marking your doing and money you're spending if it's for sure so you kind of touched on this before joey did before you know, I learned a lot from mistakes, but with press it's not an intimidation factor it's, but it's a little bit of we'll throw some newsworthy item over the fence and I don't get that feedback loop other than maybe the timing's not right if a story doesn't get picked up or if a blogger doesn't pick something up, we think we're doing something super interesting. We're launching eleven new sandwiches were you launching re utilizing ingredients that fine dining restaurants are using that you can now get it and added an accessible price point? So from our side of the fence, we think we're doing something newsworthy interesting different on dh we'll throw it over the fence and maybe two places pick it up and frankly, those tend to be places that have covered us in the past, so we're forming the relationships were doing a lot of the tactics that we've spoken about today, but then it sort of ah black hole of sometimes black box yeah, just you don't know if it's going to get picked up or not and in the majority of cases you know, it's food is a really crowded space now, which is great because you've got a lot of people talking about it, right? So how can I learn the reasons why people might not be picking yeah, so we're gonna go through some case studies tomorrow, but this this is a problem that I have to and and I know exactly what I'm talking about and you probably done this to the videos that you think they're going to blow up the campaigns you think they're going to be huge, they do okay and then it's the one that comes out of left field that it blows up and you didn't expect to be here so there's a certain amount of unpredictability there, and if you'd done that same thing two days later, maybe it would have been successful like because you you don't control what else is happening. Um, you know, your book comes out and some major news story breaks the same day, you're just not gonna have the same traction you would if if nothing was happening, it was a slow news day, so in terms of fail and I think you just have you have to have a talent you have to know, look, look, it doesn't always work, sometimes you could have, you could have everything go and itjust doesn't catch fire the way that you want so that's part of it but you can when you develop these person relationship you can ask like I I try to take bloggers and reporters out a lot and I just talked to them about I I try to understand how they think about the world and what problems they have and um they hate their boss what their boss wants from them the kind of stories they hate right and try to get a sense of what their needs are so that when I pitched them every time I'm getting closer and closer to meeting those needs and you just there I don't know if there's any substitute but like just living and breathing this stuff um and developing those personal relationships you could really learn but I mean, do you have anything to add there? I guess I have a question when you when you talk about throwing over the fence, what specifically does that mean in terms of like your execution? Sure, so rude it'll be either a press release in some cases it'll be a personal email and other cases and logs are more likely to respond to us sort of the individual writer but what we're doing we think is big enough in some cases to get picked up by the new york times or by various food publications and in those cases I'm sure they're being thrown one hundred stories a day all right, so it would be beneficial for me to learn things that are within my control that I could improve right so to your point if some new story is happening outside of my control I can't do anything about that but why didn't the forty you know, food publications that I really wanted to pick up about our story because I think it's pretty interesting stuff why didn't they I like to go multiple times to the same person too so it's not just uh hey here's this pitch take it or leave it it's you pitch all these people and um some of them pick it up in some of them don't go back to the people who didn't with the people who did and say hey, I don't know I just wanted to follow up I don't know if you saw the eater and then I forgot to tell you blah blah blah and then the second or the third time you do that that person is going to be more likely to tell you why if they just open the email it didn't jump out of them they didn't see why they should write about it they didn't want to be the first person now you have gone back a second time like I'm I did a book launch in november and I pitched a very prestigious media outlet they agreed to do a guest post for one of my clients our guest article on editorial and I just got an email when I was backstage it's running tomorrow um end it's because I followed up with their like, literally like fifty times um and you've got you've got to be a bit shameless about that it's like hey look, I just wanted to see is there anything else I could do for you like did I do something wrong? Ask them like most people just throw shit at them and expect it to work and it doesn't and then they go like out, well, they didn't they weren't interested, maybe they didn't maybe they've got two hundred emails that day and they didn't see yours or they meant to respond, but they couldn't and if you could make those multiple points of contact, you can email multiple people at the same place don't don't give up and I think you'll get the feedback that you want, right have a quick question as I hear them, I want you to another student something tell a bit more about the company they're working on, so they get great international you guys but as they're talking, I'm looking at the cover of your book. Yeah in the subtitle is confessions of a media manipulator and I'm curious as I hear about some of the campaigns are executing me reaching out to top logs and top publications if they're following the rules too much if you think about credibility like yeah me my company telling you reduce on the cool was one thing right if this other person does it is different and I have to confess I'm a business shows I ran out of business articles nine times out of ten when I get a press release that can't they write about those companies? But if someone else recommends a company check them out oh who are they? Are they following the rules too much yeah, that could be it I think another thing that you probably ask yourself is like what's in it for me to write about this person why should I got one hundred pitches? Why should I write about your pitch versus these other ninety nine? And I'm not saying you you know you include like some cash in your email or whatever right like here receive this gift cards you know, but you khun you can um so ok, I'll give you some so I'm pitching I'm pitching one client and I'm trying to say why they should have him I'm saying, hey, you know, so and so has a book coming out I think it's interesting maybe you haven't heard of him, but he's he's he's got a deed orvis underground following on more than five hundred thousand facebook fans, his fans they're super passionate I think they love to see you do an article about this why am I saying that? Because I'm trying to hint to that blogger that if they write about this client we will posted in front of those five hundred thousand facebook fans and that's really good for them and I'm not saying hey, quid pro quo, but I'm hinting that there's that reciprocal relationship there and so that's probably a big no no in terms of like typical pr, but I know what their needs are there needs air traffic, their needs are, uh, exciting headline their needs are they've got to put a photo there they wanted to a slide show I provide and I try to meet those needs andi, I don't care about uh I don't care about appearances, I care about giving them what they need and giving them everything we need with a nice big bowl on top here I'm hearing you say and I think in your book and I took offense to this but it's okay, but the truth is many journalists are lazy there many times when journalists received a press release cutting paste and post it. So you're saying make it as easy is it possible for that journalist or publication, right? We're all lazy and so uh pitching them one time is saying, like, look ball's in your court following up a million times says like, I'm not giving up on this I'm gonna help you with this story and we're going to get it out there and I know that you want to publish but maybe you're just busy today so I'm gonna keep popping it up on your radar because maybe one maybe they have to do ten post today they already wrote their ten when you pitch them but three days later they've got a quota to fill and there's your thing and a couple other things you might want to try and do is like, you know, if you're doing forty pitches and a press release might be worth kind of making sure maybe it's wiggling that list down and making each pitch really, really personal and one thing that I trying tio you know, if I'm pitching somebody's is talk about other content that they've already posted about which is relevant so like, hey, I saw you talked about this because of that I think this is relevant so you really you draw that connection for them I think that's great and then you know another thing you might want to try and do is like, you know, vary it out maybe when they a pigeon like an experience, another time it's like some exclusive content, you know, more than just like this is my release and what I want to go out there but um, you know, vary it up a little bit and when you find someone who who is receptive to your stuff go to them again and again and again like I helped one walker out with like that a tour of the facility that they got a bunch of photos out and they were like, hey, this is great, I really appreciate it I said, well, if you want more here's three other buildings that we could do this for and they're like, oh my god, thank you because I'm helping them as much as they're helping me on dh so some people are just maybe they hate your company or that he writing about that kind of summer, whatever don't don't keep going to them go to the people who have expressed interest and then build that relationship on dh focused like I think joey probably goes to the same bloggers every time rather than like starting he's constantly whittle in that list out yeah, and whenever, like oftentimes I keep that line of communication open like you're saying and if somebody just reaches out and asks for a favor it's totally unrelated like I'll do it it's always it's within reason because you want like he said, that kind of come carmen built up on dh it comes in handy like you have your in the industry, so you know, like these bloggers are on the outside, they don't they're dependent on people coming to them with information and I that you have information about other kinds of trends or stories or things that matter that you could go to them with, um and relate to them with the news as an opportunity to pick their brain a little bit. So when you do pitch witchcraft stories, you have a better understanding of them and their needs let's do this let's get another example here from the audience, but as you know, it ain't no fun and that's the creative live audience gonna have some fun. Um, I think I got that wrong but internet, but then in the chat rooms blowing up his lab? Yeah, so l l g media is saying so if you have a boring product ryan, how do you create traffic if it is not entertaining? Can you give examples of products and companies that are boring but still create entertaining content? And I'm seeing this question a lot why do you have a boring product would be my first why have you resigned yourself toe having been born in product? I don't know if that I don't know if I agree with that, but let's say hypothetically you're thing is boring or sort of unsexy that doesn't mean that your marketing necessarily has to be and maybe you need to pair yourself with exciting or interesting things whether that sponsorships or stunts or collaborations or, you know you wrote a book about a a boring thing, well, what kind of interesting news worthy things going on right now? Can you connect your book, too, in the form of articles or case studies or or guest posts? And what kind of things are you an expert on? Just because your product is boring, it doesn't mean that you should leave it boring, because I guess what my answer would be yes, because proctor and gamble sells a lot of toilet paper, right? Another example here, the audience, sir. Yeah, so to clarify the thing that I'm working on, the big thing that we're focusing on is a mobile app that allows anybody to take any photo and put ah voice to it, and you could change the pitch and you can create these fun really personalized, shareable messages and videos anywhere, right? And so it's within a matter of seconds, lycan, in that video that I sent you, I had you actually talking back to us, given a photo that I found on google and then emulated your voice and it's a matter of seconds and a few different taps, but I'm confused, I thought you were doing a google glass thing, so that was a parody. That we did to google glass because it was a hot topic now the app that we created for google glass is the same exact app that we did for the mobile device it's just now available on class okay so then when you were introducing yourself you were saying it was like very jargon e and it was about like creativity and I okay what what what's that what's it called again it's yak it is the product okay when the parent company freaking genius so what is freakin genius and water its products so freaking genius is a technology company that essentially would make fun of anything everything but we've focused on animation in the making animation accessible toe everyone so taking something that's traditionally really technical that keeps you from being able to express ideas through animation okay and flipping and it's on its head we first started using the connect to do performance based animation okay, so you move you speak you create cartoons real time okay then we started focusing on ok we'll do people even care to be creators and animators we started to really narrow down into will people have to communicate and connect with each other on dh make fun of each other and as a by product that they become creative so we started focusing in on communication and that went all the way down to the voice in these little short personalized messages what do you help people make funny animated videos correct that's much clear that what you said on dh that that's I think that that's every having problems but that's you want to put your thing down to its essence because the person is really busy and we're gonna have ahh reporter come on and you guys were gonna get a chance to picture think a little bit so he'll give you more stuff like that but um that that's something you could think about two which is don't give the same pitch to every person if you're giving different pitches the different people you can start to get this seems to work well this doesn't work well and I would constantly be testing but so okay so you help people make funny animated videos what is your what are you doing now what can we talk about so the apa's jacket we're going toe then the point of why I'm here is word in beta not yet toe launch so we're focused on how do we make the most out of creating noise and around this launch okay you know you're talking about youtube and collaboration and we're actually focusing on tapping our network of youtube creators to create an event and create an internet video day we're going to hold day focused in around like at youtube studios talking about just the history of mma medic content means how they create content how they engage their followings and the tool that we use is a great way to actually engage ah, they're audience. So as a creator, we looked a twitter we look to facebook as a way to communicate. This is also a amore enhanced way to communicate and get your personality across a digital medium s so it's more of an integrated event, but I mean, that seems complicated to me too it seems like you should just make funny videos, we do that right as well? Isn't that the best way to spread what your company is and does hosting this? But what I'm saying is hosting this big internet name day or internet video dae that it has all these moving pieces that may or may not work seems to me a lot more, um, difficult and risky and expensive. Let me tell you my challenge, okay? So that the challenges, the content that we create as a single piece of content it's not that engaging when you're putting in a peace, even in a feed of highly polished content of champions, the shooting ak forty seven's like really fun creative stuff? These things are they're they're a little more novelty in the single piece of content, but when it's personalized incent in contact, so if I send you something because you know me right, you're going to have more of a reaction to it so so it's I think it's harder to secrete a sense of virology in a in a one to one versus of one too many and so were you just illustrate that through people who have many toe one relationships are one too many relationships. So yes, if if you make a funny video to brendan, how can I go viral? Because there's only one brendan right? And no one knows who he is, but what if he had a million twitter followers and you made him a very targeted, interested video that he liked and then decided to re tweet or repost or respond to? And I have a question who's like your core target? A lot of them are the youtube followers readers viewers were looking at your thirteen mid twenties tech savvy that are really popular or active on social media, right? Those are the people that are on cheeseburger that we're creating that those mean type photos that air spreading around the internet but focusing on sounds like that that app where you hold your mouth up like you've got, like a grill or something like that is it kind of within the forty long meant a photo with some sort of yeah, I mean like like an overlay s so there are a lot of novelty photos that were you khun do interesting thing, two interesting things two photos but there's nothing you could do with the photo after that countries like lives and dies where we actually put a message through the photo so it's something like a monty python or like a jib jab except for the individuals that creator I would I think zeroing in on other people in the space that are similar I mean, you mentioned jib jab it might be worth looking at, you know, what are all the blog's that talk about jib jab and just look at the approach that they went I mean, like it's an design content for them exactly or their audience for that specific blogger or whatever and and that's one thing that's great is I mean, once something's published you khun almost reverse engineer somebody's you know, marketing on dh you know, going to youtube, you can actually look at, you know, people can like you can see who drove the most views to the youtube video and say, okay, we need to design a specific campaign or a specific video that will be attractive too. This this outlet like I've gotten I've gotten emails from people who have sort of reverse engineered my book launch like friends of mine and said, hey, can you give me intros to these three people because I saw that they drove a lot of traffic for you is like, of course um and here's by the way what you should say to them and that's that's how it works and so um who are they who are the influences that matter specifically in your space and you find that by looking at the people who paved the way before you yeah did you have a question earlier? Okay tonight for me of course for you no witchcraft and know it well and love the food and I thought ok, you just launched eleven sandwiches why not send you know eleven times eleven sandwiches to your top media outlet and show them to taste the caretakers give them the opportunity to taste eleven new sandwiches because I think that as a person right like you show somebody something you tell them about it whatever but you give them the opportunity to taste in your life holy crap like has an amazing sandwich instead of just writing about or maybe a note saying like, which is your favorite sandwich or have them give them opportunity right about it? Yeah, we do a lot of the tasting so we offered up tio any one of the you know, particularly in new york city in san francisco, which are made our markets sometimes but that still doesn't work all the time, right? What happens if one hundred sandwiches show up for lunch there like just surprised right dio surprise it differentiates because other people aren't sending them the food right? You're sending one hundred sandwiches eleven of wish are your newest sandwiches like we do that when we do that with fashion waters on I advise clients to do this all the time, you know send them a package unsolicited that's got a bunch of awesome stuff innit so awesome that they can't not share it like birchbox is a great example people get so excited about posting what's their birch boxes it's exciting and that's what people will do if if especially if they know if they have the lunch every day at either and all these other blog's er you invite them down to come eat at the restaurant it's like you're asking them for a favor it's this whole thing cost out what it would what's the cheapest way that you can provoke a sort of amazing like wow reaction one of my favorite ones is we you know what the buck right he's like this popular youtube longer we I had I had to send a package to him and a package of someone else and someone in the shipping department one was like to accompany and one was to him and the person in shipping accidentally sent all the clothes for the company to him and then like the two t shirts to the company and uh and this person uploaded a video of him it was like like almost like a christmas morning think he's like going through this they're like oh my god like what happened none of the clothes fit him they were all like weird and they were all women's clothes I think so it was just this like what's going on here how could I not talk about this? I think that's so it's like try overkill rather than just like pitching and that might that might be uh away toe break through the noise yeah, okay, so along the same lines of what we're talking about a couple minutes ago uber food just started doing home deliveries yeah and a really small part of san diego called la toya and so we're bringing free family meals to our network in loya and ah, you know, the meals are made fresh that day they're amazing ingredients it's called uber food because we wanted to be the pinnacle of food. S so how can we change like how could we use you know, right now we're bringing them food and we're getting their feedback right? Is there a way you know? And we're serve a blank slate as faras pr yeah it's a good way I mean, I think that connect so what? We're just talking about one of my favorite examples seth godin was talking about this he was like uh and it's close to the boring the boring business, then shoot someone is like, look, I'm opening a new branch of a bank how do I get people to talk about it? And he was like, you should have the give out extra buddy everyone will be talking about it immediately and like obviously you can't really do that but like maybe don't bring free meals because of free meals is like kind of exciting but not super exciting maybe it's like breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one sitting or whatever, right? Like, how can you blow people away so they have to talk about so it's not just enough to make a viral make a video that's like pretty cool yeah it's a video that you're like, holy shit! Did you see this that's vier ality in a nutshell? Um, and either some people it's like they do something that's kind of interesting and if you're just going to do something that's kind of interesting, we might as well just like stick with doing nothing. Yeah, and I think I'm going backto like we're kind of talking about these experiences and stuff and interacting with bloggers and influencers, and I think I think kind of taking it that extra step from, like a pitch to something that they can experience is really and that's a world of difference because I mean you'll get two hundred emails but you'll eat one launch today you know it's like yeah and interacting somebody face to face you feel invested in their success and you wantto do right by them and that's a big difference in some just another name in your inbox and even if they don't write about you, you still connected with their target audience anyway, who knows a bunch of other report like the problem is look, this is if you're if you're super analytical and you track and record everything like we did this and that happened you're going to be uh you're gonna have a hard time really doing sort of amazing things that blows people's clothes people's mind because I've got its hard to quantify and it's hard to say like this happened because of that but I feel like if you're out there doing memorable things it's going to matter from talk spain, he says can these types of strategies work for a service based business? So we've been talking a lot about products, right? But what about services as well? Yeah actually do you want to go because you kind of have a service based business, right? Um yeah, I don't I don't I don't wantto know excuse the issue, but I was just going to kind of say, I mean here what we've been talking about like food and all these things and I guess I'm in a situation where my like my company and what it isn't having people wrap their mind around what it is it's just so different from people's everyday lives and that's actually what I'm trying to like sell that story right so I guess I think I think that there's there's some businesses that are trying tio reinvents sort of what is part of people's daily lives and I'm coming from a place where I'm trying to get people to pay attention to something that is completely out of their daily lives I mean this the reason it's called bone mountain bristlecone is that bone mountain is a real place and it's you know it would take you twelve hours to get there from an airport and on dh that's really romantic to people I feel like especially woodworkers who you know it's it's like this slice of this exotic world and so here's a question so your customers are the woodworkers, right? Yes, it was the only people that matter in the purchase decision or is it are you also trying to influence customers to request that would workers use your products? Um well I it's I guess it would be only be the woodworkers I mean it's someone who want it's like it's like if you're a knitter you're I'm kind of a knitter you know it's like you're buying yarn and it's interesting and it's handmade and its exotic and you're buying it to make whatever a sweater so I'm selling teo a woodworker who is like okay, I'm gonna make a bowl with this and but I'm also selling I'm also selling a story in a slice of this world that's very different from the world they probably live in is it though I mean don't woodworkers don't they get up every day and care only about wood? I mean isn't isn't that very much in their world view and experience and they want to know why this is better than all these alternatives and why it why it feels better that works better that makes a more beautiful product and customers love it. Obviously storytelling is important and you want to get that right because if you tell a compelling story they're going to use that story when they sell their product and say this is made out of this cool thing blah blah blah just like uh you know, for american apparel let's say uh they're a wholesaler and a retailer and so being made in the usa allows like you're bruce springsteen you print on american apparel t shirts you got to say it's a made in usa t shirt right? American apparel has a compelling story that gets repeated by their customers who turned selling it to other customers, but for you I think your marketing is is almost got exclusively be focused on this very particular niche who has a very particular deed and way of thinking about things and I'm not sure if a narrative or a story is what there is what's going to convince them to buy isn't it price deliver ability quality uh uh you know customer like does it does it do customers like it all those kind of things do you hear what I'm saying? Um well I mean it's not necessary I mean they're not necessarily they're not necessarily like recently re selling this stuff they're going to buy it and make something for themselves or for gifts or whatever um right so they're like they make something like oh what is this? And they're like it's you know it's a train that I carved or something right and it's made of this would let me tell you all about it right? So the story matters there but that's secondary to they bought it because it was best for what they were doing it do you see what I'm saying? So that's why I connected you to the service the service businesses question because like uh let's say I want to be a professional speaker uh I don't want the only people that really matter to me it's not the audience although they matter because I have to be happy it's the person who cuts the check and picks through the speakers are it's the conference organizers who are my customers not the audience and so getting a lot of media attention is sort of like a relevant it's all that matters is that, uh for it so I guess I'm saying, if you're a speaker, the yes you want the audience to like you, but what you also really want to do is have a reputation for not being difficult for showing up on time for being professional, these sorts of things so it's, like you're you have externally what you show to the world, but really, you want to influence these core group of customers. So ah, great example of this is approach in that speaking industry like a book as a business card, they write a book not to sell copies to people who, uh, buy books but to say life, I'm credible. I wrote a book seven says, yeah, but if you want to make a train there any number you can get what home depot you you can get one anywhere, not that expensive and whatever, but if you want to make a train that's really unique and, um, there's really not a lot of places you can go to get a wood where you know the story of the wood for the last thousand years course, so the only reason to buy my product is because it's because you know it well because it's it's got amazing qualities which you could go into it's very dense and it's got a tiny tiny growth rings and whatever and it's got beautiful grain but it's also it's also that you could choose to make something out of a piece of wood that you couldn't tell the story that you know the story of it for the last thousand years. So where is your products sold most often blood online not in any source no is that deliberate yeah, they're like if a craft source can sell your product or small sort of independent like I don't know anything about woodworking but so so this is sort of somewhat hard for me, but I guess what I'm saying is like maybe your product and this I consider this a marketing not a distribution thing maybe you want to convince people who sell like craft things that your product is amazing so they in turn are selling it to their customers when they come in and say, uh, you know, they're pressing it in their hands and saying you have to buy this right? This is way better than whatever you were going to buy and uh like what I'm saying is that just selling their thing passively on the internet puts you in a difficult position because now you've got to reach all these, you've got to reach everyone to get them to buy this this product that's not relevant to most people when really you want to find out where the people finding out about things like this, where they shopping and how can you get your thing in there in front of them? And that might be way more effective than getting some media outlet to tell your story for you. As interesting as it is, you want, uh, the influencers in that space, though, like I'm saying be pressing, you're like a minute and you don't want that, you don't know what you're doing, you've gotta buy this instead. Of course we're talking about right now, our things being you know what? That we talked earlier about traditional pr and marketing models and how companies work on you from students here that are learning so much today. But the question we have from digital psychics is this, you know, he talks about you now you advise so many different clients and he does the same thing but he's curious how you communicate your strategies two clients he says he deals with many smaller clients have been marking in the old media space, and they think the online world is the same as a lot of people have businesses think it's the same. So is there a way that you communicate what you're doing? So they can say, I know this this's a traditional way which you're used to, but here's, why you should try something a little bit different than zigging zach yeah, I mean, my big one is I don't work with people that I don't think they're going to be receptive to my approach, like, I want to work with people who are interested in trying new things, and I'd rather not try to rather not waste my time trying to convince someone who has a very concrete worldview that they have to change everything they know I'd rather talk to someone who's like, mold me and shame me, I'll do whatever you want that's that's my thing, um, but I liked it. I liked to show results like I I say, look, this is what worked for these people if this is what you want, this is how it works. I let the I let the results talk for themselves, you don't I think I think mechanism is the same way. I mean, like, you look at our website pretty out there, so there's already like a filter, right? You've got to be a certain kind of company or brand that's willing to kind of take a risk to work with somebody that's they got a website like, yeah, but then and then but to your point, bringing out like results is the best. I mean, like we've got video case, that he's. We invest a lot, actually, in making awesome case studies around our success, because it's an easy wait. I mean, like, sending a video link around is probably the best way. I mean, people, people watch a three minute video. It's, much harder, don't like giving, like, you know, ten slides and actually having to go through it. I think you know, whenever possible and make it really, really easy and show the results speak from so.

Class Description

Getting free media attention is a powerful and often misunderstood communication tool. Join media strategist and best selling author Ryan Holiday for his course on how to create smart, savvy and provocative PR campaigns.

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Aleksandr Staprans

I've been following Ryan Holiday for awhile and have loved his books. This class is a fantastic addition to any marketers self-education toolkit. Ryan provides clear information and, better yet, it is really enjoyable to watch!