The aim of any modern business is to grow a community. An army of loyal followers that will not only buy it’s products but will also help spread “the word”. These advocates help to effectively multiply the reach of the companies marketing message.
Apple are probably the prime example of this type of company with disciple like customers willing to promote and share the Apple way of life without question.
What creates this type of loyal following?
One explanation can be found in Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why. The basic premise being that companies like Apple sell on the reason of “Why” they do what they do, not the “What” of what they do.
“1000 songs in your pocket”, the tag line for the iPod, as opposed to a “5GB MP3 player”.
This didn’t then tie Apple down to producing MP3 players, in fact as long as it worked towards the goal of putting “1000 songs in your pocket” they could make anything, a phone for example!
How do you spread the word?
For companies like Apple big PR announcements are still the order of the day, and all news flows from there. Even the anticipation of such an event drives enough discussion that the impetus keeps even the most ordinary of announcements in the headlines for days.
For the rest of us the PR machine is a much harder fought battle. The advent of channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ allow for easier magnification of our message, but the effectiveness is limited by the following we are able to obtain on each platform.
The vital component being the ability to multiply your messages as they are released.
Some business models have been created to fill this space. They are a middle ground between your own network building efforts and full fledge PR offering.
Here are some examples of current message multipliers. They all vary in how they work and what they cost
A platform that works similar to an Affiliate Network allowing you to publish your campaign into their system. They will then find relevant publishers to write about and promote your product or service on their blogs and web sites. You pay for each article published typically around £50 per post or £0.04 per play for video. As you would expect you receive full analytics and tracking for your campaigns.
Once signed up you recruit your own team of influencers, whether they be from within your company, existing customers or brand advocates. Your influencers are able to selectively choose which messages they wish to promote and on which networks, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. You can create rewards based around networks activity. Plans start from $25 per month.
Triberr takes a slightly different approach based around area of interest rather than brand advocates. The idea is to create or join a “Tribe” that are interested in a related topic, you then agree to share each others posts. There is no cost for the basic account, but if you wish to spread messages, leveraging members outside your tribe you can pay to have your message shared without reciprocating.
None of these solutions is perfect. They are all relatively new and continuing to develop features, but you can be sure to see more of these network multipliers enter the market. As the demand grows from companies wishing to increase conversations around their product, service or brand without the effort of doing it themselves.
These are no substitute for building your own network, but they can be a good way to magnify your reach for little cost.
Do you use any of these services, or know of any others?