Friday, June 15, 2007

 

Get Buzzed with Buzzoodle

Special thanks to Ron at Buzzoodle for helping to spread the buzz about the new Web marketing book from HouseValues.

Ron runs one of the Web's best marketing blogs, has written the book on buzz marketing, and has a knack for providing highly practical and applicable marketing recommendations to everyday business challenges.

I recently had an opportunity to chat with Ron about his approach to buzz marketing, and here's a quick transcript:

How and why did you decide to focus on buzz marketing?
We began by helping people with Internet Marketing. What we realized over time was that getting more people involved, including employees and the public, could get clients incredible results for a very low cost. So we decided to focus on Employee Evangelism and that morphed into Buzz Marketing with a heavy emphasis on helping organizations get a team of employee evangelists creating buzz.

What strategies have been most successful in creating buzz for Buzzoodle?
My blog is the top lead generator for me. It has led to book sales, speaking opportunities, partnerships and more. Even though it is a lot of work to maintain, it is more effective and fun than most other activities I could do.

One problem people do not realize is that having a blog is not enough. You have to promote it and use it to build relationships. You have to spend time creating content and spend time building relationships. And if you need fast results, it is not the best option for you.

Why do so many products and businesses fail to generate buzz?
People, including myself, have trouble looking at their business and products with a fresh eye. Most small businesses start with an idea, then they build the idea, then they see if people will buy it. The general public will almost never care as much as you do. So they will not pass on information about your product unless it is really incredible or useful.

Saving me 5% on something probably is not worth the time it takes me to change services. You have to fundamentally enhance the quality of my life with little effort on my part to get me excited about something.

That said, Buzz Marketing has really become the new PR. It is all about crafting good stories and finding people that care and can pass that information on to other people. If you look at it as a marathon where you are going to create some buzz every day, forever, you are more likely to succeed.

If a business owner or employee reading this has 15 minutes this afternoon to create buzz, what should he/she do?
Buy my book (just kidding, no really...). Then if they have time left over, I would say email some people you have not talked to in a few months and ask them how they are doing. Let them know if there is anything new (buzzworthy) going on with you. I regularly do with and it gets good results because so many people exchange a few emails and then move on.

What are you reading right now? What’s the best book you’ve read in the past six months?
I am reading The Dip right now by Seth Godin. I just read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss and that one got me really excited. I am changing my business model based on some of those concepts, so that I can stop working 10-12 hour days.

I find it very funny that you can read two books like those that have very different and seemingly contradictory messages and agree with both. Like most things in life, you can make them make sense together with some mental stretching.

Aside from reading the Buzzoodle blog on a daily basis, where else can folks learn about effective buzz marketing?
I do read additional marketing blogs, but I also look at technology blogs to see what new things are coming out, and even look at HR resources to learn more about helping people be more effective. I think the best way to approach Buzz Marketing is to remember it is about empowering (technology) people (HR) to communicate more effectively and more regularly with minimal effort. For a list of good marketing blogs you can visit the power 150 and you get a list of more than you can ever read.

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