Word-of-mouth starts with opening your mouth
I received an e-mail last week from a colleague with a link to a story in B2B magazine about an Aberdeen report on social media spending plans. I thought I had that day's blog post in the bag -- until I clicked on the link in the story to Aberdeen's site. My effort to blog on it ended there, as all I got was an executive summary that actually gave me less information than the B2B story.
What was ironic was that the report about which I was prepared to help drive word-of-mouth was about "Why It Pays to Drive Word of Mouth." And yet Aberdeen was ascribing to old marketing techniques by requiring me to register to get more any more information than an executive summary. I always get good value out of Aberdeen's reports, so I would have loved it if they offered an abridged version of the findings -- replete with Tweetable data nuggets or a couple of Creative Commons-licensed charts -- to invite folks like myself to blog about it, put out a string of Tweets, etc. to share it with my audience of marketers, communicators and others interested in social media. If it's valuable information, chances are they will share it through their own blogs or Twitter channels, and so on.
I understand the need to capture leads, especially in the current economy, but every marketer needs to think differently now based upon the opportunity for content marketing that social media presents them. There's a balance that easily can be struck between opening up more compelling content to encourage people to share it and determining who specifically is interested in it to use from a lead generation perspective. You will know who is interested based upon who talks about it on Twitter, Facebook or in blogs, and the word of mouth interest will drive more people to supplemental content that could be made available through registration.
Have you had success with this? Or is the need to capture leads the traditional way more important right now?
By the way, the report states that social media spending is going up, but that marketers still think it's hard to measure. I just wish I could tell you more.