“Million$” is podcast gem I’ve recently discovered. Focused on candid interviews with women entrepreneurs, Clare O’Connor asks interesting questions that can be applied to almost any industry with a digital component. Here are a few things from her recent interview with Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of Glossier, that stood out to me as relevant to the work that we do:
Respect the power of authorship
Today, user-generated content has the power to create a ripple effect that can grow into a tsunami. Peer influencers aren’t a new concept in marketing - they were useful long before the days of the internet – but their digital reach can start a conversation that continues well past the boundaries of their own friend circles. Conversations around products, organizations, and brands can, and often do, take on a life of their own and evolve as they pass through various social circles and platforms. Cultivating a positive relationship with consumers – or target audiences – is no longer just an engagement strategy; it’s a “must do” for organizations.
Build the ecosystem first, then launch a product
Weiss was able to build an enormously successful ecommerce brand because she had already cultivated a loyal following through her beauty blog Into the Gloss. She didn’t launch a blog a few months before – it was her passion for years before she thought about products. She used it to validate her idea that there would be enough support for a product line and generate ideas for what the initial product offerings should be. Online communities should never be an add-on for another program or product. They should be the foundation upon which other things are built.
Focus on quality over quantity
I was fascinated to learn that Into the Gloss had 1.5 million unique users per month and an average of 30 comments per post. Those comments were enough to constitute an engaged community that could propel a new brand through rounds of VC funding and product launch. That’s a good reminder that large reach and exposure metrics are only part of the story – meaningful connections are with the engaged few, who should be embraced and empowered.
Don’t just market with social media, design for it
Glossier’s products were designed with social media – and today’s selfie generation – in mind. While much of the product packaging is stark, a great amount of thought went it to the artwork on the top of their signature beauty masks container. That’s because Weiss knows that the top of the product is what the consumer will be looking at when using the mask, encouraging her to snap and share via social. Weiss isn’t just thinking about promotion, she’s thinking about creating an experience that is seamless with the way today’s consumers use social media in their daily lives. Social media isn’t just a communication channel; it’s also a lifestyle for today’s younger generations, something we need to remember when designing our programs.
Check out more of the Million$ podcast.
Connect with me via Twitter and sign up for email updates for more from Digital Edge Communications.