Abstract Edge: Digital Marketing for Do-Gooders

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Earlier this week, we stumbled across this Facebook ad from Waldorf Ford and Dodge, a car dealership in Maryland that’s using Facebook and YouTube to attract new customers.  But they’re not just using these channels to boost their page views and get more attention; they’re actively trying to solve their customers’ problems, reduce likely obstacles to a car purchase, and create a friendly bond between the brand and the potential purchaser.

Here’s one of their videos, in which they try to demystify some of the acronyms and jargon you find in most car sales brochures:

On the surface, this video may seem simple, but Waldorf’s big-picture approach to inbound marketing, we bet, is really paying off.


World's Greatest Lover

Some rights reserved by Andrew Huff (http://www.flickr.com/photos/deadhorse/)

“I love Brand X!”

If you were the CMO at Brand X, wouldn’t you love to see a steady stream of that exact sentiment being shared by your customers online?

Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to happen.

Not that people don’t say good things about brands and products online.  Often, they do — and maybe they even say them about your brand — but they don’t usually say it like that.  Instead, you’re more likely to see good (and bad) observations like this.  And this.  And this.

Getting customer feedback through social media networks can be a key component of your inbound marketing and customer relations strategy.  And knowing what they’re saying about you — and how they’re saying it — is imperative for keeping up with the conversation.

But what do you wish your customers were saying about you?  Here’s a tip for deconstructing your customer’s opinions and figuring out what they really want, so you can give it to them.


Multiple Choice Test

Some rights reserved by albertogp123 - http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/

Did you just find another link you can’t wait to share on Twitter?

Do you have a product you think your Facebook fans would love to see?

Are you convinced that your YouTube subscribers are waiting breathlessly for your next clip?


Whether you tweet for yourself, your company, or as part of a team-based branding strategy, here are 6 questions to help ensure your inbound marketing efforts are being underpinned by a sound social strategy.


Candy heart

Some rights resesrved by englishsnow - http://www.flickr.com/photos/tylerburrus/

(Looking for “Is Google Rewarding People Who ‘Buy’ Friends?” Click here.)

In a recent column titled “How Brands Should Think About Facebook,” Advertising Age’s Jack Neff makes the case that Facebook is more useful as a brand loyalty tool than it is for attracting new customers.  Depending on your brand’s goals and your audience’s Facebook habits, he may be right.

As he notes:

Research by DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research finds 84% of a typical brand’s Facebook fans are existing customers.

And if that’s the case, then 84% of a brand’s Facebook time is going to be spent making happy customers happier, rather than delighting total strangers.

But what Neff’s article really got us thinking about was the difference between a wink and a kiss, and why Facebook is so good at helping brands score one kind of love but not always the other.


EarthquakeLast week, the world was on fire with amazing news. Earthquakes in Virginia!!! Steve Jobs retires!!! Hurricane Irene is coming!!! HURRICANE IRENE IS HERE!!!

And while the general public obsessed over those stories (or tried to ignore them so they could get some actual work done), a vast swath of social marketers were salivating.  Why?  Because they’ve been trained to look for angles on breaking news and pop culture stories that can help drag attention toward their own brands and products.

The good news is, you can do it too.

But should you?

Let’s find out.


Gold Mine

Some rights reserved by Cavin - http://www.flickr.com/photos/-cavin-/

One of the biggest challenges companies face when they decide to produce original promotional content is… how?

Not in terms of process, because it’s easy to find the right personnel or hire the right agency to create media that drives traffic, interest and sales.  But where’s the hook?

Actually, you might be sitting on it.

When I used to film the web sitcom Something to Be Desired, we would sometimes film segments in a radio station that was housed under the same roof as the TV studio where Mister Rogers Neighborhood was filmed.  Every shoot, we’d walk right past the tree, the castle and the carousel from The Land of Make Believe.  One day, it occurred to us that we were standing right next to something an entire generation would probably think of as magical, and we’d grown so used to it that we’d already tuned it out.

Most of us have lived with our own stories for so long, we sometimes forget what makes those stories interesting in the first place.  Instead of tapping into our most valuable storytelling resource — our own experiences — people and brands often try to shift the focus away from themselves and onto something they’ve invented from scratch, which seems interesting mostly because it’s new to them.

And that can work.  But so can telling your best old stories to new audiences who’ve never heard them before, and who can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

Here are some tips to help you better appreciate the content goldmine you keep trying to ignore: yourself.


About Us

Abstract Edge is a creative boutique online marketing agency that has launched new brands for Clairol and Vera Wang, inspired a million moms to march on Washington, assisted American Idol’s fight against malaria, and helped increase web traffic so successfully for Discover Magazine that it was recently acquired.

Our primary offices are in New York and Baltimore and we have clients throughout the US. You can read more about us here.