In the rapidly changing world of marketing and public relations, the lines between traditional strategies and new media strategies continue to shift as the line separating the two is constantly moving.
What was once viewed as impossible, is now quickly transforming into more and more of a science, with the Internet emerging as a unique and remarkable platform for consumer and business communication.
Faster now, more than ever, people around the world are able to communicate with rapid fire quickness. Formerly “untappable,” obscure word-of-mouth is now a medium that many brands are leveraging to disseminate information; promote their products and services; as well as protect their namesakes.
In this day and age, we don’t need to remind you of the Internet’s effects (be it favorable or dismal) on many popular brands. It is this phenomenon that has made Online Conversation Marketing an ideal solution for a variety of notable brands, ranging from Internet start-ups to public interest groups to major consumer brands.
Gerris is comprised of a trained team of media, marketing and public relations experts working together to drive positive online presence on behalf of our clients.
Operating in a “virtual office,” the Gerris team is spread across four continents, representing more than 10 time zones and almost a dozen languages.
This dispersion has given us a notable competitive edge, allowing us to quickly and effectively employ comprehensive Online Conversation Marketing Campaigns within more than 50 countries. Despite its benefits, the “virtual office” does not provide for the ideal environment for rapid response communication, in a traditional sense.
Though Gerris has proven its ability to provide crisis communication and react to changes in campaign strategy and messaging, we do not operate in a newsroom and are unable to collectively stop on a dime and refocus in the same way that traditional PR houses are able.
Online Conversation Marketing grew out of the increasing importance of relationships as it relates to effective branding via the Internet. Despite the wealth of information and opinions “out there,” Gerris understands that an elite few lead sweeping trends in Online Conversation tone, volume and reach.
These Online Opinion Leaders or Influencers continue to break news and share opinions that reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions of consumers everyday. Thus, the overarching strategy of Online Conversation Marketing is influencing the influencers – much like securing online endorsements on behalf of our clients.
Unlike the formalized world of traditional marketing and PR, an effective Online Conversation Marketing Program takes much longer to develop, as Gerris is in the business of securing positive relationships with often busy Opinion Leaders.
We have been able to complete campaigns on behalf our clients in as little as 6 weeks, however, the turn around for the majority of brands is generally several weeks, if not months, longer.
The “public” that we relate to is not the mainstream media, whose relationships can often be bought and sold; the “public” that we do relate to are the online influencers, who oftentimes, are no more than regular Internet users with a well crafted, interested blog or website that has drawn in its own audience.
Although Gerris already has a sundry of these influencers in pocket, we often have to develop new relationships on behalf of our clients, given their diverse demographic targets and needs.
Gerris leverages email to conduct the majority of relationship building with online influencers, however, we are not a direct or email marketing agency. Often times, the opinion leaders that we contact on behalf of our clients are being reached “blindly,” meaning that they have not opted into any particular program.
In order to effectively carry out these campaigns and still remain CAN-SPAM compliant, we pick and choose our targets carefully, ensuring that we provide them with relevant messaging and “gifts” or promotions or information that would be of interest to them. At the end of the day, much like traditional PR, a poorly thought out Online Outreach campaign (the facet of Online Conversation Marketing most like traditional PR in which we build relationships with popular bloggers and influencers on behalf of our clients) can result in little to no positive outcome for the client.
It is for this reason that the ramp up time on these programs typically runs anywhere from one to three weeks, as we prepare lists of appropriate, like-minded targets that will likely respond well to our clients’ brands as well as development of appropriate, effective “messaging.”
All things to considered, it is also worth highlighting that unlike other Online Marketing and Advertising agencies, Gerris does not thoughtlessly disseminate links and off-topic messaging throughout the user generated corners of the Internet. We value relationships and act as persuaders, storytellers and attractors on behalf of our brands.
In working individually with online influencers and Internet users as both a macro (Online Outreach) and micro (Online Engagement, Grassroots Marketing) level, Gerris builds relationships and drives favorable, organic conversation in a compliant fashion.
The Gerris methods reflect the natural progress of organic word-of-mouth – starting small and progressively growing to reach a larger and larger audience. In respecting the online community, the Gerris team stands firmly against online solicitation (SPAM) of any kind.
Both in Online Outreach and Online Engagement, we are fully transparent, or “open kimono.” We have found these methods to be the most effective when working with the “online public.”
As common conceptions of marketing relate to Online Conversation Marketing, Gerris does operate neatly into the bucket of branding, as our methods are a combination of Search Engine Optimization, Grassroots Marketing and Online Public Relations.
Clients in the past have likened us to online brand ambassadors. Such being said, we do not fit any pay-per-performance or CPM model. Our metrics are based on conversation and relationships rather than conversions and impressions, much akin to tradition grassroots and brand ambassador strategies.
To conclude, Gerris is pleased to offer its unique Online Conversation Marketing services to an array of brands and organizations. Our past clients have found the mix of SEO, Online PR and Grassroots Marketing to be exceptionally effective in achieving their overall marketing objectives.
Millions of people are talking online everyday – are you listening?