If You Build It… They WILL Come

Things are a-changing, again. They don’t ever stop.

When the internet started booming the whole idea of being able to post anything on the internet was so amazing and crazy and dangerous! It’s funny to me that television shows and movies take their time to catch up on these things because it wasn’t until only recently when cell phones started making their debuts in actors’ pockets. Anyway, this is not the angle of this post. At all.

The angle is the changing attitudes and improving smarts of the consumers who are looking for what they want online. Last night, I had a meeting with Dominizuelan. You might have seen me tweet about them before, which I do all the time or mention them somewhere. They’re a smart-ass (with emphasis on the SMART) duo with political agendas on the mind while working out the Latino angle. As of right now, they’re the most viewed channel on UrbanoTV, a new site that hosts videos, blogs and the like by and for Latinos. It’s basically on the rise as the Latino YouTube and known as John Leguizamo’s new “thing.”

We were sitting around like high school girls at a sleepover, except we were looking at computers and talking social media, marketing and strategy. The NEW sleepover. Anyway, they showed me the UrbanoTV channel and started talking about hits and how at times, people click on their own site, page or watch their videos 20 times consecutively to get the hit rate up. Interesting enough, I couldn’t help but think of WordPress and how it doesn’t count your visits to your own blog.

I started thinking about it. Your hits don’t matter if your content is no good. I once read a blog post about how to get your click rate up. It was a chicken and egg concept with focus on marketing. I call it huevos medidos. Measured eggs. (It’s supposed to be funny.) This guy was talking about consistently blogging and at the same time making sure that you had good content while making sure your tags were correct, focusing on keywords and pushing it out there to get subscribers. It’s crazy hectic and still, people can’t get their rates up. Why? Because EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT, TOO, and probably better than you! Nonetheless, you’ll show up on a Google search, which is what everyone wants because 80-something percent of all searches start on Google! Including mine.

Regardless. From that point, which is shelling out the obvious, we go to a convoluted way of thinking in my next story. So, you know how they tell you to never make content based on keywords, SEO and tags? That’s pretty obvious, right? I mean, especially because the content that YOU are putting out there has a lot to do with what you’re passionate about and, duh, you don’t want to be unethical just so that some humongous Google robot algorithms picks up on your crap.  But can you believe that there are still people who think that way? It’s so ridiculous that you want to slap them.

So I knew someone who tried to carry on 20 Facebook pages, 20 Twitter accounts, which equals 20 email addresses and 20 versions of his website. What was he trying to do? Initiate group buying power, like Groupon. By the way, there are so many “Groupon wannabes” out there that it’s getting dumb. Why would I go to this little guy if I know Groupon will have what I want? So the questions came: How do you expect to upkeep 20 of each account? Do you understand that you have to build relationships with your consumers? Do you get who you’re talking to and why? What are you planning to sell them?

Let’s call him this guy Clueless. So Clueless had all of these things with no “content.” There were no “deals,” there was nothing to write about and he expected to have at least 300 followers on Twitter, which was just the beginning. This was in a 90 day plan. Just to put this into perspective (without being a spammer or celebrity), I’ve been a Tweeter since April of 2009 and I JUST hit 500 followers by doing NOTHING extraordinary. This guy wanted 300 within 90 days of creating them with no content. So what did Clueless do? He had a friend of his follow 1,000 people and sure enough, he got the number he wanted because there are some nice people out there that just follow back to, you know, be kind.

So Clueless gets his followers and still doesn’t understand why people don’t like him on FB. He also doesn’t understand why he’s not number one on a Google search. He thinks that just because he has all of these things (which, by the way, were NOT the same name, which means they were not appropriately branded at all) he’s going to pop up and have hundreds upon thousands of hits every day.

Here’s my favorite part of the story. So he announces this giveaway for Facebook to get more Likes and only about 7 people enter, doesn’t get too many more Likes and decides to back out of his agreement with these people and starts another promotion, underestimating his “followers.” “Don’t be silly,” he says. “The promotion isn’t over yet! And you have to refer a friend to our site in order to win!” Everyone got angry. “According to the flier you had up, this was the agreement and we did it!” He ended up being held to his first attempt because he tried to scam everyone by having one of his workers “win” which meant he wouldn’t have to buy the prize.

The winner got her prize anyway.

Clueless then gets a deal with a local paper. The paper, according to Clueless, says that they’re going to sell “deals” and have things in the pipeline. What does Clueless do? Not hire a sales team because the paper said they’d help. Wrong again. Why would the paper help if he has nothing to offer? Why would they put this website above their own paper, when papers are struggling to make it in this economy? No email list (because the people who did sign up for “deals” were friends and family members), nothing else to offer but pure talk. And where is Clueless now? Still defending his SEO mentality.  He also gets really defensive when you tell him he’s wrong.

“I’ve got every key word in the book. So when people search for deals, discounts, etc. our site will be the first to pop up.” Oh, and I forgot to mention that this guy’s mentality was distorted by numbers.

Someone asked, “So if they get to your site, they’re going to realize that they’re not where they want to be so they’ll leave. How do these keywords and SEO help you for your benefit?” And Clueless says, “Maybe they’ll come back later.” Riiiight.

Consumers are getting smarter and are starting to learn the format of a real website. They’re starting to understand the differences between websites, blogs, fake sights that just want to spam you and credible resources. People aren’t stupid. Latinos are not stupid, especially not now when they’re the leading community or group online. We know how to use these things.

I know that’s an extreme case, but what I took from this is knowledge of quality content and knowing your audience and who you want to reach out to. This guy didn’t know what kind of demographic he was going after (didn’t even know what the word meant) and had no concept of brands or marketing. He saw an opportunity to make money, what he thought was easy money, and he took it. This is what happens if you think your consumers are idiots.

My advice is focusing on content. If you write it, do it, record it, shoot it well, they will come. I promise. If people find that you are putting good stuff up, they’re going to want more, no doubt. Just keep in mind your reasons for doing it. If you just want money like Clueless, then you might end up like Clueless. But if you do it because you’re passionate about it, because you want to hit home with your readers, listeners or viewers, then my all means go ahead. You have my blessing.

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