Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guest Post: Social Rewards and Consumer Engagement

This guest post was written by Josh Gertz, the VP of Marketing and Content Licensing for Hip Digital Media. Previously, Josh pioneered digital promotions as SVP at Neurotic Media and co-founded XACT Radio, an Internet radio network partnered with virtually every major broadcasting group. When not working, you can usually find him in the kitchen or at a poker table. Follow him on Twitter @joshgertz and @hipdigitalmedia.

I am constantly amazed at how quickly our world seems to change. Lately it feels like modern technology is a snowball rolling down a mountain growing ever faster, challenging consumers to have the latest and greatest almost hourly. As a child of the 70's I can honestly say I remember a simpler time when the things we bought were expected to last forever. The family car, the family TV, dad's home video camera – it seemed like these things never changed. Today our insatiable hunger for all things new leads thousands of crazed consumers to camp out overnight yearly in front of retail stores for the newest iPad or an unheard of discount on a flat screen for Christmas. We have even reached a point where TV commercials tout wireless customers who have new and exciting information 15 seconds before others.

This obsession with new technology fuels a worldwide connected web of computers and phones (and phones that look like computers) where everyone who's anyone feels the need to check their friends status updates every 30 seconds. It also leads us to find our favorite brands online. Just like we wear them on our clothes, the logos and "likes" of our favorite brands on our profile page is a key part of our online identity. What logos adorn our pages – who we "wear" online, is a reflection of who we are.

So for brands who work so hard to generate fans and be worn by the coolest kids at the back of the bus…I ask you:

What are you doing to reward or incentivize your fans?
What are you doing to keep them fans?

At Hip Digital we believe that offering people something in exchange for their loyalty, their engagement and their attention is a winning strategy for all involved. The ROI for brands is simple. Spend less money in promotional marketing than you see in sales lift, Facebook likes, tweets or whatever metric you feel is important. For content owners, these one to one relationships mean an entirely new channel of distribution has emerged. The model of brand supported legal downloads is growing almost as fast as the traditional brick and mortar retail channels are shrinking. And still the real winner is the consumer. Love me on Facebook, buy my products, spend your time with me – I will offer you the best music, movies, ebooks, apps, games and virtual currencies.

Social rewards are a key component to engaging your fans in social media. Hip Digital licenses the most desirable content available including:

  • Millions of MP3 tracks from all the majors and key indie labels
  • A partnership with OverDrive that supplies us with nearly 200,000 eBooks and more than 40,000 audiobooks from the top publishers in the world
  • Thousands of mobile apps, games, ringtones, wallpapers and assorted other mobile goods
  • Every type of virtual currency including Facebook Credits, Zynga, Playstation, XboX and Wii

You have probably seen our work 100 times but didn't know it was Hip Digital because we create white labeled solutions like:

Madonna/Smirnoff: Smirnoff Vodka and Madonna teamed up to offer Madonna fans an exclusive "Nightlife Edition" of her new album MDNA. With 4 remixes that can't be found anywhere else Smirnoff is a brand who knows how to engage and reward their fans.

Starburst: Starburst offers more than 3,000,000 fans a free MP3 download with a purchase of specially marked packages. By leveraging the entire Hip Digital music catalog users get to choose from millions of tracks from every label in every genre.

McCain: Canadian customers can experience Pizza and a Movie with specially marked McCain Rising Crust Pizzas. With 25 films from Warner Brothers to choose from including: Oceans 11, Troy, Happy Feet, I am Legend and The Matrix, consumers can stream one of Hollywood's biggest hits to their PC or MAC unlimited for 48 hours.

Having run more than 3,000 promotions in our 7-year history we have solutions for every sized brand. Our team can integrate social rewards into any website or Facebook page.

Our customers know that differentiating their products from the others on the shelf is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Contact Hip Digital and we will design a customized and turnkey solution for your brand
  2. Choose the content that is right for your audience and budget
  3. Enjoy increased sales and customer engagement

When you are ready to supercharge your online marketing we would love to hear from you.