Gary Vaynerchuk is the kind of speaker and thought leader that has a culture around him. He has a voice. An opinion. He has data. He has created a case study of success with his family’s small business Wine Library — a how-to model for marketers to win on the Internet. Vaynerchuk speaks as someone who knows — and he probably does.
Vaynerchuk’s thesis, during his opening keynote at the 2015 DIG South Conference in Mount Pleasant, started with the fact that the future is already here, but those who survive are the ones who can run with it and run to it. So, where is it? The question actually caters to itself — run to where there is attention.
Vaynerchuk made an example of email marketing in the late 1990s. Personal email addresses were changing the way people communicate, and while the presence of email has stood the test of time, the amount of attention it gets has vastly decreased. People used to read every email, every word and then email marketing “ruined email.” And therefore, there went the attention.
The solution is believing data. What does data tell us is the new thing? Where are the people going? Where is the buzz?
This likely means connecting with a smaller audience, but one that is adopting what will become the next big thing. For Vaynerchuk, this meant owning the word ‘wine’ on Google adwords at five cents a click for nearly a year before the market caught up. For startups it means being at the new festival or event where they are likely to get a greater proportion of media coverage — making them the next big idea. For marketers, it means finding a market that, even if it never monetizes, becomes a way to speak brand messaging to those who make trends.
This path can still be littered with mistakes, however, and one that plagues small business owners is what do you say once you have the attention?
Like many content strategists, Vaynerchuk is an advocate for giving first and asking last, if at all. The value of “the other person” (your potential consumer) must come before “what you deem is your best interest” (e.g. sales messaging).
The strategy is to create content that is hyper-targeted, serve it, then capture customers to re-target later. Content is not about creating instant conversions, it is about capturing customer data. Through re-targeting, those customers will later make a buying decision.
Among the sea of onlookers though, the question remains - Where does messaging start? How do you stand out?
“If you’re a business, the only thing you’re trying to do is solve a problem, so tell the truth,” Vaynerchuk said.
And that is how Vayerchuck inspires the masses — with a feeling of inevitability. He knows the truth, and the truth is that innovation is moving very quickly.