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Speak Human to Human in Social Media

Posted by Randy Milanovic

Oct 18, 2014 5:00:00 AM

 Sometimes, you come across a marketing concept so simple and effective you wonder why everyone didn’t think of it ages and ages ago. I know I’m certainly not the only person who’s gotten that impression from Bryan Kramer, who spoke at Social Shake-Up in Atlanta. Bryan argues that traditional marketing categories (like business-to-business and business-to-consumer) are not only misleading, but actually problematic.

They get it all wrong because communication – and especially communicating via social media – isn’t about the traditional B2B channels or B2C synergy… it’s about connecting humans to humans, or H2H.

Regular readers of our blog will know this is essentially what we’ve been championing. What I love about Bryan’s way of thinking, though, is that he puts it so succinctly. In fact, simply expressing the idea as “human to human” makes it so simple that it’s pretty much impossible to miss.

The concept appears to have resonated with a lot of other people, too. Bryan admits that he didn’t quite see the potential of it himself until some seminar attendees stopped him in the middle of a presentation he was giving on the subject and asked him to expand on the concept. The response was so strong, he went home and wrote a book about it. Soon after, his book skyrocketed to the bestseller list and he’s had the opportunity to share it with audiences around the world.

The power of H2H isn’t just that it sounds cool, it has addresses a much bigger-picture around marketing in the modern day and reveals that…

1. Social Interaction Is About Emotion and Engagement

It’s the humans that have emotions and those emotions (like trust, fear, love, etc.) drive them to seek out answers to the problems and challenges they face.

People don’t respond to traditional marketing messages in social because that’s not why they log in to their profiles. What they seek is an authentic connection, and potentially answers or a bit of guidance. You can’t provide those with a banner ad, but you can open a dialogue and establish a level of trust or even friendship by being more personal, and thinking more about the one-to-one connections.

Call it social interaction or chatting, but it could just as easily fall under the umbrella of H2H. Whichever name you prefer to give it, you have to connect with people as a person – not a faceless marketer or company – if you want to make a lasting impression.

2. Traditional Marketing Categories Make Branding Tougher

When you fall into the trap of using terms like B2B and B2C, you begin to think of your buyers as categories of people – or targets – rather than individuals with emotions and motivations.

That’s dangerous, because it forces you to start making wider generalizations and works to put you out of touch with their real wants and needs. In other words, you start trying to sell to everyone, instead of communicating with your biggest potential customers (or their influencers). That difference might seem like a small one, but it’s incredibly significant when you’re trying to separate yourself from all the companies that don’t get it yet.

Why confuse prospects by putting your marketing into overdrive when what customers really want is to connect and be engaged?

3. You Don’t Have to Connect With Buyers to “Win” in Social

As I’ve hinted before, the big problem with social media marketing is that people think of it as marketing. In other words, they assume the goal is to meet buyers, interest them in products or services, and then transact the sale as quickly as possible.

At Kayak, we do things differently. Believe it or not, we don’t even focus on buyers. Instead, we concentrate on engaging with people, sharing laughs, being helpful and answering questions when we can. Most often, those individuals don’t end up purchasing anything from us. What they do provide, however, is a stream of referrals that do double duty as endorsements because, due to our social encounters, they’ve come to know and trust us.

The big takeaway here is that you don’t necessarily have to appeal to buyers for social media to work – you simply need to make authentic connections. That’s the way H2H works, and it does work.

There are more than enough places people can bump into marketing messages. By making an effort to connect on a human level, people will appreciate you more and your opportunities will grow along with your network.

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Topics: social media marketing, social engagement

Is This What the Collaborative Economy Looks Like?

Posted by Randy Milanovic

Oct 14, 2014 5:00:00 AM

The Collaborative Economy – a keynote at Social Shake-Up with Jeremiah Owyang – left an unexpected impression on me that’s had me thinking for weeks.

Jeremiah’s idea isn’t complicated: that people and businesses are getting together to fund, share, and promote new ways of doing things, and that’s changing the way businesses and industries work. The longer-term implications are less straightforward, though...

For example, how many of us could have predicted the rise of crowd-funding, where long lists of small donors fund and launch projects that might not get attention from mainstream banks and foundations? Or, who could have imagined that car manufacturers like Toyota and Mercedes would be looking into options that allow them to lease automobiles to groups of people who'd prefer to share, rather than own?

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Topics: inbound marketing, better business practices, collaboration

Are Your Big Words Causing Small Headaches?

Posted by Randy Milanovic

Oct 9, 2014 5:00:00 AM

How often do you think about the reading level of the men and women who read your web pages, blog posts, and downloadable offers?

While reading level is always a consideration, I’ll be the first to admit it’s something I don’t focus on too heavily, in favour of fluidity and authentic thought flow. That may be changing, though, thanks to a presentation I watched at Social Shake-Up by Ira Haberman of Atomic Reach. His company offers software that can help you analyze the reading level of your content and how well it matches the level of the visitors who are coming to your website. As Ira put it, your content’s Atomic score.

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Topics: inbound marketing, content marketing, copywriting, marketing personas

3 Reasons Social Shake-Up is My Must-Attend Event

Posted by Randy Milanovic

Oct 4, 2014 5:07:00 AM

As anyone who has been following my Twitter feed recently would have observed, I attended the Social Shake-Up event (hosted by SocialMediaToday) in Atlanta. I was prepared to come back and write a few posts about what I’d learned, but instead I want to start by giving a few thoughts about the conference itself.

If you’re in a hurry, I’ll start by telling you what really matters: I now consider Social Shake-Up to be the one must-attend conference on my calendar. Not only would I not dream of missing it next time, but I’m encouraging our staff and many of our clients and partners to attend, too.

Maybe this isn’t so surprising, given that I’m such a huge fan of Social Media Today and their work, but the conference was a real eye-opener for me in a lot of ways. In fact, there are three big reasons I plan on returning (and think you should, too):

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Topics: social media tips, social shakeup, socialmediatoday

Is Your Business Website Collecting Dust?

Posted by Lyndsay Peters

Oct 2, 2014 6:08:00 AM

When you use your own website every day, it can be hard to notice anything wrong with it. It looks just the way you wanted it to and nothing seems out of place, so why would you need to make any changes?

Because, just like your living room, your website collects dust and starts to look less than appealing over time.

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Topics: business website, business advice, better business websites

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KAYAK is an online marketing firm specializing in attraction-based lead generation strategies known as inbound marketing. We work collaboratively to help our clients generate qualified leads through high quality business websites.


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Kayak Online Marketing's 3 Essential Worksheets for Online Marketers free download
findability book by Randy Milanovic including the 21 new rules of content marketing