craft ai's Communication Model
I joined the craft ai team 3 months ago as a member of its marketing and communication department. During this time craft ai’s communication strategy matured, as we put into place a multi-channel strategy, and started to see what worked, and what didn’t.
In this article I will tell you about the choices we made and why.
Before getting into details, and to summarize my observations, here is my take on the communication channels that turned out to be the most successful:
- Blogging is evidently an excellent way to convey what we are, but also our areas of specific interest. BT 101, “Behavior Trees grammar basics” article led to great conversations with fellow experts, increased traffic and more people signing up for the Beta version. A blog can also be a way to break with the tech nerd image.
- Tech meetups like the one at usine.io where we were presenting our work, proved that way is efficient to reach interested people.
- Twitter is for now craft ai’s primary expression platform to its followers. craft ai has already tweeted more than 200 times and in two months has almost 200 followers. Twitter lets us keep people up-to-date with our latest work, and exchange interesting views with fellow AI experts.
- LinkedIn enables craft ai to meet its first clients in strategic segments: IoT, personal assistants…
When I joined the team, craft ai had only just emerged, and was beginning to talk about itself in a market with specific communication lores. Indeed this market seems to be animated by a very specific community which needs to be targeted by a specifically adapted communication strategy. Since craft ai was created, it has tried to ride this communication strategy in an effort to show its face and skills to the community most likely to be interested in it.
A fun website
craft ai really came into existence with the inception of its website. Why should this be the case? Because a website definitely is the number one window on the digital world. It is the most visible media from the outside, and also is the first source of information for anyone trying to understand our technology. We pay great attention to details and spend a lot of time in an effort to offer the best website possible for our future partners, clients and any netizen interested in AI technologies.
If you’re a startup - especially high-tech oriented - that has produced a website you must have faced a difficult choice: what would be the hippest yet most appropriate domain name?
Startups in the IT sector seem to fight for an “io” domain name, as in Input/Output”. In the artificial intelligence sector, startups snap up “ai” domain names! (for example, “nucl.ai”, “api.ai”, “wit.ai”.) The Caribbean Anguilla island (the ISO provider of the “.ai” extension) itself promotes artificial intelligence and “.ai” websites by providing this list. To make a loud and clear statement, emphasizing its class and Artificial Intelligence skills, our team chose “craft.ai”!
Next, for an IT startup to express its cool and trendy attitude, it needs the latest in modern design for its website. Lately, the trend has been for websites that use a long scrolling style. This new beautiful and clean style enables quick and easy circulation of important information throughout a website without the need for excessive clicking or boring use of search engines. This is exactly the image that craft ai wishes to convey, and explains why we chose to surf this trend.
A presence on social media
In 2013, INSEE reported that one out of five companies use social media: social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, etc.), blogs etc. In 2015 we would expect the number of companies present on social networks rate to have increased. Like other companies in this industry, craft ai “rides” the social networks. Indeed, strategically, it is easy to see that for a company working in new technologies, it is practically an obligation to follow the famous Web 2.0 trend.
In this field our preference has been for Twitter! Our Twitter account aims to post at least a tweet a day related to Artificial Intelligence technologies, IoT, Robotics and so on… Aldebaran, SigFox, Blue Frog Robotics Keecker, MASA Group, nucl.ai etc. also choose, in varying degrees, the blue bird network.
craft ai and others communicate on social media platforms to create their community of followers and to target them when they have to share something with them.
Twitter is quite an efficient communication medium for targeting a community with an interest in your industry, and for moving them onto your website.
As for Facebook, this traditional social network giant acts as a window for IT companies although not used or relayed to the same extent. Indeed craft ai has more in common with other companies intended for professionals. With BtoB strategies, Facebook, which is more leisure-oriented, is less relevant.
Google+ has the exact same problem as Facebook’s in terms of lack of relevance of targeting, even more so because Google+ is used even less by companies. So craft ai has not yet seriously considered the option of a presence on Google+.
This is in stark contrast to LinkedIn, which is much more efficient in terms of interaction with BtoB targets. The professional social network is a relevant communication tool. That’s why craft ai is pretty active on LinkedIn to highlight its skills and to be connected to a potential partner’s network.
Moreover we recently opened a Vimeo account to communicate with videos.
As for the blog… If you’re reading this article you already know that craft ai is present on the blogosphere and tries to produce a weekly article about news that interests us, about our sector and content articles (for example, article about BT 101 ). Of course craft ai is not the only one to follow this weekly article tradition: Aldebaran Robotics, Wit.ai, Algolia or Elastic.io have a blog they try to feed regularly aiming to inform the community following them about the news that interests them.
The newsletter is an additional option in terms of information that can directly reach followers who are registered to it and who have an even keener interest: the content arrives directly in their inbox. craft ai launched its first newsletter on 19th of June with a pretty good open rate and a second one on 6th of August. Read it HERE.
Responding to an active Twitter account, blog and newsletter can offer informative content to its community while defining an image by talking about the themes that concern us and build the company’s personality. Thus you can already get an accurate impression of craft ai by devouring its blog and daily social network posts.
When craft ai is going out
Finally, if you’ve already had the opportunity to meet us, then you probably already attend trade shows, exhibitions, digital oriented conferences, Futur en Seine, nucl.ai conference… This is the best way for companies specialized in IoT to make a name for themselves. During these exhibitions, trade shows and conferences they are likely to physically meet professionals interested in their activity. Indeed, as mentioned in previous articles, craft ai attended a Meet up about IoT on June 4th, Connected Conference on May 25th, Futur en Seine digital festival from 11th to 14th of June… We also attended the nucl.ai conference, from 20th to 22nd July in Vienna, for which craft ai is a sponsor. You’re always able to meet craft ai’s young team, dressed in a startup style, talking about IT issues… because communication starts by how and who you talk to, and also how you look. Indeed these exhibitions and trade shows enable us to physically face the market, demonstrate the product, and allow people to use it. It is also the opportunity to explain it in a more personalized way by responding to individual questions and requests for applications.
I observed that craft ai does its best to be a high-performing member of its industry by being present and very active on the Web and social networks. However we know that Internet representation isn’t everything, which is why craft ai is dynamic and tries to attend every trade show, IoT and AI oriented exhibition, and conference in an attempt to meet its prospective and future partners. Indeed you can provide the best software ever made but if you neglect communication, fail to identify and find your contacts establish which language and attitude to adopt with them, you will have huge difficulties becoming a top product. Following this communication model has been pretty useful for the young purple startup and thanks to this strategy craft ai has already met and already is in touch with contacts and some essential future partners!