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Viral Marketing Archive
For anyone wondering how blogging can help your company's brand awareness and thought leadership profile via press coverage, here are a few real life examples of how blogging has helped generate press coverage for my business.
In August I posted some advice on the best way for a company to handle a bad Consumer Generated Media thread. Last week I was contacted by Vawn Himmelsbach, a writer from ITBusiness.ca, an electronic news outlet owned by IT World Canada. The reporter, told me that she found my blog post using Google's regular search (not blog search). Last week Vawn published her story called "How do you stop a disgruntled employee blogger?" and if you read the piece you will see that I was quoted heavily throughout the story.
Here's another example. In March 2007 I asked "Should corporate blogs use ghostwriters?". That lead to a call from a reporter Tony Kontze, a reporter for Investors Business Daily and this story called "Writing Blogs Can Be Hard, So Get ‘Help’". Unfortunately, you can't read this piece without setting up a trial subscription but if you do you will also see that the reporter cited me repeatedly and gave me the last word.
How did I do it? Very simple. In both cases I took questions that I was hearing over and over again from my target audience and tried to offer my own insight and perspective on the matter. I laid it out there and cited a few related posts that helped make my point. Days, months or years later a journalist does a search in Google, finds my post and says here's a person that will give me a good quote or two. I made their job very easy. How is this different from traditional PR and media relations? I'm not a PR expert but I think reporters like to dig things up on their own but they're not out there pounding the pavement, their using the instant and relevant gratification of your typical Google search or the more timely search power of blog search engines like Technorati.
Simple things you can do. Talk to your customers, and monitor the blogs. At conferences listen to the questions that people are asking the 'expert panel'. Talk to your sales people and people on the front lines with your customer. Figure out what the reporters in your industry are going to be looking for in the next 2 - 10 months, pounce on the issues surrounding the big hairy questions and make sure you post it on a blog that does a decent job at getting indexed by Google.
Now, it may seem like I'm taking this opportunity to toot my own horn, and I am, but here's my point. I'm a big advocate of blogging but I don't blog every day. In fact my average blog post is about one per month. However, my blog posts deliver relevant search traffic to my site, get me invited to speak at conferences, inlinks, and del.icio.us social media bookmarks and quoted in major and minor publications. Here are two clear cases of how blogging can help put your business (in this case a small company) in front of journalists at the critical moment when they are conducting their research and looking for relevant voice.
Tags: blogging strategy, IT World Canada, media relations tactics, Online PR, press coverage, reporters, Vawn Himmelsbach
Filed under: Blogging ROI, Blogging Strategy, Blogging Tips, New Communications, Viral Marketing
I just came across The Break Up viral video ad skit, by way of Doug Karr at The Marketing Technology Blog. I think this video, the story it tells, and how it is now being told, and distribued is a brilliant living example of the power of viral marketing and social media.
The film is called The Break Up and it was produced in a collaboration between Geert Desager's team at Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions and Openhere, a Belgium based ad agency. Bravo Geert, what's great about this little spot it that it puts all the buzz words like 'conversation marketing' and 'social media' and my favorite 'the customer is in control' into context. Thanks to you and Microsoft for moving the conversation miles forward.
According Geert, the "film" was inspired by a Business Week article by David Armano titled, It's the Conversation Economy, Stupid. The article is another credible mainstream source that puts the shift in consumer behavior into context.
This is an interesting and timely question that came out of a discussion between Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson on the For Immediate Release, Podcast #197. Neville brought up the viral storm created recently when Threshers (a UK wine store) offered a 40% discount voucher for Stormhoek wine. Neville also wrote about it on his blog. The storm started with an online offer and quickly spread by social media discussion in blogs and forums to mass media coverage on the BBC. Hitwise's post titled Threshers Voucher Creates Storm Online summarizes the event quite well.
Anyway, what got me thinking was this quote from Hugh Macleod’s interview with Roger Whiteside, CEO of The Thresher Group. Whiteside said
"I have been in internet marketing for years and viral campaigns happen by luck, not by design."
I think the context of what he meant to say was that successful viral campaigns happen by luck. Shel Holtz weighed in and said he believes that luck has something to do with it but that doesn’t mean you can’t stack the cards in your favor when launching a viral / word of mouth marketing or communication effort. Shel references a few books by Seth Godin’s and Andy Sernovitz/Guy Kawaski that talk about the best tactics for leveraging word of mouth with viral marketing.
Now this brings me back to the question asked in the title of this post. Can a viral marketing word of mouth campaign be a success without a little luck? I think luck has a lot to do with whether a viral marketing effort ever becomes a success. Here’s a new viral marketing campaign from Microsoft’s Windows Live Search. Ms. Dewey is a beautifully audacious vixen who is a cross between Trya Banks, Ask Jeeves and the Subservient Chicken. There’s no denying she’s hot, edgy, controversial, sexy, and witty -- in a condescending, I would never date you if you were the last man on earth you sort of way.
The primary target market for this strategy seems to be male tech enthusiasts from around the world. She already has legs in the mainstream US business media. On my way home from work tonight I heard nice peice about Ms. Dewey on Marketplace, NPR's nighly business wrap-up.
One thought, does this viral strategy fill a void? Seriously, aren’t there plenty of places to go on the web if you want to interact with a virtual woman?
We’ll see if Ms. Dewey turns into the next big viral thing. I think it will take some luck.
I’d like to see another Hitwise report to that stacks this Ms. Dewey Vs. Threshers / Stormhoek discount voucher.
Filed under: Viral Marketing