Archive for March, 2010

Top 5 Uses of Wildfire Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

You may think that all social media marketing promotions are the same — after all, how creative can you really get with a coupon, or a contest, or even a sweepstakes?

The answer is: extremely. At Wildfire, we’ve seen a great many social media marketing campaigns run by brands big and small, everything from chocolate cake by mail to hundreds of cute babies and cuter pets. But the following five campaigns, all run by large multinational brands and companies, have been especially innovative in their approach and the interesting use of social media marketing. They are great examples of how social media marketing can be used in creative ways to achieve a variety of goals – from increasing brand awareness to generating leads, selling products and even promoting foreign relations!

1. President Obama Uses Social Media Marketing to Promote Foreign Relations

The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta used Wildfire to run a promotion on their Facebook Fan Page to excite Indonesian fans about President Obama’s upcoming visit to the country. Users could pick their favorite cultural foods and clothing items to suggest the President sample and wear during his visit and then enter a sweepstakes to win tickets to attend one of the events. After running for just short of a month, the campaign generated 12,000 sweepstakes entries, thousands of new fans for the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, and over 43,000 interactions with the promotion in general, with people choosing their favorite item in some or all three of the choices, and the entering the sweeps.

This was a highly creative way for the U.S. State Department to generate interest among young Indonesians in the President’s visit and the best part is that they got the campaign up and running in just over a week and with a minimal budget.

2. Jamba Juice Uses Social Media to drive in-store purchasing via “Jamba Bucks”

Jamba Juice launched a campaign called “Jamba Bucks” that used Wildfire’s unique coupon code generation functionality in a very interesting way. They gave out ‘lucky’ coupons via our Facebook Connect Product and Facebook Fan Page Product that could be redeemed at Jamba Juice stores. When consumers redeemed the coupons they either received $1 off their purchase or they had the opportunity to win one many thousands of instant prizes, including cash prizes of $10,000! To make Jamba’s campaign even more fun and social, they combined it with Wildfire’s virtual gifting solution so users could send Jamba Bucks to their friends in the form of fun, Jamba-branded virtual gifts like smoothies, bucks, and cartoons. By combining the utility of a coupon with the anticipation of an instant win and the social channels of Facebook, Jamba was able to generate huge interest in their campaign, distributing tens of thousands of coupons and driving around 95,000 consumers to redeem coupons at their stores.

3. EA Games enables Facebook users to help author their games

EA Games is encouraging fans of the popular video game Deadspace to “Design a Kill” for the game’s sequel, Deadspace 2. Entrants can submit their visions of a perfect kill sequence and the public can vote on their favorite entries. The winning entry will be built into the Deadspace 2 game and will feature the likeness of the winner. EA Games created the promotion using Wildfire’s essay, photo, and video contest solution. By allowing for a variety of submission formats (i.e. video, photo and/or text) EA catered to a wide variety entrants– if creating and editing a video seemed too difficult to one, they had the option to instead submit an image or a written description of their kill. Some of the now thousands of entries are not for the squeamish–EA really got into the hearts and heads of their fans, some of whom acted out entire kill sequences in front of a camera, and others who even created their own CGI movies! With many thousands of newsfeeds and friend invites sent, votes cast and videos viewed, EA’s contest has enabled them to reach hundreds of thousands of Facebook users and generate considerable buzz about their new game.

4. Gatorade Commemorates Michael Jordan’s Induction into the Hall of Fame with Vote for Favorite MJ Moments

Gatorade teamed up with Wildfire to commemorate Michael Jordan’s induction into the Basketball Hall Of Fame with a campaign on the Gatorade Fan Page which allowed users to vote for their favorite MJ moment from a collection submitted by some of the industry’s top sports writers. By combining a voting campaign with a sweepstakes Gatorade was able to get the best of both world’s – a powerful way to spread the word about their brand throughout Facebook (voters broadcast their opinion about the best Michael Jordan ‘moment’ by publishing newsfeeds and sharing with their friends) and to generate leads (sweepstakes entrants provided valuable data and contact information to Gatorade). The campaign generated tens of thousands of votes and exposed hundreds of thousands of Facebook users to the Gatorade brand.

5. Right Guard and the Phoenix Suns Team Up to grow their fans

The Phoenix Suns took advantage of Wildfire’s multiple fan feature to kill two birds with one stone – grow their fan base and that of their sponsor, Right Guard. The Suns on the Road Sweepstakes had a grand prize of winning a trip and tickets to see the Phoenix Suns play at Golden State, but instead of asking entrants to become a fan of the Phoenix Suns page only, entrants were also asked to become fans of Right Guard. Right Guard was able to benefit from the positive association with the Suns and the the Phoenix Suns were able to use Facebook to add value in a new way for their sponsor. To give the campaign an added level of interest, the Sun’s also provided a quiz for fans to find out which Phoenix Suns “Legend” player they’re most like, which encouraged the publication of news feeds and further spread the word about the Sun’s and Right Guard.

Wildfire CEO Victoria Ransom will be speaking the the SMASH summit on May 12th in San Francisco, alongside companies like Mattel, Comcast, You Tube, Twitter, Twilio, CoTweet, Dogster, Search Engine Land, Altimeter Group, and many others. JOIN US THERE.

5 Tips on Customer Acquisition

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Smash is all about acquiring customers in a way that is smarter, faster, and cheaper than your competitors can do it. Here’s a list of 5 tips that I keep in my mind.

1. Set a Cost Per Acquisition goal and stick to it. This will force you to be discipline on how you spend your acquisition dollars – and drive further creativity in your campaigns. Plus, you will be a superstar in the eyes of the CEO/Board.

2. Look at channels where others could not make the numbers work. Often you can achieve 3 or 4X conversion rate improvements by using better design, better analytics, better contractors, better targeting. Don’t let the failure of others discourage your best instincts.

3. SEO – SEO is still the most cost effective method of acquiring customers for most startups. For larger brands it is almost always a win as well. Hire one person who really knows their game and supplement them with contractors as needed. As you grow your campaign they will need additional contractor help in analytics, link building-blogger outreach, and writing content.

4. Contractors – Don’t staff up internally in the beginning. Especially for a startup leveraging contractors is a low risk way to test your strategies. Develop a pay-for-performance model for them to earn as they produce results.

5. Use your assets. You may be sitting on a wealth of data, or email addresses, discount codes, etc. Take a core asset of your business and give it to partner sites. Let a publisher run an exclusive story with your data, let a partner send an advertisement to your email list, give a group of bloggers early access to your beta. In return ask for exposure in the form of links, stories, press releases.

What are tips you can give others? Leave some in the comments if you like.

NEWSFLASH: Your Marketing SUCKS.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

ball SMASH face

In case you hadn’t noticed: most online marketing SUCKS.

Of course, that’s not surprising since most ALL marketing is pretty much crap too… simply a special case of the “90% of everything is crap” school of thought (words to live by).

But in particular ONLINE marketing — email, search, social, mobile, etc — has made huge advances over the past 5-10 years. There are now a wide variety of relatively inexpensive search & social media tools, techniques & platforms which can be used to connect with people and customers. Some methods have been around a decade or more (email, widgets, Google & Yahoo search), while others are relatively new (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, iPhone). Yet while these channels can easily reach hundreds of millions & are usually rather inexpensive, most marketing dorks have no friggin’ clue what they’re doing with anything more complex than a digital watch.

Simply put: we are cavemen armed with the online equivalent of nuclear weapons. We have enough internet marketing firepower to blow up the Inbox of billions of unwitting victims, but we can’t figure out where to press our grubby little fingers on the damn firing button. Not a very pretty picture, folks.

sexy.protractorIn addition, most online marketing is MEASURABLE… which historically has hardly ever been true for offline marketing. We have tons of analytics tools and info on how online marketing works, converts, and turns into profitable customers… (or doesn’t, as the case may be). However while all this data seems within reach of our fingertips, with most of it we DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. No split tests, no 1% samples, no demographic analysis. We let marketing metrics slip through our hands worse than Wile E. Coyote losing the RoadRunner.

Lastly, companies big and small have little access to good online marketing talent. Currently most “experienced” marketing folks have limited technical knowledge beyond email campaigns, minimal experience in search, and only marginal understanding of social networks, platforms, and apps. The ones that do have substantial experience with online marketing are likely full-time employed, expensive and difficult to recruit. ransomSo how do you ever find a good online marketing person, short of kidnapping them? (Yeah, we know who you are — and you won’t get away with it. Put down the gun & back away… slowly).

Then again, if you’ve got the cash you can always buy the talent you need. But not all of us are loaded, and finding great online marketing folks will continue to be a challenge for the foreseeable future. Still, perhaps there is a way you can meet talented people and learn about tools and technologies you need to be successful at the same time…

Isn’t it about time you SMASH your Marketing, & make it BETTER?

So let’s get started… click here to find out more about the SMASH Summit on May 12th in San Francisco. Your marketing never looked better.