Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chobani Yogurt Leverages Politics To Stretch Their Sponsorship Dollar

As the Winter Games in Sochi got underway this past weekend, one side story had little to do with the sporting events. As you've probably heard by now, it seems that a large shipment of yogurt from American brand and Olympic sponsor +Chobani was prevented from entering the host country due to a lack of paperwork ensuring the product met standards set by the Russian government. 

The protein-packed yogurt was to be distributed among United States athletes, as well as American journalists there to cover the events. As the matter was investigated further, political news outlet Politico reported the following: 

"The yogurt-related dispute is more than a one-off Olympic absurdity, too. The Russians have been blocking shipments of milk, cheese, yogurt and other products since 2010 for what U.S. officials say are bogus and unscientific reasons. U.S. dairy industry officials said they’re just glad their problems with Russia are finally getting some attention."

With Russia being one of the world's leading importers of dairy products, it seems quite unlikely that Chobani was unaware of the embargo the country has had on U.S. dairy for four years. So, why take a gamble at a pricey sponsorship, and bother to ship 5,000 containers of their product they can be sure will be intercepted before reaching their destination? Simple. For the marketing opportunity that money can't buy. 

It's one thing to get your product in the hands of athletes for some good placement, and run television and digital ads like every other Olympic sponsor. It's quite another to create a dynamic story around your product that news outlets pick up, politicians latch onto, and people discuss at length. A chance like this is not in front of most other sponsors. Chobani saw their unique opportunity, and seized it.   

So, way to earn that extra media attention +Chobani. Very smart. Let's just not start a war over it, okay?  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Guerrilla Marketing In The Wintertime. Are You Seizing Every Opportunity?

Here's something I passed by on my way home from the store today. Jungle Jim's International Market is hosting a cheese festival this weekend. They've done their job in promoting it already. But, there's always room for something more. Something eye catching.

The grocery store looked at the mountains of snow outside their store and saw a promotional opportunity. Simple, and well worth the effort if it brings in a few more attendees. So, my question to you is are you seizing each and every opportunity to promote your business?

Monday, February 3, 2014

How To Use Photo Tagging As A Social Media Marketing Tool

True engagement with fans on social media that makes a lasting impression is not an easy thing. Getting a bunch of comments with a "caption this" or a "fill in the blank" post may feel good for a day. But, the reality is that these tactics are lazy, and are soon completely forgotten by fans. If posts to social networks are not part of a thought out content strategy, it is unlikely they will to lead to sales, loyalty, or even awareness.

To be fair, it's not all laziness. Social media is still a new world when it comes to marketing, and the constant changes to, and of networks makes it difficult to determine how best to engage with users in a meaningful way. There are plenty of brands, big and small, that are getting it right though. Studying their tactics reveals that success comes from hard work and planning, as well as good, old fashioned creativity.

Not every post has to be a key part of the strategy, of course. But, marketers definitely have to be aware of where their opportunities lie, and capitalize on them. Here are just two examples of what I mean. Both of these Facebook posts use the photo tagging tool as a way to engage with their fans, making an impression that lasts while bringing more eyes to the original page.

1.  Mayer Hawthorne is a musician that takes time to talk to his fans on social media. In this Facebook post, he displays a wide shot of the audience from the stage. He asks fans to go to his website to tag themselves if they were in attendance. By giving fans the chance to relive their experience and feel like they were an important part of the performance (which, they were), Hawthorne creates a lasting impression on them.

This single photo drives people to the website, delivers a piece of shareable content that will display in the news feed of many friends of everyone tagged, and most likely drive ticket sales the next time he has a show in this city. Simple, meaningful, and brilliant.    

2. Alzheimer Nederland is a Dutch Alzheimer's organization that wanted to bring awareness to Alzheimer's disease in a unique way through social media. To do this, they inputted images of Facebook users at events which never really took place, leading to confusion among them once they were tagged. This confusion is similar to what Alzheimer's patients experience when unable to remember events of their past.

This campaign is great because it puts the user in the shoes of a person facing this disease, delivering a powerful call to action to get involved. It also is a bit fun (if I can use that word here), that has a viral nature to it, as Facebook users can then deliver an image of a friend from their Facebook photo collection to Alzheimer Nederland to be inputted and tagged in an event photo. So, those that are drawn in by this campaign can then pass that experience on to a friend. This approach is much more involved than the first. But, it creates a lasting impression by being personal, and could drive online donations which are vital for disease research.

ALZHEIMER NEDERLAND - The Alzheimer's Event [casefilm] 2:00" from N=5 on Vimeo.

We know the power images hold on Facebook. It's difficult to get into those news feeds without paying extra. Engaging photos are a great way to overcome that obstacle, and command attention in a crowded space. This is where the creativity of your social media marketing team is important. If they take the opportunity to shine in a unique way, your social media pages could prove to be great tools for driving revenue from engagement.