I’ll be honest with you. Product placement has never been in our marketing plans. I mean, product placement is for soft drinks, laptops, and running shoes. Right?
But our ongoing social media outreach, coupled with product placement, turned out to be an incredibly effective marketing combination. Since so many of us are still trying to figure out how to use social media tools effectively to build business, I thought you might be interested in hearing our own success story this week.
As you may know, the Conformer mailer was featured at length in the opening sequence of “Fringe” last Friday on the Fox television network. Had the media exposure stopped there, the “Fringe” product placement probably wouldn’t have influenced a single sale. That’s where social media made all the difference. Here’s what we did next:
- We used Hulu to create a tightly edited version of Conformer’s appearance, creating an efficient way to showcase our Hollywood moment.
- Then I updated the Conformer blog on our lucky break and added an easy click to our video clip.
- Our blog automatically streams to our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, so all of our connections heard about the story first. We have a clever link at the bottom of every Conformer employee’s email signature that features our blog stories, so our video clip showed up there, too.
- Our PR firm wrote a press release, which alerted trade magazines and our favorite bloggers. Our story got picked up online in places we’re still discovering, allowing us to reach people who have never heard of Conformer before.
- A personalized email was sent to friends, colleagues, clients, and interested parties and we encouraged them to share with friends.
- On our home page, we showcased the video spot on a peel-back corner of our website, which we know through Google Analytics is one of our most-clicked web pages.
- We shared many of these tools with our strategic partners who collaborate with us to bring Conformer to the marketplace. This enables our “Fringe” fame to go viral among their customer base. And some even featured our video clip at the weekly sales meeting to fire up the reps.
- We used a URL shortener called bit.ly to create a tidy way to communicate the link and also allows us to track clicks. http://conformerinc.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/fox-networks-fringe-gives-conformer-15-seconds-of-fame/ became http://bit.ly/dHthFD. This shortened URL prints nicely on a sticker, now placed on all Conformer samples.
- And of course, we’re writing stories like this one and sending them in our monthly enewsletter in case you may have missed all of the hullabaloo from last week.
So how many “Fringe” viewers from that first Friday night called us after seeing our product placement? Zero. How many people contacted us after our social media campaign? A LOT…and they’re sales inquiries. Our blog and website traffic is way up and continues to stay up (thanks to viral marketing), which conveniently improves our Google search rankings.
Many thanks to Bill Tignanelli at Admore, the “Fringe” television fan who alerted us, and to all of you for fueling our viral campaign. (Now please, send this to a friend!)
–Sari McConnell at firstname.lastname@example.org