Social media solutions on a budget was the topic today at 11am for the Social Media track at Search Engine Strategies in San Francisco today. The biggest proof of a low cost approach that rocked was presented by Jeffrey Harmon, of OraBrush.
Harmon, the Chief Marketing officer for OraBrush, told his tale and shared several humorous videos about the surprise success of marketing OraBrush on a tiny budget. Invited by a 75 year old man, who had spent several years trying to market it, without success, Harmon believed he could create a social media campaign that would work. It began by the creation of a $500 video that was released to Youtube about the tongue cleaner product.
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At the time of the launch of the first video, YouTube had offered a promotional program that where the video would be promoted for $30 a day. The hope was to sell $35 worth of the product for each day the video was promoted. In record time, they got 422.153 million views and in 6 weeks sold out of 10,000 units of the OraBrush. Some of his key points:
They were able to test different videos as time went on via split A/B testing to discover what percentage of views resulted in web site traffic.
Culture was a consideration. For example, tongue cleaning is actually a normal part of life in India, whereas in the USA, it is not. Using humor in the videos, they were able to talk about bad breath by providing health benefits of their product.
User reviews created another 4 million views at Youtube. This also drew the attention of major retail companies and news magazines including the NY Times. As Harmon pointed out, “some Youtubers are very powerful.”
Another 300,000 downloads came as a result of a video where they randomly interviewed people by getting their attention with a funny bad breath mobile application. And…their Facebook page ramped up to 295,000 fans.
According to True Ventures Funds Orabrush, the Justin Bieber of Mouth Care, “Forty retailers in five countries carry the Orabrush and Wal-Mart is selling them in 14 stories in Utah.”
Social marketing “is no silver bullet”. The key is to offer consistently good content.
Organic growth happens in Twitter and Facebook (for free).
Remember to optimize content pages by adding ways to stay connected and following by placing social media buttons for things like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Focus on engaging with your readers and post consistently. For example, CNET has a news feed for Facebook.
Amplification on Twitter is great but track the effectiveness of your tweets. Don’t over post. He suggested 4-6 Facebook posts and 10-20 Tweets per day.
Be sure to know your audience and “cultivate your voice.”
Free tools – Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Bit.ly, monitor.wildfireapp.com
Allfacebookstats.com – for analytics, competitor analytics, see their spikes
Monitor.wildfireapp.com – follow counts
Last up was the wonderful speaker, Greg Jarboe, President, SEO-PR, who looked around the room and asked how many people were in public relations. About 3 people raised their hands. Then he asked how many people worked for companies that have a public relations person on staff and more people raised their hands. Then Jarboe asked, “Why aren’t your PR people here?” (To which there was small applause.) According to him, they are an “under leveraged asset.”
To illustrate his point, he presented a case study. The focus was on ROMI – return on marketing investment. This means if you spend $30 a day in marketing, you should sell/earn $35 in revenue, or what they call the 1.1. He indicated that PR people should be trained in ROMI.
The case study focused on a course offered at Rutgers University that needed 6 more students for a class. (Greg Jarboe is an instructor there.) The course was to start in December and Jarboe was given a budget of $4000 in November to try and fill the last 6 seats. Here’s how it went down:
Budget was $4000. They needed to fill 6 seats for the course. To get the 1.1 ROMI they needed only 1 student, who would pay $4995 in tuition.
They identified and then engaged with one relevant and influential blogger by inviting them to get the word out about the course on a Sunday, before the official press release would go out on Monday. (PR likes Mondays.)
They learned that Sunday is “spare day” when people like to learn new things and are often more open to that than work and life crammed Mondays.
They wrote a press release and released it on Monday. It was optimized for Google News, Bing News and Yahoo News. News engines are different.
The press release ranked #1 in Yahoo News and the blog post ranked #2. They were optimized for “social media marketing course”.
Of the interesting data they collected, they learned that the one influential blogger who knew about the course one day in advance and wrote about it was found and the article reposted or referred to by 67 other bloggers. Goal conversions for the week were up 106% vs the prior week.
They got 6 new students.