Case Study: Generating Social Media Buzz

Here’s an absolutely brilliant video case study demonstrating how to use social media buzz to market directly to your specific demographic. It can be difficult reaching certain demographics (millennial males, for instance) through traditional means. This often means you must think outside the box to get their attention. You must dare to be daring. Of course providing events as a form of marketing isn’t new, however, using social media to generate a global buzz is still in its infancy. But you don’t have to be a multi-national like Heineken to use it. Is there an event that you could be hosting to generate some buzz about your own brand?

The Event

The first thing to consider is the demographic you are trying to target. As with all marketing be specific. That will not only allow you to better cater to their needs and desires but will also concentrate your resources exactly where they matter. In the video Heineken focused on two immediate groups: die-hard Italian football fans – especially AC Milan or Real Madrid fans; and also their partners, bosses and friends. Especially the wives and girlfriends (WAGs). They provided the two groups with a memorable experience that they could both enjoy: the football match for the fans, and the conspiracy (and concert) for their partners.

Football is very important in Italy. The fans are called i tifosi because the popularity of the game spread like Typhoid Fever. Watching football and drinking beer also have close associations so it was an obvious choice to link the two in a marketing exercise. When deciding on what sort of an event to host you too may be able to link your product with a complementary activity. Do something that your consumers are already doing but tweak it and present it in an exciting new way. In the Heineken case study, they tapped into the fact that Italian football fans watch big matches religiously, and they tend to do so with their friends. By showing the game on a big screen in an auditorium with their WAGs and bosses Heineken provided a unique experience. Something memorable for both demographics, especially for the WAGs who got to do something special for their partners but also got to be included in the actual activity – watching football tends to be a male-only environment.

Generating The Buzz

Showing a football match in an auditorium may have been enough to generate some local buzz for the Heineken case. However, by conspiring with the WAGs and bosses they took it to a new level. They also videoed the entire thing so they could share it. By distributing the video on the web and to traditional news outlets they presented it as an offbeat news story. This is the key to their success. It wasn’t just a video of what happened; they created a very human narrative about conspiracy, disappointment, joy, love and fun.

Videoing your event is a powerful way to advertise. However you must provide a way for those that weren’t at the event to tap into the emotion. Otherwise it becomes just a video record of the event rather than generating a desire to have been there. In the case study the audience experiences the fun of knowing about the conspiracy, the looks of horror as the fans must make the impossible decision and then sit through the concert, and finally the envy of watching football on a big screen in an auditorium – and presumably while drinking Heineken.

Hosting an event as part of your marketing can be richly rewarding and generate significant brand recognition in itself. However, by producing a video that touches upon the emotions of the viewer and distributing it through the various social media channels you can take the exercise to a completely new level.

About the Author: skribe

Based in Perth, Australia, Antonio Barimen (aka skribe) is a writer, digital media consultant and social media producer.

He is available to help you develop social marketing and digital media strategies, improving communication between staff, partners and suppliers or just increasing the number of fans on Facebook. He has developed successful digital and social media projects for clients including CBS, Evian, Procter & Gamble, Discovery Networks, Pernod Ricard and American Express.

Connect with him on Twitter or Google Plus.
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Post Under Advice, Marketing, Video March 18, 2010

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