Diet Coke turns 30 this year, and everybody is talking about it!
On July 29th the brand launched an excellent marketing campaign, using a FREE marketing tool, twitter, to get its loyal customers fighting for a chance to win free Diet Coke for a year.
A competition via@DietCokeUS asked consumers and fans to tweet the love through birthday wishes, haikus, finishing sentences, etc. and hashtag it #DietCokeBday. The winners received a year’s supply of Diet Coke and a surprise 30 second party with the DC Crew.
With over 200,000 followers, you can imagine the number of free promotional tweets pushing brand image and awareness. Not to mention the significant increase in customer loyalty. Just hearing about the campaign (and not being a part of it) makes me want to go out and buy the diet soda, because who doesn’t want to be apart of something so huge, so unique, and so full of energy?
Watch any of the videos Diet Coke posted of the 30 second parties, and you’ll understand.
According to the Diet Coke brand page, it’s been the top diet soft drink in the world since 1984, after only two years of being on the market. Today it maintains that position as well as the no. 3 spot for soft drinks in the world.
You don’t get stats like that with a mediocre marketing strategy. No, you get it by thinking outside the bottle.
The Grocer’s recently published “Top 100 Advertisers Report” showed that Coca-Cola has cut ad spending by 6.6% in 2010 and invested more into social media.
“Coca-Cola’s social media strategy is clearly about long-term sustainable engagement, developing advocacy and encouraging brand loyalty,” says Matt Rhodes of socialmediatoday.com.
“Social media is not just about campaigns or generating buzz around a new product launch. It can be used to engage with consumers on an ongoing basis in order to deepen relationships with a brand.”
Clearly the Coca-Cola company is taking its social media marketing very serious. The company published its Online Social Media Principles, stating, “These Online Social Media Principles have been developed to help empower our associates to participate in this new frontier of marketing and communications, represent our Company, and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.”
It then goes on to list the five core values of the company in the online social media community, which are
So if you want to follow somebody, (pun intended), you might want to follow the successful marketing strategies of @DietCokeUS.
Update, 10/11/2011: Facebook has postponed the beta version of timeline afterTimeline.comfiled a lawsuit. Timeline is currently only available to those who have Facebook’s Developer application installed.
I've been playing around with the Facebook changes recently announced at f8 in San Francisco and freaking most of the public out soon thereafter. The real-time ticker and subscribe button makes sharing quicker and easier. The popular stories and recent stories seem to be confusing.
The feature that's really caught my eye is the timeline. The timeline rolls out to the public around October 6. To sample it ahead of time, you can access it through the developer apps. For personal users, the attraction of the timeline is obvious: it's attractive, artistic, much like a scrapbooking page layout. The timeline is fun – with one click you can go back to any year, any month and see status updates, photos and important events. It was described by Nir Refuah, vice president of McCann Digital in Israel, as “a digital autobiography.” Refuah said, “First Facebook became the digital ID of everyone, and now it will try to gather our whole life story,”
For brands, the attraction is more subtle. I had trouble at first understanding why a brand would like the new timeline, then the content developer in me kicked in. The timeline's all about story – history -- content. Acquiring as many 'likes” as you can is no longer a driving force. For content-driven non-competitive people like me, that is great news. Awesome content is what will get you in the stream. The popularity contest is no longer about star power, it's about authenticity and the human component of your business. Campaigning for the most “likes” won't do much for you.
To sum up what I've learned so far, the timeline benefits for your business include:
The cover. The cover is a big photo across the top of your page. It is prime real estate and very easy to change. This will be great for promotions and product roll-outs.
The Information blurb. Currently, a viewer has to dig deep to find a company's information tab. When found, it is surprisingly limited, weak and bland. The new timeline will feature the information right under the cover, above the fold, in an easy-to-read format, easy to click through to more info.
Infographic format. The new timeline format will propel brands to focus more on engagement and back story rather than getting more likes. Getting more comments and likes becomes less valuable than sharing authentic content. I believe the mom and pop shops that I serve will benefit more from this than the big corporations. Mom and Pop have real stories involving real people. Mom and Pop shops have a back story and biography that is generally more personable than the giant conglomerates. Admittedly, I'm a little biased on that.
The timeline rolls out soon for personal facebook pages. I'm not sure when it rolls out for brands and business pages.
Just when I was starting to flirt with Google+, Facebook has gotten back in the game and lured me back. Imagine that.
Google’s Instant Preview feature gives new meaning to the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
The Instant Preview feature was rolled out without much fanfare so you may or may not be aware of it. Opinions vary on how much it affects SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or SEO (Search Engine Optimization,) but most strategists agree it places much more importance on design than ever before.
The Instant Preview feature provides a graphic overview of search results and enables people to preview the results right on the results page. This is done through the use of a magnifying glass icon to the right of your search results.
When you search on a word or phrase, a whole page of search results will be produced. To the right of each result is a magnifying glass icon. Click this icon and a preview of the website appears in a pop up with a snippet enlarged that contains your search words highlighted. Once activating Instant Previews with that one click, you can hover over any other search result to see a preview of the web page. It is easy to skim down the page quickly and glance at the websites, almost like flipping through a magazine.
The benefits of Instant Preview:
Saves time. You can quickly compare between search results before clicking on any.
Accuracy. You will know at a glance if this site is what he/she is looking for. Also, this feature will decrease the bait and switch tactic of using keywords to lure traffic only to disappoint upon arrival.
May reduce Adwords charges. Currently for Adwords, you pay per click. The Instant Preview (free) will prevent clicks as searchers see the site before going there.
Should increase CTR (click-through rates) and decrease bounce rates.
How can you take advantage of Instant Preview:
Fix your landing pages. More images, less copy writing. Larger headers. Small print won’t show up on the Instant Previews, but the headlines will.
Design matters. Does the look of your page convey your message? Potential visitors will decide whether to visit your site without even reading any content, they’ll decide from just one view.
Reduce your clutter. Sign Up boxes, social media icons, ads, sidebar clutter will not show up well on the preview. Put them near the bottom of the page. Get rid of rotating flash headers.
Eliminate Forms. Nobody is attracted to a site where they have to fill out a bunch of information.
Clean-Up a little. Eliminate a few colors and typefaces, be consistent.
I peeked through some of our sites to see how we were holding up. I was very happy with The Race Shop’s look:
I think Tyler Brothers has an appealing look and is very clear on what you’ll find at their site, however, the slideshow at the top doesn’t show up. There’s just a blank white space. The video shows up as black space, too, but I can live with that. The white space has to go though.
When I search on TroutU Perfect Fly, one result looks great, but another doesn’t look so great. The first is their facebook page:
The second is a page that discusses Abram’s Creek, it’s all text and not visually obvious that I can purchase Perfect Flies here. The highlighted snippet, if I read it, tells me where to go to purchase the flies. It’s just not obvious that this is the site I need if I want to purchase a Perfect Fly. But honestly, that’s not the purpose of that page anyway, it just got sucked into the keyword search vortex.
I had one glitch in my Instant Preview experience – I could not get it to work on IE7. Apparently, this is common. If you experience this, you should be able to click on Tools > Compatibility View Settings and uncheck the "Display intranet sites in Compatibility View" checkbox. I still could not get that to work and I think it’s because on my computer, the system administrator controls that.
Go out and play around with it, see what you think. Is this a strong enough tool to affect website design and banner advertising? Maybe. Maybe not.
I had the pleasure of listening to theDuct Tape Marketing Podcast recently, the March 23 episode featureing David Meerman Scott, who recently wrote the book called World Wide Rave. David makes some really interesting points about how trends get started on the Internet. He provides numerous case studies on viral videos and blog posts, and how people have used these to build their businesses.
Examples included Blendtec, a maker of heavy-duty blenders who increased sales tenfold after creating some wacky videos and the site Will it Blend?, showing their blenders chop non-food items. He also talks about Helaine Smith, DMD, a Boston Dentist who quintupled her business after publishing a free e-book called "Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex."
Seth Godin had a great post recently -- a video showing a guy dancing, then two guys dancing, then... well, watch for yourself.
Seth's point is the first guy is very important, and the 3rd guy is very important, but Guy #49 is pretty much a dime a dozen. I'd like to put in a word for Guy #2 who took a real risk by joining Guy #1. He could have been rejected, but he joined in and believed in the movement. Guy #3 gets credit for the big wave but maybe there would not be a Guy #3 if not for Guy #2? Read Seth's comments at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/06/guy-3.html
Some of you are aware that my partners and I are trying to bring back the Mongo Bat. We are getting closer to actually begin manufacturing the bats and trying to figure out how to sell them. Mattel managed to sell 500,000 of the bats in the early 1990's, and we would like to do something similar, but without the cost of T.V. commercials and Saturday morning advertisements.
I think it's fair to say our marketing strategy is not totally worked out-- we have some ideas, but none of them are complete at the moment.
So with this in mind I read the story of Chris Hedgecock, who started an eBay Affiliate site called CarsForAGrand.com, focusing on inexpensive cars being sold on eBay. Chris decided to promote his site by buying a sub-$1000 car from his site, then driving cross-country, stopping at small cities along the way and visiting with local morning news shows. The story was eventually picked up nationally and brought him over 110,000 unique visitors in one day.
The January 14 episode (click to download) of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast had an excellent interview with Seth Godin, talking about the opportunities for small businesses and individuals in the current economic climate. As usual, Seth motivated me, and as a result, I am blogging again.
Ever wonder what is the most popular site on the Web? ComScore is a business that measures traffic on the Web and publishes it on a subscription basis. Below is Comscore's listing of the current Top 50 sites on the Web (for the U.S). You can find this yourself by going to http://www.comscore.com/press/data.asp and clicking on United States.