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Picks of the Week: July 10-16

Two men (and their fans) ruled the Internet this week: Old Spice Man and Double Rainbow Guy. Today, we take a closer look at the one that made a real (splish) splash in the business world, as well as tips for learning more about SEO, how to valuate your Facebook fans (rather, if you even should), finding more prospects through content marketing, a call for a better PR pitching platform, and why marketers should start paying attention to the backchannel.

Social Media

Spotlight on Old Spice
Unless you’ve been living under a social-media rock this week, you’ve heard about the genius Old Spice campaign that translated the company’s popular commercial advertisements into a viral online phenomenon. By aggressively combining self-published content and community, Old Spice developed a social media campaign that pushed the brand and got people to share it.

For information on how the campaign was strategized and implemented, see the comprehensive Read Write Web article, How the Old Spice Videos are Being Made, by Marshall Kirkpatrick. It includes details from an interview with Ian Tait, global interactive creative director at Weiden + Kennedy and mastermind behind the Old Spice online-advertising revolution.

And, though no specific details on increases in sales and ROI have been released (or are likely even available yet) for details on the success of the campaign from a viral, social-engagement perspective, see Brenna Ehrlich’s Mashable article, The Old Spice Social Media Campaign by the Numbers.

Or, if you just want to check out the awesome, personalized-for-fans videos created by Old Spice, see the company’s YouTube channel. Not to be taken lightly, below is a screenshot of this page’s stats at time of writing.


Old Spice Video Stats

What is the Value of a Facebook Fan? Zero!
By Forrester analyst Augie Ray, this article takes a look at the fallacies in current valuations being assigned to Facebok fans. Ray offers four key factors that clearly explain why each fan case is unique, and thus why a standard denomination is impossible to determine:

  • There are wide price discrepancies in products and services across companies based on industry, brand, etc.
  • Each fan has a unique social graph and influence level
  • A "true" fan has different value than one who likes your brand due to a promotion
  • Cause and effect: Knowing whether being a fan spurs spending, or spending spurs fandom

The more important thing to consider, Ray argues, is that Facebook offers potential for you to create value for these people, thus encouraging them to engage. "The operative question isn’t, 'What is the value of a Facebook Fan?” but, 'How do I make my Facebook fans valuable?'"

Search Marketing

6 Ways to Learn SEO
Excellent article from Rand Fishkin, complete with tips to advance your knowledge in search engine optimization, no matter what level you're currently at in your quest for understanding. In addition to a list of broad ideas, such as reading blogs and books, and attending online classes, Fishkin offers a quality list of specific resources in each category to help you get started, and continue, learning SEO.

Content Marketing

How to Find Thousands More Prospects for Your Business
Interesting thoughts from Sonia Simone about using content marketing to cast a wider net and draw in more prospects than standard online marketing tactics allow.

According to Simone, if we accept that about three percent of your market is in active buying mode at any time, and you and your competitors are actively trying to sell them, then you are going after a highly saturated market. However, by developing valuable and relevant content that helps you stay in front of this three percent as well as the other 97, you have a much better chance of drawing in sales over time through an active lead-nurturing program.


A New Model for PR and Influencers
Another great article from Forrester, this by Josh Bernoff, presents an extremely clever idea to better connect PR professionals with the influencers (reporters, bloggers, analysts, etc.) they want to reach. Bernoff refers to his system as “HIRPS — Highly Relevant Pitching System.” Its three core elements of influencer profiles, a PR pitching system and ratings for PR people could vastly improve the pitching and relationship-building process through their inherent benefits:

  • Influencers are encouraged to be very specific about the kind of information they are interested in receiving.
  • PR professionals must connect clearly and concisely, through a defined process.
  • PR professionals are all but forced to be meaningful and relevant, for fear of getting poor ratings from untargeted pitches.

After reading the article, I can only guess that any PR pro or influencer’s response would be the same as mine: Why hasn’t anyone developed this yet? And please tell me that someone is on it now.


When the Reality Show Went Meta: Culture Gone Wild
A look at the backchannel through analysis of reality television, by Rick Liebling. Reality television producers are at the forefront of a new kind of entertainment — one in which the creators become content producers on all fronts. In short: rather than stopping with the show, continue to engage fans through news, updates, social elements and non-stop entertainment.

Says Liebling, "Gone are the days when television took the summer off. Original programming 12 months a year is now a requirement. Similarly, CNN and the Internet created the 24 hour news cycle. The idea of waiting a week for the next issues of TIME or Newsweek to come out seems crazy now. In the future, whatever the equivalent of The Wire will be, it won’t be called a TV show, it will simply be a content franchise that will produce new content, across numerous platforms and formats, all the time (so, like Law & Order then)."

Money takeaway: In today’s world of non-stop news and entertainment, your audience is hungry for more. What value can you provide to help keep them satiated?

What was your favorite marketing article of the week? Share it in the comments below, or tweet it to our attention at @PR2020.

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