Viral Music Video Boosts Brand And Social Marketing Appeal


Image credit: Chicago Music Exchange on Google+

Knowing how much this community loves music, a story courtesy of Crain’s Chicago Business, shares how some businesses are benefitting from viral video to boost social marketing engagement.

In the January 28, 2013 issue of Crain’s, there’s a section Focus: Social Marketing and a story, “Chicago’s Social Marketing Standouts.” The Chicago Music Exchange owner challenged its staff to create a viral video. Alex Chadwick, a guitarist and salesman, made 100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock N’ Roll).

Views of this video on YouTube are nearing 4.6 million (at the time of the print story, there were 4.31 million views on YouTube). Total views for the Chicago Music Exchange’s 223 other videos only amount to 6 million.

Elements of Viral Video

What made this video go viral? According to all the experts quoted in the story, the guitarist shows off his technical and musical prowess while taking the viewers through the history of music with 100 recognizable tunes. The video fits right in with the mission of the music equipment retailer, which doesn’t necessarily contribute to its viral nature, but it feels so right.

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How Social Media Blends With Cause-Related Marketing

Credit: World Hunger Relief Campaign

Everyone ought to have a pet cause or perhaps you work for a not-for-profit where all your attention lies. What’s the role social media is playing in your attention-getting campaigns?

Yesterday, Geoff Livingston invited me to a tweet bomb. Having never really heard of one, although it was easy to get the purpose, I heartily agreed to support World Hunger Relief, From Hunger to Hope, for children in poverty and malnourishment throughout the world in tandem with World Food Day today.

Today’s tweet bomb is [8:30] a.m. to [9:30] a.m. in all time zones at #HungerToHope in honor of World Food Day sponsored by Razoo and Yum! Brands.

When I clicked the link to see what resources were available, I saw an entire blogger resource kit with:

  • Sample tweets
  • A Twibbon
  • Details for a blog post
  • Hashtags and timing
  • Images from Flickr
  • Facebook cover image for timeline
  • Social media buttons
  • Full campaign website
  • Fact sheet
  • Logos

When I saw the kit, I was surprised Geoff hadn’t asked for a blog post, so I volunteered. I also just scheduled about eight tweets to run on two Twitter accounts during the scheduled time of the tweet bomb.

How Social Media Works

Let’s review what just happened above…

1. Geoff and I are in social media marketing; we know one another through the Interwebz. He comments on my blog, I comment on his blog. I bought his book, Marketing in The Round with Gini Dietrich.

2. That gives Geoff the opportunity and comfort to ask his blogger peer network to help support a cause. I do it all the time and have done so with Danny Brown and his 12for12K, and for Shonali Burke to support UNHCR, and we bought blue keys. It was a highly successful campaign, as well.

3. Geoff didn’t ask for a blog post, but I knew that would help the campaign. I’m asking for your consideration to help World Hunger with tweets and even a few of your pennies.

Those who manage causes cannot ignore bloggers’ influence or social media networking. A tweet bomb is a perfectly easy way to showcase an issue and even create a trending topic (which is likely exactly what #HungerToHope is aiming for).

When you decide to incorporate social media into a campaign on any scale, pay close attention to the blogger resource kit; it’s exactly what I needed to write this post with ALL the detail at my fingertips.

So, today’s ask is for you to support World Food Day with tweets, pennies, posts, or a nod in the direction of your favorite charitable cause.

Seen On The ‘Sphere

It’s Friday; here’s a roundup of a few pieces of insight in case you missed them…

…via @DannyBrown

It’s Friday, and the ‘sphere is reeling from Klout’s move to decrease scores and thus influence while also throwing a curve ball to parents concerned their kids are being added to Klout, albeit privacy settings on Facebook would suggest that as an impossibility.

My friend @DannyBrown has been trying, to no avail, to get his profile removed from Klout as he believes it’s a menace to the true meaning of influence, and his quest has provoked many a conversation about this “influence channel.”

…via @PatFlynn of Smart Passive Income

Pat Flynn’s newsletter came in today. Instead of his newsy notes, it was a letter suggesting he was getting perturbed that bloggers who grow too large for their britches should take a lude and come back to earth. He asked for his readers’ help to keep him honest and earthly while at the same time he acknowledged his own astonishingly aggressive growth spurt.

…via @ShakirahDawud of Deliberate Ink

She’s a talented writer and one I love reading. When Shakirah rolls into high gear with  her storytelling, feature writing, novel-esque wordsmithing, it’s always a delight. In this post, she shares the “who” and “whom” conundrum and encourages everyone to get it write right.

…via @3HatsComm of 3 Hats Communication

My friend Davina Brewer, who has disappeared from the interwebz and is now a lurker, says that websites should not be designed cheaply. All those $99 website ads are bogus. Davina says she’s turned on to WordPress, and I agree! See what she says right here.  (And, I wanted to give her a nod to say she’s missed.)

…via @LeonNoone of Staff Performance Secrets

I love this guy. His quick wit and dry humor make me laugh every time he comments and he “makes sure you have fun.” Leon is an Aussie change management consultant (I have no idea, I just said that), and I want him to know his stuff is good.  In his blog post about 10 simple secrets to improving staff performance the list is a great reminder how we need to delight customers.


If anyone comments, please do share a link to something you’ve written or a nod in another direction. In fact, what a great idea…please and thank you!

Blogging & #BlueKey: Use Your Influence

I’m late to the party; what else is new…yet, there’s still time to help founders and planners of the global BlueKey campaign make their mark by June 20, World Refugee Day. Shonali Burke is driving the digital program to earn 6,000 blue keys for $5 each, and Gini Dietrich is riding tandem. Together they’re making a difference, and you can, too.

As a blogger, hit Shonali’s blog and you can lift content from her blog (because she’s provided everything you need to spread the word).
Then, you can launch and post a cute photo like @JennWhinnem did when her  blue key arrived. Or, go directly to the Blue Key Campaign site  to adapt content for your post.

And, so, please read the below excerpted directly from Waxing Unlyrical; Ms. Shonali Burke’s amazing blog. It’s only $5, folks, we can afford that hands down. While you’re there, take a look at the solid digital/PR strategy behind this campaign; it’s one for the text books.

Extracted directly from Shonali Burke’s blog, Waxing Unlyrical:
So I’ve been working with USA for UNHCR on the digital aspects of its Blue Key campaign. It’s very simple:
1. The Blue Key campaign symbolizes the key to the home that refugees may never ever hold again;
2. It’s a $5 symbolic Blue Key pin or pendant that is really very cute – and by getting your own, you’re showing support for the cause of refugees worldwide, as well as for the 6,000+ UNHCR staffers working globally to bring them some relief; and
3. Our goal for this phase of the campaign is to get 6,000 keys out to Americans (they can only ship within the US) by June 20, which is World Refugee Day.

From an SM campaign point of view, I think we’ve been doing some interesting things (but of course, I’m working on the campaign, so take that with a fistful of salt if you need to). We have:
• Refined the “online home” for the Blue Key campaign as much as possible, so that messaging is in sync;
• Reached out to cause-passionate bloggers who are active in social spaces to become Blue Key Champions (you can become one too, just let me know, the main “ask” is for you to publish a post on the campaign between now and June 20);
• Using the #bluekey hashtag on Twitter to amplify the conversation and drive awareness;
• Created tracking URLs for the primary outreach mechanisms, i.e. blog(ger)s, Facebook, Twitter & email newsletters (which USA for UNHCR is sending out);
• Customized the “thank you” email someone gets when they sign up for a Blue Key (or more than one), so that they can choose whether or not to “like” USA for UNHCR on Facebook, follow on Twitter, donate a tweet a day, or become a Champion.

(I really like it when I get to shamelessly copy content from someone else’s blog; makes my work so much simpler.) Please buy a Blue Key (and then head on over to @DannyBrown to get your #12for12K mojo, too).

Thanks! You won’t regret it.


Car Buying, Word of Mouth & Sales

Buying a car is a lot like eating a poison apple. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last eight weeks, and anyone who’s been following the blog has read of my research and self-study.  It all began when Toyota ticked off its loyal followers with a massive recall. So, I began to look around.

What’s below is the pathway to a near-final decision, and I offer this to you marketers and public relations peers to consider the immense number of touches possible in advance of a customer’s major purchase decision. At the end of the day, it all boils down to sales. Read what’s below, add yours, and then think about how you influence sales.

Car-Buying Touches, Word of Mouth & Sales Pathway

  • Toyota screws up with a massive recall that has America and drivers reeling.
  • Begin to search outside the brand reluctantly; use Twitter to query the Twitterverse, and the Ford Flex is recommended.
  • Poke around at manufacturer Web sites for articles and other options because I’m NOT a Ford girl.
  • Read Fast Company article about Ford’s in-vehicle technology that is heads and shoulders above other auto manufacturers; intrigued. The PR for Ford kicks! (Point for Ford.)
  • Toyota ticks me off by not sending my bill on time two months in a row; purposeful?  Could be, lease ending soon. (Point for Ford.)
  • Test drive Ford Flex; what a hummer of a vehicle. I like it; it comes in candy apple red; has more gizmos and gadgets than needed: refrigerator, 120 amp three-prong plug, five moon/sun roofs. The grampa car salesman (~ 74-years-old) snoozed through the two-hour touch. He didn’t sell me, didn’t review other models, didn’t push hard, but he did bring over the manager who did his best to get me to buy that day. (Not too impressed.)
  • Emailed preferred Toyota dealer and got a woman who was not interested in selling. She said the car I wanted only came with an auxiliary jack for iPod. As I wanted too many things she wasn’t sure she could find that car within a 200 mile radius. She sent me a general email response. I waited a day and emailed her back asking for more information; I never heard from her. (Point for Ford.)
  • Read story in Wall Street Journal with Ford CEO Alan Mullaly again about the hot technology that is selling many cars for Ford right now. (Point for Ford.)
  • Saw a Ford Flex being driven on the street, pulled alongside in adjacent lane and asked him how he liked the Flex. He said it was “the best road vehicle” he’s ever driven. After that word-of-mouth marketing touch, I had decided to buy a Ford.
  • A call from another Toyota dealer where I wrote my Highlander lease. I told him flat out I’m looking at Ford Flex. I did not want to give him my business due to the mechanic shop; it sucks! He agreed and begged for a chance to show me the features of the Highlander.  I could not deny him.
  • I saw the 2010 Highlander; was impressed with all the features (nearly the same as Ford Flex), and gave him the specs I wanted.
  • He began to work on the deal; emailed me within two days to say he was working with his manager and would have numbers shortly. (Point for Toyota)
  • It’s been 10 days since I saw the Ford salesman. Guess what? He NEVER followed up! (Major point for Toyota.)

As of today, Toyota is leading in spite of all the points for Ford. The salesman there is earning my business; he’s eager to make a sale, and he’s communicating with me frequently about where he’s at with pricing. Speaking of which, the Ford Flex is ~$8,000 more than the Toyota Highlander all tricked out.  Point for Toyota? You bet.