With today’s advances in technology we are all more connected to one another than ever before. For example, FaceBook.com partnered with CNN for today’s inauguration so people could interact and provide comments and feeback about the coverage. Social media is practically becoming a mainstream household term due to the recent Presidential race and candidates using sites like Facebook.com, YouTube.com and Twitter to build a following.
Now all kinds of companies are doing the same thing. Real estate developers like Lennar are running major campaigns on Twitter to create a following and notify people of new special incentives! Social media marketing itself is all about finding out who is talking about the topics that are centered around your company, and getting involved in those online conversations. This is also where online reputation management comes into play but that topic is worth another blog all by itself.
Today I wanted to talk about how companies can use current press coverage to boost their actual marketing campaigns. For the purpose of this conversation I wanted to use the automobile industry bailout. So what happens when a certain topic gets major press coverage on the news and online? That’s right, people go straight to the search engines and start looking for more information. For example, when the news about the auto industry bailout started really picking up, the searches run in Google for terms like “auto bailout” picked up drastically. Due to the fact that new initiatives in the auto industry are now imperative for its survival, all the major auto manufacturers starting marketing efforts around their hybrid models and green approach to car making.
Companies like Ford have been leaders in the digital space and have been using search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, and social media optimization for quite some time but with a slightly different focus – the end sale. This is actually what they should be focusing on and it has been working quite well. When all of these efforts are used as a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy, online lead generation should be at the forefront of the targeted goals (or conversions). Now, companies like Ford are using Internet marketing for a slightly different cause…education and brand awareness.
The auto industry has taken some pretty big hits just like Wall Street has. Rumors of mismanagement, excessive spending, and riduclous salaries have spread through the idustry as the big three sought funds for bailout. Now it is important to educate the consumers about what automobile makers are doing to help the environment and take a new approach to the business.
Ford is a great example of a company leveraging current press coverage to push new marketing initiatives. Due to the fact that searches for auto bailout and related terms were through the roof, Ford started running Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns targeting these terms. The titles and descriptions mentioned new things Ford is doing to change the industry and new initiatives like the Ford Fusion hybrid vehicle. Companies like Chevrolet, Toyota, and Chrystler are all running large PPC campaigns now using “hybrid” related keywords. The ones that are having the best result are sending these paid search ad results to optimized landing pages with great information and calls to action.
So how can you use current media to pursue new marketing efforts?
- The online world is now so social and interactive that people are on the web talking about just about everything you can images. People upload videos and other digital content about any topic you could ever think of. Find out who is talking about your industry and get involved.
- If there is press centered around good aspects to your industry or even controversy, find out who is putting it out there and prepare to craft a strategic response. How you do this is up to you but it can be done through many channels like blogs, press releases, PPC campaigns, etc.
- Even if the message out there is not great and you think it could damage the perception of your company, think again. In the world of Web 2.0 transparency, many companies wonder whether they want to put themselves out there for criticism. As long as you are ready to mamage the feedback, do not be afraid…sometimes your critics can be your best allies.
- Consider online reputation management as well. There are great tools, software, and Internet marketing companies who can run online reputation management campaigns that help you montior online feedback about your company and respond accordingly. Sometimes this feedback can be valuable information that can lead to dramatic directional shifts in your business model so keep your ear to the grindstone!