While I was on vacation last week, I caught a USA Today article (I love USA Today) entitled “Using Blogs for Buzz” by Kim Hart. You can find her original article about getting bloggers to write about your product on the Washington Post web site.
When Nokia Corp. released its camera smartphone last fall, the marketing campaign cut back on news releases and flashy ads. Instead, the company sent sample products to 50 tech-savvy amateur bloggers with a passion for mobile phones.
The tactic paid off, as word spread online about the N-series phone, driving up sales and contributing to a 43 percent profit boost for Nokia last quarter.
We are thinking about a similar strategy for LDS Media. We have been considering offering full access our LDS search engine (with more than 3,300 full text books) to key influencers. There are probably hundreds of LDS bloggers who would love a free subscription. All we would ask is that whenever they quote someone, that they link back to the ldslibrary.com web site. We also want to find ways to provide subscriptions to other groups, including, for example:
We need thousands of influencers who are using and citing and talking about the new LDS Library web site, so that everyone in the LDS community hears about our search engine.
Question is: how do we reach them and get them full access to our web site. It might be best to start with the bloggers and give the bloggers full access if they are willing to blog about the full access offer for these other customer segments.
Another Provo Labs company is marketing a great new product to help kids do their chores without whining: it’s called Children’s Miracle Music. Last week we had record sales. But we are just doing pay-per-click and email marketing. (We will soon be using SEO, online video (through 10Speed’s online video affiliate network), and traditional affiliate marketing as well.) We haven’t yet implemented a blog-based marketing strategy.
We are seriously considering finding every major mom blog on the internet and sending each blogging mom a free copy of Children’s Miracle Music, with no strings attached, just because we know so many moms love this product and the blogging moms are going to reach a lot more people with their enthusiasm than the non-blogging moms.
What do you think?
What is the best way to use the blogosphere to start a viral campaign? What other case studies exist besides the Nokia example?
Nokia hired Comunicano Inc. to develop their blogging program. What other firms are doing this?
What would you do if you wanted to kick of a viral blogging program for your company? Would you hire a PR firm with a blogging expert, or would you do it in-house?
If you’ve tried giving away your product or service to bloggers and saw an impact from it, please share with the rest of us! (I’m adding the Nokia example to the Strategy Tree wiki’s blogging page.)