Gross Marketing 101
It’s Weird Wednesday! Our new weekly feature for Wednesday is all about weird but effective marketing methods. In this first post in this series, we’re talking about how companies have achieved results by being gross. Woo hoo.
Gross Marketing Lesson 1: Expose It
The first thing to know is that it’s simply unprofessional to be disgusting. But if you cover a topic that is creepy, weird or gross, you are likely to make heads turn.
Have you ever heard of Grist? No? Nor had I. But I came across the following headline, and was compelled to read the story:
It turns out that in its social media naivete, McDonalds launched a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #McDStories. Instead of a whole bunch of tweet love, they got things like this:
Ouch. So, why cover this story? What did Grist accomplish?
Well, if you hadn’t heard of them before, you have now, haven’t you? They’ve certainly done some effective marketing with their approach, because they’ve currently got 34K Likes on their Facebook page.
Furthermore, at the moment that I am writing the first draft of this post, the story (which was published precisely four hours ago) has 227 Facebook Likes, has been tweeted 212 times and Google +1′d 14 times. No doubt by the time you read this it’s going to be a whole lot more viral than that.
Gross Marketing Lesson 2: Get Graphic
No, not graphic in terms of showing gross stuff. But entice with pictures. And of course write a great headline that conjures up good imagery.
Photo credit: Pixiq.com
Let’s take a look at a post about how food photographers get those gorgeous perfect pictures, titled The Dirty Tricks of Food Photographers. With a pretty picture of a too-perfect dessert and a subtitle alluding to the use of hair spray and motor oil, this post from July of 2011 intrigued readers to the tune of 353 tweets, 901 Facebook Likes and 31 Google Plus shares.
What are they selling on the Pixiq site? Camera equipment. Nothing too thrilling to write about, perhaps. But they’ve done some very clever marketing and SEO, all in one fell swoop. By writing compelling posts in their niche, they magnetically attract traffic, boosting their SEO results and the number of drive by visitors that will take an interest in their products.
Gross Marketing Lesson 3: Get Interactive
If you had told me prior to October 2011 that I would be captivated by a video of someone running a skeleton through a blender, I’d tell you to go fly a kite. But… it happened.
The Blendtec company skyrocketed their sales with a clever campaign titled “Will it Blend?” I came across this video last Halloween. Their lighthearted approach to sharing the power of their technology works. At this writing, the Skelly video has been viewed over 440,000 times and the company has over 18,000 Likes on their Facebook page.
If you’ve got a product that will “sell itself” when people see it in demonstration, think about what you can learn from Blendtec.
Thanks for reading my first “Weird Wednesdays” post! Do you know of weird but effective marketing techniques? Share them in the comments below. Or, if you’d like me to cover a topic that worked for you, please tell me about it in this online survey.
To your content marketing success,