You just went big. Your winning idea, service, or product got some massive attention, but now what? How will you capitalize on this moment with buzz marketing to maximize your brand’s visibility and meet further business goals?
My recent buzz marketing story
Last week I was selected to go on Fox News’ Megyn Kelly File to ask a question to Republican presidential candidates. Megyn’s producer called five times Wednesday afternoon between 2 and 3 p.m. strongly urging me to come to Houston and be on their show that evening. Megyn received thousands of questions, narrowed them down to 30, and mine was #5.
I posted on Facebook directly after the first call, and then posted additional comments in real time asking if someone would like to take my question who was already in Houston and then that we were persuaded to go to Houston. It kept friends and colleagues informed.
The producer was persistent that no one else go in my stead. She said Megyn liked not only my question, but my background and thought I’d be a good face for the cause. So, to Houston we went!
Along the way, I kept my Facebook friends informed of the ever-changing afternoon events and made sure to personally call each of the people I had made prior plans with that evening to express my sincere apologies and to reschedule.
My question was intended for all the presidential candidates, but Megyn had them come on stage one at a time so mine went to Senator Ted Cruz (R–TX). Our discussion was aired later that evening on Fox News to millions of viewers nation-wide.
Before we could meet folks for dinner after the townhall, my phone’s notifications had blown up! I had tweets, Facebook posts, emails, texts, and phone calls congratulating me. That didn’t die down until about 24 hours later. But, what was exciting was the viral buzz that this short 5-minute exchange with Senator Cruz went on to produce for the next three days. Breitbart, LifeSite News, Media Matters, RH Reality Check, The Blaze, The Dallas Morning News, YouTube, The Travis Tracker, Blog & Mablog, Life News, Democracy Now, among many others — not to mention the thousands of mentions about the topic on social media.
My goal has been to keep this issue alive as it makes its way to the courts and Congressional hearings this week and into the future.
What is buzz marketing?
Buzz Marketing leverages conversations among networks both on social media and by word of mouth to increase the brand’s reach exponentially.
For example, I shared with my network in live time about going on TV in the Facebook screenshot above. They shared this news with their spouse, coworkers, and social media friends and wha-lah: my cause went viral and grew exponentially. Plus the exchange being on a major news network created a media flurry the preceding few days. That’s buzz marketing.
Best Practices in Buzz Marketing
1. Be ready to pick up and go
- The #22 Law of the Public Policy Process is: Never miss a political meeting if you think there’s the slightest chance you’ll wish you’d been there.
- My former article here gives 16 tips for preparing for public spotlight opportunities. Let me share that many of them require pre-planning to look your best each day and to pack the needed essentials for a busy day on the go!
- While you make and finetune your schedule (with some of these tips here), be flexible to change it up when needed. Remember to call your established appointments before hand, sincerely apologize, and seek rescheduling with them.
2. Give your network a heads up about the pending attention/interview/media
- Make your network a part of the story minute-by-minute.
- Let them feel they are apart of your cause. Invite them along!
3. Connect with the journalists, producers, and authors of publications that did follow-up pieces about your brand, cause, or product.
- Twitter makes that really easy. Most articles have the writer’s handle under their name at the top or bottom of the article. Tweet out at them thanking them for featuring your brand and add something more to the topic to ensure a retweet or a favorite.
- You can also submit comments under their online article to add further depth to their story and engage with their readers in a back-and-forth discussion of the topic.
4. Capitalize on the narrow window of time by responding in a timely manner
- Apparently, my question to the senator connected with folks and they marketed my cause for me on social media. I didn’t have post anything. I had well over 30 posts on my timeline from others with hundreds of likes and comments across those 30+ posts.
- I spent the whole night riding back to Austin on my phone responding to the emails, calls, text, and social media messages, comments, tweets, and posts. Be sure to acknowledge your supporters. Despite the craziness of it all, respond graciously to each of them and let them know you care. That will build trust over time.
5. Evaluate what went well and what could be better
- Could you have fixed your hair differently? Said something in a clearer way?
- What opportunities did you miss?
- What unexpected setbacks could have been mitigated, and what will you do next time to avoid them?
Among Austin marketing firms, GoodBuzz Solutions empowers brands to become more visible by harnessing the best of marketing, communications, and events to achieve their goals. Put your marketing expertise to the test by taking the free GoodBuzz Online Marketing Assessment here. The quiz will evaluate you in seven core areas with 31 questions. Your immediate marketing score will identify your strengths and show you where you can polish your strategy – all for free!