Red Bull

Make Noise to Make News

If you want news coverage for your brand, make news. If you don't have any legitimate news, then make noise. 

There is a lot of competition for coverage — in the traditional press, trade press and blogosphere. Sending cookie-cutter press releases is akin to folding a paper airplane and pushing it out the window.

Even press releases with sharp story hooks may not turn into coverage because of bad timing or a reporter is chasing what he or she thinks is better story. Reporters face a new dynamic in how they are evaluated and compensated — their ability to post stories that attract clicks and reader reaction. A great story that elicits a broad smile is not as valuable these days as a story that will spark online comments.

That's where noise fits in. Noisy subjects elicit reactions, which is what reporters and editors want.

Making noise involves something quite different than adding audio or video to your press release. It means finding or creating activity that is noisy enough to break the sound barrier of today's crowded marketplace.

Dewey Weddington, who calls himself the Chief Fermentor at Ferment Marketing, describes how he created noise for SakeOne by teaming with prominent chefs in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills and, of course, Portland. He provided sake to each chef and allowed them total freedom to create dishes using the product. 

Writers in Chicago showed up because of their curiosity at the idea of pairing food with sake based on its aroma, flavor and texture. The gambit earned coverage in Beverly Hills at the Red O because of the seeming paradox of pairing sake with Mexican cuisine. A similar sensation was created at Andina in Portland, which paired its Peruvian-influenced offerings with sake, earning it valuable TV coverage.

Trust Marketing Through Engaging Content

In today's marketplace, you need to build trust before you make your sales pitch and content marketing is the path to follow.Successful salesmen spend as much time building rapport with customers as pitching their products or services. The online equivalent is content marketing.

Content marketing engages a target audience by educating them or involving them.

Red Bull is a perfect example, with a website that looks more like an online news outlet than a product catalogue. Its online content is aimed at people who dream of a high-octane lifestyle — surfing on an exotic beach in Hawaii to free-flying from a mountaintop peak. Its news content feeds the appetite of pumped up people, molded into a community by their consumption of Red Bull.

Closer to home, Rogue Ales has invented Rogue Nation around the mantra of "Dare. Risk. Dream." Its pledge of allegiance includes "Rogues take risks," "Rogues have respect for diversity" and "Rogues have one foot in reality to let them get the job done, but they are, nonetheless, led by their dreams" — all this "in the Pursuit of Beer with Taste."

Visual Sharing Like Yearbook Party

Videos, followed closely by photos, are the content most likely to be shared on Facebook. If you aren't posting videos and photos, you aren't engaging your online fans to the fullest extent possible.

According to a report from Zuum, a social media insight tool, videos and photos have a much stronger probability of being shared than status updates or links. Facebook has made it easier for brand pages to offer visual fare, and the brands that enjoy the highest level of engagement are feeding their fans eye-catching treats.

Of course, it is not an either-or situation with visuals versus words. A mix of relevant material is best. But failing to post videos and photos, including those that are user-generated, is a mistake.

Sharing visual content is what has spurred the remarkable growth and usage of Instagram and Pinterest.

Writing about this trend, Jon Thomas of Story Worldwide provides some compelling examples of visual branding, including Oreo's striking rainbow cookie to celebrate gay pride. The simple graphic generated 300,000 likes, more than 90,000 shares and some 60,000 comments, Thomas reports. Plunging into a controversial subject earned Oreo lots of pushback. But if its goal was engagement, it succeeded.