The US rock band's victory over X Factor's Joe McElderry in the Christmas number one battle demonstrated the power and influence of online social media; your marketing campaign could learn a lot from this.
The recent internet campaign to get Rage Against the Machine to the Christmas number one in Britain has been described as a "protest against the X Factor monotony" and an attempt to break Simon Cowell’s stranglehold on the pop charts. What started out as a Facebook group rapidly became an online sensation, and eventually gathered enough support to successfully install the US rock band’s 1992 hit 'Killing in The Name' at the top of the Christmas charts ahead of X Factor winner Joe McElderry’s debut 'The Climb'.
The campaign, dubbed 'Rage Against the X Factor', shows just how influential online media, particularly social media, can be in spreading your message to the masses. There are countless lessons that can be learned from this story and applied to your business’s marketing strategy.
First and foremost, it is important to make your content interesting; people won't interact with boring, generic messages. Make sure your content is engaging, and different to what has been seen previously. You should also encourage your message to be passed onto the masses. Word of mouth is one of the most effective methods of distribution, so you should proactively ask users to champion your message to others.
An example of a recent success for HitSearch is our work with Secure Trust Bank. As HitSearch Director Andrew Redfern explains: 'We released a video of Secure Trust Bank’s Chief Executive discussing current events in the banking industry. This video was distributed online during the height of the financial crisis, and portrayed a positive outlook of Secure Trust Bank, showing that not all banks had been acting frivolously.
'The video became a massive success, spreading the name of Secure Trust Bank throughout the online world.'
As well as the content, the timing of your social media campaign is absolutely crucial. Christmas can be somewhat of a slow news time for most, but Rage Against the X Factor began at just the right time for the story to gather momentum. Look at the big news stories of the day, are there any issues that are relevant to your campaign? A good marketing campaign can make use of a national news story to maximise its own coverage.
Your campaign should be structured so that it is prepared for any unexpected developments within your business. For example, during Eurostar’s recent spell of cancellations and delays, its social media strategy changed from being an online marketing tool, to a method of providing updates to its customers on the escalating chaos.
The power of social networking sites should not be underestimated when it comes to distributing your content. The Rage Against the X Factor campaign started life as a Facebook group, then spread rapidly around the web as it attracted more and more members. Before long the campaign had extended onto other networking sites such as Twitter, MySpace, and Bebo. The nature of these sites ensured that the campaign stretched not just across Britain, but right around the world. Utilising social media in this way can ensure maximum online exposure for your campaign.
Lastly, it is important to remember that online mediums alone will not make for a successful campaign. The traditional press (newspapers, TV, radio, etc.) is just as important as the internet as a marketing medium, and is absolutely necessary if your campaign is to reach its full potential.
Andrew Redfern says: 'Social media is an extremely important aspect of any online marketing strategy. The campaign to get Rage Against the Machine to the Christmas number one spot is a perfect example of how social media can be utilised to distribute your message. A lot can be learned from this campaign about how to effectively promote your own business.'