The Icy Strategy. The first time I heard of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) ice bucket challenge was just over a month ago when it popped up on my Facebook feed showing two friends showered in a waterfall of ice cubes. I have to be honest; at that point the neurodegenerative disease didn’t ring any bells and it took some searching online to discover that it’s also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease and also Motor Neurone Disease (MND) – finally a name I had heard of. Creating awareness for any charity is undoubtedly a worthy cause but with ALS being a relatively rare incurable disease, I didn’t expect to log onto Facebook a week later and see friend after friend as well as celebrities and politicians willingly dowsing themselves in icy-cold water.
While this specific challenge is only just making its way to China – with tech-heavyweights Pony Ma of Tencent and Jack Ma of Alibaba joining in – I personally have not yet been nominated for such a freeze-fest. However earlier this year I was both nominated for and participated in the ‘#no makeup selfie’ for Cancer Awareness. While neither of these challenges may seem especially relevant to their causes – and trust me, I’ve read my fair share of articles questioning their point – the figures raised and the buzz generated speak for themselves.
Marketing and its methods are constantly evolving and social media has presented a whole new collection of ways to spread brand awareness. Campaigns like these just go to show that using social media correctly can have a huge impact on your business. I’m not suggesting you come up with nomination-style marketing campaigns, but there’s definitely a lot to be learned from such powerful success stories. Your corporate marketing strategy will likely never be as flamboyant as charity-driven campaigns, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few tips from them.
- Simplicity. It’s the key to any campaign. You’re onto a winner if you can make your marketing efforts interactive, easy to understand and quick – whether to participate in or read.
- Emotion. The recent spate of popular awareness campaigns obviously appeal to viewers’ emotions, but this possibility isn’t exclusive to charities; by thinking outside the box, you can make your campaign just as relatable.
- Fun. Undoubtedly, the primary characteristic that has made these campaigns go viral is a sense of FUN. Something that makes people smile is memorable and makes you want to tell your friends. It sounds like obvious, no-brainer advice – and it’s definitely not as easy as it sounds – but if your marketing efforts are simple, relatable to the masses and fun then you’re nearly there; all you need is a lot of the right publicity and a little bit of luck.
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