I was recently hired to help a very successful publication company go digital. The company produces the country’s leading Diabetes education magazine, and as with most publishing companies today, they decided they needed a parallel digital strategy to keep them viable and top tiered. “Going Digital” is multi-faceted and can mean anything from creating an online digital presence to launching social media campaigns to becoming a social media agency. In our case, we did all three. In this article, I will share with you a case study of how we leveraged our expertise on diabetes health and turned it into an extremely successful social media campaign – pivoting the client into an instant social media ‘influencer’ and leader in digital diabetes health education. A guerilla marketing success story.
Our first step in positioning the company as a leading social media influencer was to pull together all of our expert health educators, writers and celebrities – most who have been working with the company for many years – and created a website called Diabetes Influencers. Next, we found our first brand to run a campaign for. We chose to work with the brand, MiracleSuit Swimwear since one of the main concerns for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes is belly fat and, as we were entering the beginning of swimsuit season, we felt that the instant slimming effects of MiracleSuit Swimwear would appeal to our diabetes and pre-diabetes demographic. Miraclesuit swimwear promises to help you ‘look 10lbs thinner in 10 seconds’. Playing on that instant slimming theme, we came up with a campaign that combined celebrity stylist and Diabetes Activist, Mr. Divabetic, with nutritionist and ‘Belly Fat Diet For Dummies’ author Erin Palinsky-Wade and celebrity cookbook author “Too Hot in the Kitchen”, Holly Clegg. We paired them with a professional Dentist/mommy blogger of significant influence, @DentistMel and @DiabetesINFL twitter handles to get maximum exposure on Twitter.
The campaign consisted of a Mash-Up of a Twitter Party/Google Hangout Live Event. A social media Mash-Up is a relatively new technique that is becoming popular due to its overwhelming success. Its a social media campaign using a combination of platforms (in our case we mashed together Twitter and Google Hangout). Mash-ups are so successful because they allow you to cross-pollinate,ie, get your Twitter followers to follow you on Google+ and vice versa. The importance of such strategies will be the topic of a future blog post.
In our campaign, we held a Google Hangout Live panel discussion on ‘Ways to Look Slim in No Time this summer’ with our Diabetes Expert co-hosts. The panel was a fun, lively and educational discussion providing health education and recipes for those who are concerned about diabetes and pre-diabetes, (which, combined, is over 10 million Americans). At the same time, we ran a Twitter Party , live tweeting the hangout discussion and giving away five free miraclesuit swimsuits. During the mash-up, we ran a trivia contest for people to enter on Twitter, using our #DiabetesChat hashtag, in order to win a swimsuit.
For the #DiabetesChat hashtag that we set up for the Mashup campaign, based on our Hashtracking Analytics, we acheived 3,297,000 Timeline Deliveries, a reach of 227,000 people and over 1,000 Tweets. MiracleSuit gained over 200 new Twitter Followers in their specific target market: women who are concerned about weight-loss, while there are 200,000 more people who are now aware of the miraclesuit swimwear brand and who are now social with Miraclesuit spreading their love of the brand. A new term was coined, “#InstantSlimmers” during the party as well.
In sum, this campaign was an overwhelming success and exposed both the DiabetesInfluencer brand as well as MircleSuit to over 3 million timelines and over 200,000 people in their specific target demographic. Social Media marketing today is quickly trumping all other forms of advertising for just this reason – the right strategy and campaign provides a significantly larger, highly targeted and more effective campaign than other forms of advertising, and more and more brands are beginning to shift their advertising dollars from banner ads to social media for this very reason.
To find out if a digital campaign is right for your business, feel free to contact me for a consult.
Suzannah Raff specializes in building digital and social media campaigns, marketing and PR strategies for independent business owners and technology start-ups.