Marketing Lessons from Cracked.com

You might have heard of a little site called Cracked.com. Or perhaps, you’ve spent countless hours being roped into reading article after article. Perhaps these articles can be considered a “waste of time” but some argue that the content is actually useful and educational. Regardless, you have to admit that it’s catchy. So, here are some marketing takeaways you can learn from Cracked.

Eye-catching headlines are click-worthy: Where else would you find articles like this? “6 Real People With Mind-Blowing Mutant Superpowers”, “6 Insane (But Convincing) Fan Theories About Kids’ Cartoons”, “6 Horrifying Implications of the Harry Potter Universe”. How could you not want to click these articles? Posts on the Huffington Post and celebrity tabloid magazines are also a good example of getting people to want to read.

Deliver what is actually promised: Sometimes, over-exaggerated headlines can seem like a scam because they don’t really deliver. This is especially true with spammy ads for weight loss or anti-aging solutions. However, Cracked gives readers exactly what they expect and be specific as possible. For example, with an article like “6 Lies About the Human Body You Learned in Kindergarten”, there shouldn’t be a surprise to what you expect.

Know what your readers want and offer them more: The best/worst part about Cracked are the recommended articles at the bottom. Even if you just came to the site to read 1 article, chances are that you’ll stay even longer when you get a glimpse of these other articles.
You can also do this by posting related videos are responses to each other on YouTube or listing related recommendations like Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”. In other words, give them a good reason to stay longer.

Be mobile friendly: By just looking at the desktop version of the site, you can tell that Cracked is mobile device friendly. There are well-organized categories and catchy pictures to go with every article. They have an iPad app that makes it easy to browse for articles. Some articles are actually optimized for mobile while others lead you directly to the main site.
This is something you can do with your mobile website. Make sure to read out related blog post: Mobile Web Design Tips for 2013.

So, check out Cracked and have some fun. But don’t forget to notice the details that keep readers coming back for more so that you can implement the ideas into your own site.

Happy Movember from MOmarketed

Greetings, MoBros and MoSistas! Forget about November… it’s all about Movember.

Contrary to what most people think, Movember is more than just a silly excuse to grow facial hair:

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

In other words, it’s a great month to raise awareness for men’s health and to have fun while doing so. The growing popularity of Movember wouldn’t be possible without sharing via social media. Check out these stats from last year by Radian 6:

– Terms that increased in November include: “getting checked”, “make an appointment” and “see a doctor”
– Mentions of “MoBros” on social media = nearly 18,000
– Mentions of prostate cancer has increased month to month since August

It’s expected that 1.6 million men will raise over $120 million this Movember. While traditional social networks are great for spreading the word about worthy causes, this article on TechCruch also explores the world of social networking for collaborative research. How great is it for scientists and researchers to share their findings and work on a more sophisticated social networking? Now this is a step in the right direction that we can all get behind.

Make sure to check out our team page:
http://us.movember.com/team/659789 and share your progress with us if you’re partaking in Movember this year. In the words of our comrades: Let the mustache madness begin!

Would You Pay With a Tweet?

Would you post a Tweet in exchange for a whitepaper, ebook, song or any other digital good? That’s the exact idea behind Pay With a Tweet. With this “social payment” system, consumers “purchase” by tweeting about a certain “product”. By doing so, they create more buzz surround their purchase amongst their personal social network. If others are interested, they will do the same and further spread the promotion of your business. It’s a win/win situation for both parties!

So, does this really work and why would people click links anyway? A recent article by Dan Zarrella shows that accounts that tweet a lot of links are correlated with a high number of followers. And more links = more chances of clicks, which will help bring you more traffic. It’s no wonder that viral marketing comes to mind with this type of promotion. People will go click-happy over free things, especially if what you’re selling is good.

How exactly? The band, The Teenagers, have used this to start their own viral promotion of a new single by asking fans to pay with a tweet. Who doesn’t like free music?! But this service is also works outside the entertainment industry. Besides selling content, you can also get creative, as the site suggests: trial runs of your service, a sneak peak of an ad, or even samples your portfolio.

Pay With a Tweet also works with Facebook so you can pay with a Facebook update. What do you think and have you tried this free service yet?

Social Media Gives ‘The Walking Dead’ a Hand

Last night, Conan O’Brien made his triumph return to late night television on the debut of his new show on TBS. Not only did Conan beat David Letterman and Jay Leno, but he also managed to pull in more viewers than Jon Stewart’s Daily Show! Perhaps, this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the 1 million+ devoted fans of I’m with Coco.

Let’s take a look at how social media has also helped one of my new favorite shows, The Walking Dead:

Home to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, AMC brought life to the comic book series in 6 episodes for the first season of The Walking Dead. After just 2 episodes, it’s been confirmed that the network as OKed 13 episodes for the second season!
How exciting can zombies really be? Check out some fan feedback: “This is the best zombie show ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and “This by far is one of the best made series, ever, I truly can’t wait to see what you do next. Thanks.” Note how the Page updates frequently with Q&A, conversation and extras to engage their fans.

The marketing team hasn’t just stopped at their Facebook Page though. Fans can also Spread the Dead, which is a way for them to generate a unique URL to share on their social networks. This is a great way to generate buzz and encourage conversation. Meanwhile, more clicks = more points. The contest ends Nov. 19th and prizes consist of $5000 and other Walking Dead memorabilia. Check out the leaderboard to see who has exposed the most friends to the undead.

Sharing the Father’s Day Love

Father’s Day is just around the corner and it’s no surprise to see more dad related ads.

I just saw a Wendy’s commercial for Father’s Day and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. It not only promoted their Frosty but also the founder’s organization, which seeks to help foster children find a caring home. This is no doubt a great cause and this short ad highlights the viral effect that Wendy’s hopes to accomplish. It even encourages users to pass the message along via Facebook, Twitter and Facebook to raise more funds.

Do you have any other good ads that you’d like to share? If not, we hope that you have a great Father’s Day weekend anyways!

New Viral Marketing Campaigns Spread Excitement

I always like to hear about the latest viral marketing campaigns and see how big brands are trying to outdo each other.

Papa John’s Pizza Mania

First off, p-i-z-z-a! Papa John’s unveiled an online contest this week asking fans to share their special recipe. The contest, dubbed “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenges”, encourages pizza aficionados to submit their special recipe along with a short blurb about why their pizza is so special. Ten semi-finalists will get a chance to have their recipe tested at Papa John’s HQ. From there, three finalists will have their recipe featured on the Papa John’s menu in August. But the excitement doesn’t stop there! Of the final three, Papa John’s will hand out a $1000 budget for marketing.
The recipe with the most sales will get a permanent spot on the menu! The grand prize also includes free pizza for life and an appearance in a Papa John’s TV ad. Go to Papa John’s Facebook and take a look for yourself. I never thought that people could be so excited about pizza but as fan Diane writes on the Page’s Wall, “I don’t care for American Idol. But, a pizza right now sure sounds good.”

Honeymooning with Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn also launched a campaign this week targeting newlyweds who are looking for a good deal for their honeymoon. Appealing to members of their rewards program on Twitter, Holiday Inn’s month long “Honeymoon on Us” contest will give out free prizes. With wedding season around the corner, this is the right time for the InterContinental Hotels Group to focus their efforts on vacationing couples. The grand prize is pretty great too – a complete wedding registry!

Papa John’s and Holiday Inn are just two examples of how big brands are using social media to the fullest extent. Nike also just set a record with their new viral ad. Do you have any other examples you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be a promotion that’s currently running.

Intel’s Advertising Overhaul


Listened in to a webinar this morning with Corey Carrillo of Intel Corporation and Craig Macdonald of Covario about Paid Search and Big Brand Marketing: How Intel Coordinated Search Into a Global Ad Campaign. Most of the time, I find that big corporate presentations are kind of dry because they only cover really general topics and give broad details.

Anyways, Corey admits that Intel is lacking in their brand power presence when compared to Dell or HP. They began an overhaul of their advertising campaign which portrayed their engineers as “rock stars”. Across video, online, email and other advertising platforms, Intel used the same format with familiar characters. This gave their new image a consistency. I personally like these new ads and how consumers can relate.

Consumers seemed to enjoy these ads and found them entertaining. BUT… when directed to the landing page, customers quickly bounced. Like we’ve talked about before, this landing page looked really cool and was flash based. From the consumer point of view, it was too slow loading and they weren’t finding what they were looking for. After a simpler revamp, Intel’s ad campaign improved. They tested, measured and learned from their mistakes and it’s something we all can learn from.

As Corey reminds us the 3 most important things he considers when it comes to a paid search campaign:

  1. keyword selection
  2. ad creative used
  3. landing page

Lesson learned: Integrating your SEO and PPC campaigns are easier said than done, especially for big corporations.

Social Media: What’s in a Name?

In the social media world, going viral is gold. It’s hard to get people riled up about something and when it happens, the spontaneity of word of mouth is unstoppable. Today, we’ll take a look at how some notable name changes have helped in going viral. Sit back, take some notes and get ready to change your name.

Making a Splash for a Good Cause
Courtesy of this short clip, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian shows us how effective the right name can be. As he explains it, social media helped out for a worth cause in 2007. Greenpeace held a contest to name a humpback whale and raise awareness about protecting these gentle giants. Mister Splashy Pants won out above the other names and helped attract attention to this cause.

A Foodstuff Gets More Fans than The Worst Band in the World
Can this pickle get more fans than Nickelback? Yes, it can. If you haven’t heard, Nickelback is arguably one of the worst bands in the world. An anti-Nickelback enthusiast decided to create a Facebook Fan Page and gather fellow fans for this cause. You may have seen it pop up on your friend’s page and it’s too funny not to follow! Here are some other things that this Pickle beats: MTV, Glenn Beck, and naps. As of now, the Pickle is still in the lead.

Shameless Self-Promotion
Are you a fan of Chad Javon Johnson? Maybe Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals rings a bell. In 2008, the football player legally changed his last name to match his jersey number 85, in Spanish. The word “Ochocinco” is actually displayed across his uniform. There were some rumors that Chad wanted to change has last name to “Himself”. Just picture the announcer saying, “And Johnson throws a pass to Himself”. Hilarious, but no. Chad has recently announced that he is planning to change his name to “Hachi Go” – which roughly translates to 85 in Japanese.

Check out this great viral marketing example!

I just attended a webinar today put on by HubSpot that discussed search engine optimization, blogging, and social media. I will write a blog post later today about the webinar. It was filled with great content! But the moderator pointed out a viral campaign on YouTube that was very impressing!

So I did a search on YouTube for “blender” and found a bunch of videos put out by this blending company called Blendtec that sells a high end blender. The videos are very entertaining and the video I watched is below. I don’t know if they used some special effects here but they blended an iphone. At the end they pour out a bunch of ash and parts. The videos they put out are called “Will it blend?” and it seems they just choose different items to put in their high powered blenders. They’ve litterly received millions of views since their YouTube channel went live in July of 2007. The iphone video alone received over 6 million views.

At this point after watching the video I was still not really sure what the company was about that was promoting this video so I went to their YouTube channel and found their company website which sells the high end blender. If you visit the website you’ll see on the right column links to their videos and a seperate site that just promotes these funny videos. They also have a banner promoting a free trip to blendtec.

Blendtec gets an A+ in my book for viral marketing. This is a great case study and something to strive for with regards to viral marketing. The costs for putting these videos on was probably pretty high but the exposure they’ve gotten from YouTube and other channels was well worth the investment.