I got your attention didn’t I? You’ve probably noticed the most popular headlines always include, scandal, sex, corruption, gossip or outrage. Stories ranging anywhere from celebs caught cheating to tragedies like the shooting in Newtown, CT, reach the masses then disappear almost as quickly as they exploded onto the scene. If you’re keen to the hot topics as they’re trending, you can ride the wave of popular interest for your own gain.
How Can YOU take control?
At any given moment, millions of people are actively searching online for the hottest news and everything associated with them. When the search terms trend, websites and articles can be optimized for the stories resulting in some easy capitalizing. For example, when Hulk Hogan was caught in a sex tape scandal, people everywhere were searching for stories and the actual video. If you monitored Google News and used Analytics software, you would have seen how “hulk hogan sex tape” and “hulk hogan sex video scandal” monopolized searchs.
You can’t predict the news before it happens, and you can’t control the amount of focused traffic if you wanted to, but you can prepare a basic plan to hijack the media for your benefit. If you’re quick, you’ll be able to control millions of eyes.
If you have the resources to deploy and optimize websites, videos or other media to can capture the flood of inquiries as they happen, but the real question is how can you capitalize from it? That can only be answered by you depending on your area of business and ultimate goals. Do you want to improve branding, make money fast, bring your website to #1 or just prove that you can do it? There are so many options , but you have to know what you want.
Going back to the Hulk Hogan scandal… What do you think might also interest the million plus people searching for this? Think they’d be open to pornography? I think yes, so an idea could be to broadcast affiliate porn links that might make you some extra cash. Actually, I know it’s true because I tried that tactic myself.
Social Media Hijack – Case Study March 2008
My first experience hijacking the media market was in 2008. I was working in my office, watching the news and a breaking story was flashing on the screen. Elliot Spitzer, Governor of NY, was resigning due to his involvement with an escort, Ashley Dupre. The news showed her MySpace page and exposed her as Spitzer’s favorite hooker.
Normally scandals like this don’t catch my attention for more than a minute, but I had just finished reading the book Guerrilla Marketing Tactics and immediately saw an opportunity to test what I’d been learning. MySpace was still king of kings back then, so the idea struck me: I’ll make an Ashley Dupre clone MySpace page and see how much traffic it would bring.
The story was only 3 minutes old, and before the mass frenzy of search could begin, I found her real page and began the cloning process. I duplicated her name, used real pictures and re-created the page exactly how I saw it on TV. After 15 minutes the page was finished.
The next thing I did, was write a general post apologizing to the world as well as Spitzer while throwing in that she was in the process of raising money to launch her music career (something I heard she was actually trying). Within minutes, hate mail, as well as support mail was overflowing the inbox. After only 1 day, there had been nearly 8000 visits and after a week, nearly 100,000.
Clearly, the page was getting eye traffic thanks to the media machine, but I had to use this story to my benefit in someway, so I decided I’d try to add a financial incentive. I had Ashley’s real info. on the page but changed one thing. I told my audience Ashley decided to retire as an escort and her new job was as promoter for an online adult film company to which I provided an affiliate link.
Basically, the company would reward $35 for anyone who signed up for their services if they used my link. Over the span of a month and a half, nearly 6500 viewers clicked and from there, enough people signed up to the site that I made enough for some weekend splurging. My 15 minute investment gave me an $830 return, I’d say the experiment was a success.
Can you think of a scenario that is getting massive news traffic, that can directly or indirectly expose your business?
Controversy = Eyeballs = Sales = Profit
My small test using controversy worked great, but the effect of media hype can be so much bigger!
A great recent example of how media coverage can fuel sales is the case of Chick Fil A. A top executive explained how he disapproves of same-sex marriage according to his religious beliefs. This resulted in a story that went viral creating a storm of human emotion. His statement was blasted through every media outlet prompting protests and the boycotting Chick Fil A, as well as encouragement for the world to do the same.
For as much negative press Chick Fil A received, sales skyrocketed. After the dust settled they reported a boost in sales by 12% with 4.6 billion in revenue. If I was the owner I would have been laughing all the way to the bank. That was probably their biggest-ever jump in sales and the cost for the media Campaign? $0.
We know people are suckers for these stories that fill our TV, radio and print media. The press is a machine meant for one thing, to make money by grabbing your attention. How accurate or how biased the story is doesn’t matter as the nature of media writing is more “anonymous sources”, we “heard”, and “sources say” style of writing that is pervasive now.
Because of this, the worlds largest corporations, think-tanks, government intelligence agencies and marketing firms use this media machine to purposely inject stories to influence the masses. The more they can stir up human emotion, the more the article will be read. If they can use it, so can you. Pay attention and be creative.
******* Nike Air Jordans *******
Who do You Think is Behind The Scenes Fanning The Flames of Desire? Lines of people fighting over sneakers that cost $200.
Our society and media has created the ability for corporate, political and private industry to create an Animal Farm state of media consumption and behavior.
Fellow marketing and business owners, you can wield this power yourself.