Viral Marketing Initiatives

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Ceramic Arts Daily is the largest interactive ceramic and pottery online community and resource including tools for learning and improving skills, and a platform for artists to display his or her work. The online company offers a plethora of valuable information for consumers, hobbyists, ceramicists, and artists involved in the ceramic industry or have an appreciation for ceramics and pottery. Ceramic Arts Daily’s traditional marketing efforts include the company magazines Ceramics Monthly with a paid subscription circulation reaching more than 108,000 readers and Pottery Making Illustrated with 60,000 readers. The digital marketing energies expand to social media networks such as You Tube with 24,270 subscribers and the Ceramics Arts Daily website with 197,000 users. This gives the company a strong potential to launch a marketing initiative that could go viral. Incorporating viral campaign characteristics, such as interactivity, relevancy, social media optimization, widgets, and badges, could generate the momentum needed for the Ceramics Arts Daily targeted audiences to want to share, engage with, talk about, and re-watch a ceramic related video over and over.

Ghostly Interactive Relevance

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In 1990, the movie Ghost sensationalized a potter throwing clay at a potter’s wheel with the infamous sensual scene between the two main actors, Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. Since then, many parodies of this scene have appeared in television shows, cartoons, and YouTube videos. Ceramics Arts Daily could create a video that contained an interactive component, intriguing beginner potters, hobbyists, and students to become involved and create a personalized ceramic experience. An example of a viral campaign utilizing interactivity and relevancy was Breaking Bad Name Lab on Facebook. The drama television show spawned a Facebook app that transformed a person’s name with element icons and allowed fans to set it as their Facebook profile photo. The success of the campaign was calculated by the 4.1 million impressions and was used by over 800,000 people. Ceramics Art Daily could launch an app like Let’s Create It which allows students, hobbyists, potters, and ceramic fans the ability to make a pot, glaze it, and post it on social media networks.

SMO, Widgets, Badges, Oh My!

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Cross promoting a marketing campaign on social media networks is a necessity. Today, social networking is considered to be one of the top online activities in the US. In addition, forty-six percent of the online consumers are using social media to search for products before making a purchase. Therefore, social media optimization is imperative. To intensify the integration of social media to launch a campaign, Ceramic Arts Daily could use widgets on the company blog, such as Simple Social Icons and the YouTube Channel Gallery. For instance, this widget allows Ceramic Arts Daily to display the latest videos posted on the company YouTube channel. Widgets make it easy to share videos, blogs, and web pages. A collection of badges implemented on Ceramic Arts Daily website proposes engagement and brand loyalty. Foursquare, a location-based social network, offers mobile users a variety of badges for participating at various destinations through the app. For instance, if someone uses Foursquare at several different airports, he or she collects a Jetsetter badge. Ceramics Arts Daily could create badges such as “A-Glazing” for ten or more downloaded glaze recipes or “On Fire” for researching five or more firing techniques from the website as seen below.

Badges keep the consumer and artist excited and frequenting the Ceramics Arts Daily website.

Be Viral

In a niche markets, such as the ceramic or television industry, a company like Ceramic Arts Daily, can benefit from ability to target audiences with viral marketing initiatives that are interactivity, contain relevancy, and use social media optimization, widgets and badges. Fans, followers, advocates, consumers, readers and viewers have the potential to become excited about an unexpected video like the Will It Blend  or Alek Sings Let It Go:

on You Tube or a mobile app game like features like Breaking Bad Name Lab. Providing a marketing tactic that can be entertaining or useful on social media platforms, like social networks, blogs, and websites, can generate an instantaneous and globally reach leading to a viral marketing sensation. Viral marketing is the most effective and efficient way for a brand to gets its message heard. With the click of a share button any brand can be viral.

 

Soaking Up The Mobile Ceramic Rewards

In 2012, Daily Clay, a mobile off-spring of Ceramics Arts Daily and produced by The American Ceramic Society, hit the iPhone mobile application market. I, like many other potters who use Ceramics Art Daily as a ceramic resource, were hopeful that the app would prove to be beneficial. The extensive website offers books, magazines, videos, educational, blogs and forums. Instead, the mobile app became a daily posting of a handmade piece of ceramic art. Although inspirational, it didn’t serve the same grandeur as the parent website. Daily Clay had a strong potential to be a useful tool integrating mobile ability and social media with the Ceramics Arts Daily website.

Increasingly, I find Instagram connecting potters with their audience and consumers. Instagram is a mobile-only network which means you create and publish from the mobile app only. You can view and  a picture from a laptop or desktop but that is it. Instagram has gone to great lengths to offer the user high quality resolution ensuring the visual of ceramics pictures and videos are inviting. Instagram offers “filters, special effects, and editing tools” (daCunha, 2015). If you download InstaCollage, an app that compliments Instagram with special effect, layouts, and borders, you can create eye captivating pictures instantly as seen here:

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It also offers easy “sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare” (Hemley, 2013). This allows a ceramic business owner to expand his or her audience in vast numbers from one mobile social media application.

The Instagram platform used hashtags from its first inception, known as the symbol”#”, to expound on the content of pictures and videos posted (Gonzalez, 2012). It is best for a potter to hashtag their pictures to identify the place it was taken, subject, and description. Some popular ceramic hashtags are #ceramics, #potter, #throwing, #stoneware, and #loveclay. #clay is the most tagged at 1,172,085 posts. If a potter was looking for inspiration from other fellow potters, they could search #cone6, a type of glazing firing range, and find 4,382 posts. If they wanted to find a ceramic supply brand from a picture posted and  with a hashtag such as Amaco, they can use the spyglass on the bottom of the app. Once they find AmacoBrent, one of the largest ceramic supply company’s, they can click the name AmacoBrent which brings them to AmacoBrent’s Instagramer page.  The potter can start following AmacoBrent as well as view pictures they have posted. On AmacoBrents Instagram page they cleverly posted their website www.amaco.com drawing the viewer to their shopping cart website as seen here:

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Instagram helps businesses like a small ceramic studio like Extrudergirl or a large company like AmacoBrent. Gerry Moran suggests building a strong profile on Instagram as noted in detail below (Moran, 2013):

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A well-developed profile becomes the foundation for Instagram as social media strategy. Posting pictures of handcrafted ceramic pieces or products a ceramic supply business is selling to potter allows the business to cultivate a following not just through Instagram but with the cross posting capability to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare. As a ceramic business builds their brand awareness, they can start following back their new audience. As posted pictures become visual commentaries with hashtags, a potter can create a theme or capitalize on current trends to complement his or her brand and increase credibility. They can engage viewers and consumers with consistent images and by leaving comments on follower’s postings. Developing a posting schedule will entice followers and inspire potential consumers. Over posting could cause followers to abandon your business. It is best to analyze how many posts, the kind of pictures, hashtags followers are relating to, and comments consumers are leaving. Iconosquare is a free tool to measure your Instagram success. It will give you a snap shot of the percentage of followers, lost followers, follow growth, likes, comments, and overall engagement (Lawrence, 2014).

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Instagram is a visual experience for your followers, consumers, and perspective fans to learn, like, and buy into your business brand. Instagram will help promote your business, build a community around your photographed work and hashtags, generate leads and encourage conversation with your audience and consumers. I like to think, that with my Extrudergirl shop, once I get attention from my customers with a sponge holder photo on Instagram, I soak up my ceramic rewards.

Resources:

Ceramic Arts Daily Home Page (n.d.). Ceramics Arts Daily. The American Ceramic Society. Retrieved from: http://ceramicartsdaily.org/

daCunha, M. (2015) 10 Instagram Marketing Tips to Make People Love Your Brand. Business 2 Community. Retrieved from: http://www.business2community.com/instagram/10-instagram-marketing-tips-make-people-love-brand-01115446

Gonzalez, P. (2012). How to Use Hash Tags on Instagram. Instagramers. Retrieved from: http://instagramers.com/destacados/how-to-use-hash-tags-on-instagram/

Hemley, D. (2013). 26 Mobile Apps to Improve Your Business and Networking. Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-mobile-apps-to-improve-your-business-and-networking/

Lawrence, T.(2014). Instagram Analytics Website Review ~ Iconosquare.com (Statigram). Tyler Lawrence. Retrieved from: http://tylerlawrence.com/instagram-analytics-website-review-iconosquare-statigram/

Moran, G. (2013). How to Build the Perfect Instagram Profile Infographic. MarketingThink. Retrieved from: http://marketingthink.com/infographic-to-build-the-perfect-instagram-profile/