As a marketing/advertising enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for my next possible blog post. This weeks’ idea came to me quite by accident. I’m an avid thoroughbred horse racing fan and last week as I was trolling the internet for Kentucky Derby news I stumbled across Jimmy Fallon’s 2015 puppy predictor. Who doesn’t love watching 16 adorable puppies wearing racing numbers, madly scrambling for the kibble? Within minutes of sharing the video on my Facebook and Twitter account I noticed more than ten additional shares of the same video by friends that share a love of horses racing. That’s when I started thinking about organic marketing.
Not USDA Approved
There are two things you need to know about organic marketing right off the bat. First, we’re not talking about the USDA approved organics. Second, organic marketing is actually a marketing strategy rather than a singular component of marketing.
I was very tempted to start typing “the six main elements of organic marketing” as my next line, but that just felt contrived…and let’s be honest, boring. Instead this post will be more like a series of observations I’ve made about organic marketing in the last couple weeks.
As I was watching Jimmy Fallon’s adorable puppy predictor run its course it struck me how much free advertising many major sporting events such as the Kentucky Derby receive. One of the key ingredients to any organic marketing strategy is to create content and stories that will become share bait and hopefully link bait.
As its name suggests, share bait is content that is created for the purpose of encouraging viewers and visitors to share the content with other people in hopes that more shares will result. Share bait occurs when content attracts a steady series of shares through email, social media, texting and other media platforms. In the case of Jimmy Fallon’s puppy predictor video, it connects with audiences who love puppies, the Kentucky Derby and Jimmy Fallon. More broadly it appeals to animal lovers, sports fans, lovers of late night shows and people who enjoy humor.
Link bait occurs when the original content is linked to various respectable sites that find the information relevant or interesting to their audience. A quick Google search can confirm Jimmy Fallon’s puppy predictor was highly successful in acting as link bait. Huffington Post, Hollywood Reporter, Sports Illustrated and many other major sites published articles for the sole purpose of discussing Jimmy Fallon’s puppy prediction for the 2015 Kentucky Derby and each and every article either embedded the original video or provided a link back to the video. You have to love how the original video was able to spread across media platforms so naturally….an organic process in other words.
This is my favorite observation: The brand, product or entity being marketed doesn’t have to be involved in the creation of a promotion for organic marketing to work. For example, Jimmy Fallon’s video is most certainly promoting his show, but it’s the Kentucky Derby that really emerges as the big winner. Here’s why: Jimmy Fallon’s production team simply created a cute puppy sequence that promotes the Kentucky Derby in a fun, memorable way to entertain their audience. Meanwhile the Kentucky Derby brain trust didn’t have to contribute a thing to the creation of this video. In essence the Kentucky Derby received a ton of exposure and indirect promotion without being involved in the initial creation process of the puppy predictor segment. That’s very effective organic marketing.
P.S. I realize that Jimmy Fallon’s late night show airs on NBC, the same channel currently holding exclusive coverage rights to the Kentucky Derby. This most likely influenced the decision to include a puppy predictor segment, but it still works as an organic marketing example seeing as the content was generated by NBC and not Churchill Downs Incorporated, owners of Churchill Downs racetrack, home of the Kentucky Derby.
The heart and soul of organic marketing is that all traffic and attention is derived naturally, without the assistance of pay-per-click, paid advertising or paid affiliate marketing. Continuing with the Kentucky Derby theme being used, there are thousands of blogs that discuss the Kentucky Derby’s famed equine athletes throughout each year. The vast majority of these blogs are completely unaffiliated with Churchill Downs Incorporated and are thus further enhancing the Kentucky Derby’s organic marketing reach.
It’s All Natural
The Kentucky Derby has become such a global phenomenon that the Kentucky Derby brand has become a sports icon that rivals that of the Super Bowl. This year #KentuckyDerby2015 was the top trend on Twitter during Kentucky Derby weekend and unless you lived under a rock on Saturday, May 2nd, you must have seen at least half a dozen Kentucky Derby mentions from various friends on Facebook, Twitter or even Tumblr. You might have even noticed an entire Snapchat story category devoted to the Kentucky Derby. Job well done thanks to organic marketing and the millions of fans, professionals, television personalities and more who continually drove Kentucky Derby content across all forms of media.
Now to conclude in true organic marketing fashion….here for your viewing pleasure is Jimmy Fallon’s 2015 Kentucky Derby Puppy Predictor: