When Joe Chernov joined Eloqua, an online marketing automation vendor, traditional PR tactics held center stage.
“We were telling essentially the same story to the same people over and over,” says Chernov. “We were not reaching out directly to our target markets in order to bring in new interest and leads.”
Recognizing that change was needed, Chernov took on a new role, “Director of Content” and began to focus almost entirely on the social web. In this position, he is responsible for identifying, creating and distributing the content that the company needs to create in order to bring traffic to their website.
Chernov explains, “We want to reach our target audiences where they live on the social web. To accomplish this, we work hard to create content which is interesting to our target audiences and then distribute that content using social media tools. Using this approach, we have had a lot of success driving targeted traffic to our site.”
Successful viral marketing
In fact, Chernov’s increasing use of social media tools led to one of Eloqua’s most successful viral marketing campaigns.
Aiming to reach Eloqua’s main target audience, marketers, Chernov and his team decided to focus on a very hot and timely topic: how to use social media tools successfully.
The result was the Eloqua Social Media Playbook, a, “10-platform, 42-page e-book that was created as a veritable “how-to” guide for Eloqua’s staff to follow on the social Web”. The guide is billed as “everything Eloqua knows about social media, distilled into one awesomely designed document”.
The guide was compiled by Chernov and his team, polished by a creative agency and then posted on the Eloqua blog when any one could download it for free.
And when Chernov says free, he means free. There’s no form to fill out; no spot to collect an e-mail address. “We believed that there should be no barriers to getting the guide,” says Chernov. “One of our advisory board members, David Meerman Scott has instilled a company-wide belief that, ‘Forms kill the spread of content’, and we took that to heart.”
Viral marketing success
The results of the “Steal Eloqua’s Social Media Playbook” viral marketing campaign exceeded expectations. Viewed over 6,920 times since its launch on June 17, 2010, the guide has helped establish Eloqua as a leader in online marketing while also driving substantial targeted traffic to their site.
Best of all, the campaign keeps running with minimal effort required from Eloqua. A quick Twitter search shows that the playbook is still be tweeted about as recently as October 23, 2010.
More to come
Joe Chernov and Eloqua have a few more stories about success to share. You’ll be able to read about them in future posts here at Matt About Business.