EA, the makers of some of the biggest sports video games in the world have sold nearly 1 million copies of their latest game thanks (in part) to a brilliant social media strategy.
While the Madden franchise already has a substantial following, EA achieved their biggest day one sales record because of their creative use of online video and social media campaigns.
What did they do?
In the 7 days leading up to the release of the game, EA released trailers and promotional videos to their Youtube channel, some of which received over ¾ million views each.
They gaming giant also allowed some EA fans holding a ‘virtual season ticket’ early access to the game, allowing them to purchase it 3 days early. These fans promptly took to social media to share their exclusive early first impressions of the game, meaning that Madden 13 achieved nearly 700,000 mentions on Facebook and Twitter alone.
There is more thought than a few quick videos that have gone in to this social explosion though. EA has embraced social media and included Madden NFL Social, an online app that will come in to its own when the new NFL season kicks off, creating a flood of new viral traffic for the video game as the network springs to life with the excitement of the new season, harnessing the power of one of the most popular sports in America.
What can small companies learn from this?
Ok, so the implementation of the Madden Social app takes time and a budget to pull off correctly, but EA has demonstrated how simply catering to what excites their target market can create a huge buzz surrounding a product and anyone with a video capable mobile phone and a Youtube account can follow in these footsteps. Using social media for advertising can cost an arm and a leg, but with a little careful thought and planning, creating a Youtube marketing campaign and building hype using your Facebook business page can be done completely free of charge and will not take up as much of your time as you think.
What can you do to get started?
If you haven’t already, take some time to think about your biggest fans, what would excite them? What would they want to share with their friends and like minded people?
What would be the most entertaining/sharable medium to create your hype? Video? Cryptic picture puzzles? Even a small secret exclusive event can be free and give your fans something to talk about.
How can you make the most of your marketing? Creating a quick video can be very effective, but have you thought about where you are going to post it? What time will get the biggest traction off the line? Are you going to flood your social media by uploading to youtube, posting a link to Facebook and tweeting it at the same time or would it be better to stagger your sharing? How will you get your content in front of your most talkative fans?
If you can answer these questions (and it is really not that hard when you sit down and think about it) then you are well on your way to creating huge hype for your latest product or service
Have you made an attempt at social media marketing by yourself? Did it go well? What did you learn from it and what would you differently? Let us know below!