Cutting through the clutter of traditional media or digital media to make an impact and achieve millions of viewers is the goal of any marketer. Conan O’Brien achieved that 2 days ago with the launch of his new late night talk show on cable TV, achieving 4.2 million viewers, which is a record on cable TV for his genre and pushing Leno and Letterman into second and third place in the ratings (with figures of 3.5 million and 3.4 million respectively) according to deadline.com.
Nine months ago Conan walked away from his contract with NBC (which is one of the largest free to TV networks in the US) to contemplate his future and immediately embraced Twitter as his new digital channel. His Twitter following is now over 1.8 million and he has used it to maintain his public profile while he planned his next move.
During that time he also visited “Silicon Valley” the heartland of technology and all things digital and was interviewed at Google where he revealed his frustrations and experiences at NBC (you can view his interview here). Due to contractual requirements he was not allowed on TV until recently but used his TV downtime to plan a nationwide comedy tour (booked out in 2 hours thanks to Twitter and social media) and put in place a social media marketing campaign that made the new show’s launch such a success.
Social media marketing is about getting people to share your name, brand and content on the different channels that people hang out on whether that be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all the other channels that your audience is engaged with.
So what social media channels did Conan employ to market his brand and his new show
1. Website (which is actually a blog) which is the hub of his social media and digital campaign Teamcoco.com
2. Facebook (with over 350,000 fans)
4. YouTube Channel ( over 11 million views)
5. MySpace (188,340 friends)
6. Flickr (with all his images posted and tagged)
7. Foursquare (This is integrated with his Team Coco Blimp)
In conjunction with these social media channels the marketing included a “Conan Blimp” that traveled the skies and itself was integrated with Foursquare.
So what were the key elements that made his new shows launch such a hit?
1. Total embrace of all things social media.
2. Utilizing social media that is used by his 18-49 year target audience
3. Tight integration, linking and optimization of his social media channels
4. Leveraging his his large Twitter following to get his message out
5. Not being afraid to use social media marketing in place of his normal mass media channels ( he didn’t have much choice as using traditional media would have been far to expensive)
Is this the best social media marketing campaign ever? For me it gets my vote with its multiple channels and touch points and tightly integrated approach and the results speak for themselves and serve as an excellent example of best practice.