This campaign is proof that if you blatantly appeal to bloggers' egos and desire for more traffic/attention, they will in turn happily link to you. And if your offer is appealing enough, where a few influential bloggers go, the rest will virally follow.
Brand campaign was conducted for: MindComet
Launch date of campaign: July 19, 2005
Target audience/demographic: bloggers
From a high level, Blog in Space is an online viral campaign built to accomplish the following goals: demonstrate the effectiveness of properly executed viral campaigns, increase visibility in traditional media, show the effect on search engine results, prove the power of consumer generated media, increase traffic to MindComet.com and other MindComet sites and collect user information and emails for use in other consumer-focused MindComet initiatives.
Blog in Space was primarily developed as a marketing tool that would aid us in proving to potential marketing clients the blogosphere is an immense new medium for advertising and marketing. The goal was to generate a significant amount of blog buzz on a very low budget ($1,000), to prove the cost-effectiveness of blog marketing and its ability to withstand the ROI from traditional marketing investments.
A secondary goal of Blog in Space was to attract a database of bloggers to sign up for MindComet's blog marketing network dubbed BlogStar Network. The BlogStar Network launched one month prior to the launch of the Blog in Space campaign, and would enable MindComet to not only separate bloggers into categories of interest for advertising purposes, but also determine the level of influence and authority of an individual blogger. The core of the BlogStar Network is to connect advertisers and marketers with an established target of bloggers willing to post information about their product/service/campaign for distribution across the blogosphere. With that in mind, Blog in Space needed to generate a significant amount of buzz to maximize interest and registrations for the new service.
The creative team leveraged a topic the media was highly anticipating: the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavor in July of 2005.
After scouring thousands of blogs to determine common elements and a 'profile' for bloggers, the creative team conclusioned: bloggers are a community of intelligent, opinionated and socially aware individuals that exercise their voice online; bloggers tend to show their personality, political views and support for services they like through badges; and, blogrolls within their blog and consumer generated media can occur instantaneously with a single blog posting.
The team created BloginSpace.com, a Web site that allows bloggers to sign up online to transmit their blog into space for free -- which dovetailed with the shuttle launch while also playing off the timeless connection between man and space. MindComet contracted with a satellite transmission company to use their broadcasting services to transmit the collected digital data into deep space. The pitch: bloggers would extend their voice into galaxies unknown and exercise their right to Intergalactic Freedom of Speech.
The team contacted a few initial influential bloggers with the offer. Also, search engine optimized press releases were used extensively as a cost-effective way to gain exposure and search engine ranking.
Bloggers are known for their propensity to add badges, buttons and graphics to their blog.
So, the Blog in Space Web site features a badge page that allows users to choose from a variety of standard and animated graphics that bloggers could add to their blog to let everyone know that their blog was being transmitted into space.
To view the badges visit: http://www.bloginspace.com/badges.html
Other techniques integrated to extend the longevity of the campaign and build links for Blog in Space were:
- Each time Blog in Space transmits a blog into space, users receive a personalized certificate of transmission via email. This certificate serves as a record of authenticity for the blogger and includes the date, time and coordinates of the transmission.
For an example visit the following links:
- Each day the Blog in Space team chooses one lucky blogger and bestows upon them the honor of 'Most Likely to Be Contacted'. Bloggers who receive this honor are featured on the Blog in Space homepage and receive a special date-stamped badge to display on their site.
For an example of a recent winner posting visit here: http://lanuez.blogspot.com/
- Online news: To measure and track the amount of viral activity the creative team designed a transmission statistics chart on the homepage of BloginSpace.com that displays the number of blog feeds currently signed up, the amount of languages and the countries of origin.
- Blog: MindComet also continued to keep the progress open to the marketing community through a Blog in Space viral blog. The Blog in Space viral blog was leveraged to place notes of media exposure with screenshots and links, track progress with link building and search engine results on Google, Yahoo and MSN, make notes of progress and open-rates after emails were sent to opted-in bloggers and archive interview requests from journalists. On the back-end, Urchin was used to track the number of unique visitors and hits to the BloginSpace.com Web site, also visible to the marketing community on the viral blog.
Within 6 hours of launch, reporters were calling for phone interviews; within 24 hours MindComet was on television. By the end of the week MindComet's CEO had been interviewed by reporters in seven different countries and the story had made it to #1 on both Google News and MSN News for the keyword 'blog'. Stories of Blog in Space ran on MSNBC's Cosmic Log, TLC.com, TravelChannel.com, and a cartoon made of the campaign featured on Ripley's Believe It Or Not!.
Reporters and journalists called and published stories from not only across the United States, but Asia, Denmark, South Africa, India, France, Australia, the Netherlands, Philippines and more. Below are only a few of the hundreds of publications and broadcast mediums highlighting Blog in Space.
Radio stations broadcasting coverage of Blog in Space include: CNET News USA, the BBC Radio, Charles Adler and 107.7 The End in Seattle. (Links are unavailable at this time, however the following post was archived on the viral blog
WESH 2 News Orlando's Local NBC station featured an interview with MindComet's CEO.
To view the story visit the following link: http://mindcomet.tv/bloginspace
Blog in Space was featured in the following publications (excluding blogs):
BloginSpace.com was the feature of many blog posts in hundreds of languages such as the following:
National influential bloggers include:
Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
BloginSpace.com is a standing viral campaign with thousands of blogs continuing to launch each month.
At launch on July 19, 2005, a search for the term 'bloginspac' returned zero results for Google, MSN and Yahoo, yet 250 bloggers registered for the service. While search engines were slow at first the progress and viral exposure soon became apparent. (see Buzz section above.)
On Wednesday, July 20, the second day after launch, a search for the term 'blogs' on Google news headlined a post entitled, 'Blog Home, BloginSpace.com had 10,589 user sessions and traffic to MindComet.com increased by 700%. A search for 'bloginspace'
resulted in 13,300 results on Google. In only 48 hours BlogInSpace.com registered 1,093 bloggers from 54 countries in 18 different languages.
In total, one week after launch was an astounding 147,826 sessions. By one month after launch, BloginSpace.com had recorded its one-millionth unique visitor to the site and average Web site sessions were at 50,000 each day. As of January 10, 2006 the same search for 'bloginspace' returned 96,100 results on Google, maintaining a Google PageRank of 7, with 1,600 inbound links. To date as of March 17, 2006 a search for 'bloginspace' returns 178,000 results on Google and a search for MindComet returns 167,000.
Since its launch in June of 2005 the Blog in Space site has received over 11,000,000 unique user sessions. Traffic to the MindComet site has increased to as much as ten times its average traffic prior to site launch. The site has captured detailed profiles for nearly seven thousand bloggers and Internet surfers to date for the BlogStar Network. This campaign has allowed MindComet to create a large database of Internet savvy users for future promotions.
On a side note, the coordinating email marketing campaign registered open-rates in excess of 70% and click through rates in excess of 78%, as bloggers began posting not only the certificates on their site, but copied and pasted the entire email. Copy was creative and targeted towards bloggers, proving the power of successful email marketing strategies.
Though this campaign was originally designed for the explicit purpose of creating this case study, the tremendous success of the campaign actually created revenue generation opportunities. The resulting site now generates significant ad revenue through banners, Google Adwords and sponsorships.
Of the most shocking results was the immense spread of word-of-mouth in a mere week of launch. With little advertising expenditure, a campaign was propelled to success through media exposure from both broadcast and print mediums and bloggers worldwide.