Unified approach maximizes SXSW content for attendees

Founded April 2011, Unified is an enterprise marketing tech company that launched a social operating platform to buy, manage, and measure the results of advertising on social networks this January.

Company:
Unified (New York)
Campaign:
LiveDrawing SXSW 2012
Duration:
March 1 to 15, 2012
Budget:
Under $15,000

Founded April 2011, Unified is an enterprise marketing tech company that launched a social operating platform to buy, manage, and measure the results of advertising on social networks this January. The company wanted to maximize awareness at SXSW (March 8 to12), drive website traffic, and ultimately drum up business leads.

“More than 25,000 people were slated to attend SXSW, just six weeks after we launched the product,” says VP of corporate communications Dave Donohue. “We needed to make the biggest splash possible there without a zillion bucks to do it.”

Strategy
VP of business development Tyler Willis knew from experience that many SXSW attendees worry about not being able to get into the most popular keynote and panel sessions or about not capturing information at sessions. So Willis and Donohue hired an artist to create live drawings (with summary notes) of the most popular sessions on an iPad and disseminated them immediately.

“We wanted to create content of value that helped attendees and let us build good relationships with them rather than just market at them,” Willis says.

An exclusive with ReadWriteWeb, traditional and social media outreach, and Unified's blog drove awareness.

Visualhero helped with graphics production.

Tactics
Twelve sessions were covered, particularly ones featuring widely recognizable people including Al Gore interviewing Sean Parker, and ones featuring people covering niche subjects with deep audiences, for example inventor and author Ray Kurzweil.

The artist created drawings in real time, and Willis sent them to Donohue. ReadWriteWeb got the content exclusively for one hour before it was posted on StumbleUpon and Unified's blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ properties.

Donohue then emailed pitches to media on the ground in Austin and other outlets covering SXSW.

Unified's Earned Media Action Framework product was used to track shares of the original content postings.

“Measuring was important to understanding how well the campaign succeeded,” Willis says. “And earned media actions are a cornerstone of our business, so it was also a way to show customers the power of the technology.”

Results
Donohue reports “dozens” of new business leads -- Geico, Intel, Razorfish, Dachis Group, and NBC among them.

Website traffic surpassed 300,000 visits (92% first-time visitors) between March 8 and 15. More than 80,000 visitors came from earned media actions.

Influencers tweeting about the campaign included The Wall Street Journal's social media reporter and executives from ESPN, JESS3, and Deutsch.

Fourteen stories ran in outlets such as PandoDaily and on director Joss Whedon's fan site Whedonesque.

Future
Donohue and Willis are working on upcoming product launches, preparing for new partnership announcements, and promoting client success stories.

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