Jay-Z shows us how it’s done: Bing, Facebook and holistic marketing

Marketing

Jay-Z shows us how it’s done: Bing, Facebook and holistic marketing

Well, whadya know, party people? It’s your girl Virginia back on the scene. In the immortal words of Beyonce: can you handle that? Oh, I know you can.

Actually, it’s funny. Beyonce is my girl, and for a long time I might have told you I want to be like her when I grow up — fiercely driven, talented, confident and business savvy. But times have changed for this indie blogger, and these days I’m looking up to a new model of success — an empire-builder, mega star, biz magnate, who just happens to be Beyonce’s soon-to-be baby daddy, the one and only Jay-Z.

Now there’s someone who can hustle like no other. And these days, when he’s not pulling in new partnerships with corporate giants of the likes of Coca-Cola, Live Nation and now Microsoft, he’s got fans hustling across the globe to join an interactive, multiplatform game promoting his upcoming autobiography, Decoded.

Jay-Z Decode

Two weeks ago, the worldwide contest Decode Jay-Z With Bing was announced, and the marketing world took notice of the innovative campaign. The contest is the first major project between Bing and Facebook since the two web powers announced their alliance. Add the cultural cachet of one of America’s most charismatic celebrities, and the industry can be certain the payoff for all parties will be anything but hardknock.

Pages of the rapper’s book are spread across 15 cities around the world, with five to ten new pages hitting the streets — and the web — each day. Indeed, participants don’t have to stomp the pavement to find and decode game pages. With the help of Bing, simply answer questions about Jay-Z and the hip-hop world to crack clues that bring you to the book page’s location on Bing Maps. So far, just more than 100 pages have been released and located in the game, with another 100 or so left in the remaining weeks before the contest ends Nov. 20.

Jay-Z Decode Clue

Clues are also shared on Jay-Z and Bing’s Facebook pages. Considering the Fort Knox-style lockdown I police my Facebook account with, it’s noteworthy that I didn’t hesitate to allow Decode Jay-Z to access my profile. Let’s just hope this momentary lapse of paranoia pays off. The grand prize winner gets tickets to an epic New Year’s Eve performance by Jay-Z and Coldplay in Las Vegas.

With more than 4 million Facebook fans, the question of who to partner with online to promote his book was probably an obvious one for Jay-Z. He’s no novice when it comes to lucrative partnerships and stands as clear evidence of the wisdom of diversifying your assets, reaching out to new channels and leveraging your brand. Of course, it’s not likely that he’s entered into any of these agreements without careful research on a venture’s potential. While Jay-Z’s projects can hardly be called a gamble in their calculated zeal, he’s proven that betting big outside of traditional marketing territories can yield big rewards.

Take a page from Jay-Z’s (Face)book

Businesses would be smart to read a page from Jay-Z’s book, and I’m not talking about Decoded anymore. Are you using Facebook to your advantage now? Or are you waiting to learn more about how the world’s most popular social network can work for you? Doing the homework to be confident of how Facebook’s engaged audience and unique user expectations may affect your business is sensible. But don’t keep the brakes on too long.

You don’t have to have Microsoft’s coffers to develop a catchy social campaign. Think back to what sparked your interest when you were younger. My afternoons of hide-and-go-seek and Candyland were fueled by little more than grilled cheese and chocolate milk. Farmville’s 80-million strong user base would would probably agree that the promise of Facebook’s catchy content is a powerful branding mechanism.

Here are some ideas of creative ways to get people interacting with your brand on Facebook:

  • Videos: Now among the top 10 online properties for video consumption, videos are shared and viewed on Facebook with ease. Video can be created at small cost to showcase products and services, or to give fans and viewers an entertaining look at brand culture. It’s also a medium that lends itself to user generated content, as fans can readily submit their own videos, usually with only minimal prodding.
  • Contests: Pringles asked users in Australia to create their dream party, complete with band, venue and 100 guests. An app would then create a video of the party, which other users then voted on. Free music downloads were given out as prizes, and Pringles ultimately won out with a 200 percent rise in sales during the contest.
  • Giveaways: The Decoded fan page promises that once 25,000 fans are reached, everyone gets access to the song list used in the book. In-demand products and info exclusively available to fans is a tempting draw.
  • Deals and rewards: Facebook is currently testing a check-in based deals and rewards program with select Place Pages partners. Brick-and-mortars can start thinking about how to leverage consumers’ explicit interest.

Raven Internet Marketing Tools’ Facebook Monitor for fan pages can give you what you need to plan and manage an effective Facebook campaign. Simply authorize your fan page and you can create Wall posts, monitor insights and generate reports from the convenient and familiar Raven dashboard.

Because despite what the songs say, you don’t have to be a gangsta to conquer the game. You just have to know how to make the right moves.

P.S. If you’d like to win a slick Nano watch, stunner shades, Bose noise cancelling headphones and Raven wear, there’s a contest coming up that’s right up your alley. PubCon Las Vegas attendees can play RavenHunt, an interactive scavenger hunt contest. You ready to start playing yet?

Arienne Holland is the Director of Marketing and Customer Experience at Raven. She divides her time between outreach, writing, teaching and understanding developers. Before Raven, Arienne spent more than a decade as an editor and graphic designer for Gannett. She was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for team breaking news journalism. She likes bread, books and bourbon.

More about Arienne Holland | @RavenArienne

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