Influencing the Influencers – How did we get Gary Barlow to tweet about a client?
Sometimes in PR wonderful things happen by accident. Like the time Gary Barlow tweeted a client’s website www.AQuarterOf.co.uk the day before the X Factor final.
If you don’t know the site, they are the original online retro sweetshop. Their whole brand is based around their love of nostalgia and remembering through rose-tinted glasses the Fruit Salad (and Blackjack) days of youth.
We’d been tasked with raising their profile – a job we did very well and which led to their best ever trading day – see the quote from founder Michael Parker on our front page.
To do this we wanted to put their sweets into the mouths of people who mattered so we targeted two sorts of people.
The first were the big foodies of the moment: Nigella, Delia, Gregg Wallace all of these arrived home to find enormous hampers of scrummy retro sweets waiting for them. And it worked.
The client were mentioned in print and online through the mouths of these great folk.
But the second type of person we targeted were the ones who in this case proved to be more valuable.
One person we targeted was a well known comedian. A northerner whose whole shtick is nostalgia. It’s all ‘Do you remember Spacehoppers?‘ and a warming look back at the idiosyncrasies of family life now and then.
In other words a PERFECT fit for AQuarterOf
Because the site had such great SEO, we figured that even if he just mentioned some old sweets – Wham Bars, Toffos, Wagon Wheels or Fruit Salads anything… then anyone googling for it would end up at the client’s site. If it made it to a DVD or a tour of arenas that would be a brilliant result.
It was a gamble, but it was worth it.
We assume he liked our sweets because he went to the site and bought an identical hamper which he sent to his good mate Gary Barlow a day before the X Factor Final.*
Gary Barlow was so pleased he tweeted about the site to his 1,000,000 fans.
It drove immense traffic to the site and we jumped on the story and sent it out to the nationals where it made page leads in the Mirror and the Metro as well as shorter pieces in most of the others.
And it didn’t end there. Days later he Tweeted a photo of the hamper and for the next two weeks Gary was posting pictures and memories of old sweets to his twitter fans growing the conversation and increasing AQuarterOf’s Twitter following by 20%
The point here is a classic one but it shows the importance of influencers in speaking to your publics. If someone your target audience look up to speaks positively about your brand then amazing things can happen. Sometimes it happens by design. Sometimes by luck.
But we’re strong believers that luck only comes from hard work.
*Gary Barlow publicly thanked his friend on Twitter so we’re not breaching any confidences in telling you this.