Much ado has been given to social media and its role in marketing. Social media is a cost effective way to reach a lot of people, and done effectively, it can produce big returns. Justin Anderson, founder of WOATS Oatsnack, has managed to successfully build brand awareness through platforms such as Vine, and has used this awareness to form partnerships with major retail distributors. WOATS Oatsnack uses Vine celebrities and other viral videos to promote its products, which often inspire customers to make their own videos, effectively increasing reach.
(Photo courtesy of Justin Anderson)
Anderson and his team decided to use Vine as a way to reach their target audience, but the strategy took a while to take hold. “WOATS always has a social presence on Vine, because we wanted to use its six second vignettes as mini commercials for the brand. Our goal was to create something funny, and engaging without coming off too salesy, but it didn’t take at first. Things changed when Drake’s song ‘Know Yourself’ dropped in February with the lyrics ‘Runnin’ through the six with my woes.’ Vine influencers Thomas Sanders and Dom Gold made a parody of the song using WOATS, which got a lot of exposure for the brand.”
After successfully building brand awareness, WOATS was able to effectively market its product to distributors. Anderson states, “With any product, getting the buyer meeting isn’t hard, but getting the ‘yes’ is the challenge. In meetings with some of our retailers, such as Target and Walmart, we’ve played montages of the fan and Vine celebrity-generated viral videos to the delight of our buyers. Walmart’s buyer found out about the brand through our social media. Funny enough, Target even tweeted us, ‘Rollin’ through the aisle with my WOATS’ after a fan posted a video posing with multiple bags in the Target store. So it’s a great way to show retailers your cool factor and social pull.”
WOATS has gone on to successfully utilize parodies and other social media strategies. “Newsjacking means to relate the product to what is happening in the current news cycle on social media, especially if you’re just starting to build your brand. We’ve found success newsjacking everything from The Stephen Colbert premiere in NYC to Drake songs to the Star Wars premiere. We are always looking to foster social relationships with the Give-Give-Ask method. We look for people online who are talking about our product or others like ours. We thank them by sending samples, and we will also do a follow up interaction or comment on their feeds for a week or two. Finally, we ask them to review or post about the product, if they haven’t already.”
By using social media to attract customers and distributors, WOATS has effectively gotten its product into the hands of consumers everywhere. By staying current with social media trends, the company has been able to leverage word-of-mouth in a 21st-century way.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.