GROW! Marketing and Public Relations Tips

What Your Garden Brand Can Learn from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted by Dan Ream on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 @ 9:00 AM

By now, you've probably heard about the ALS ice bucket challenge. 

If you haven't, don't worry. If you use any social network at all, you'll probably run into it soon.

Though the exact origins of the challenge are difficult to trace, one thing is certain - ALS awareness is skyrocketing. 

Don't just take our word for it, though. Keep reading to learn more about the movement, how its success has been measured, and marketing tips your garden brand can learn.

What is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Stacey of Garden Media ASL Ice bucket

Garden Media's Own Stacey Pierson Taking the Challenge!

The basic rules of the challenge are simple. Donate 100 dollars to the ALS Association, or dump a bucket of ice water on your head.

Then, nominate three to five other people to complete the challenge via a social network, and post proof of either your donation or a video of your ice bath online. The videos have gone viral, without a doubt! 

You'd be hard-pressed not to find reference to the ice bucket challenge or ALS within 30 seconds browsing Facebook or Twitter. Especially since not one, two, but THREE separate hashtags are trending nationally - #ALSIceBucketChallenge, #icebucketchallenge, and #strikeoutals.

Measuring the Success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

marketing lessons learned from als ice bucket challenge, marketing campaigns garden media group

Having a trending hashtag is great, but how can we truly measure the impact of the ALS ice bucket challenge?

Social media tracking isn't perfect, but it does reveal a lot about the success of this campaign. 

Let's start with Facebook - as of August 15, more than 15 million people had either commented, liked, or posted their own ALS ice bucket challenge videos. 

On Twitter, August 18th provides a great snapshot of the reach the ice bucket challenge has had. On that day, ALS or the ice bucket challenge was mentioned 1,887 times per minute.

Comparing this year to last year reveals that contributions to the ALS Association are up almost $30 million - and 637,527 new donors have joined.

Now that's clear-cut success from a marketing, awareness and fundraising standpoint! 

Marketing Takeaways from the Ice Bucket Challenge

garden media group, suzi mccoy

Your garden business can learn a lot from the way ALS Association coordinated its message across multiple social media platforms.

Check out these marketing lessons your garden business can learn from below.

  • The creation of multiple hashtags has extended their reach exponentially. 
  • Take a page out of their measurement book by comparing the results of your current PR strategies to results from previous years. 
  • Use the trends to your advantage. Selfie is the word of the year, and while this wasn't typical, some of the videos capitalized on people wanting to share videos with them in it.
  • Find out who comes into your store or visits your website - and from where they learned about your company. If you're in store, have cashiers ask how customers heard about you, and on your website, use advanced tracking analytics.

Learn How Your Garden Brand Can Create a Wildly Successful Marketing Campaign with our eBook Below!

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Topics: PR Measurement, PR Strategy, horticultural marketing communications, internet media

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