Organic Trade Association finds lift in social marketing

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Marketers are excited about consumers' engagement with social media and on blogs, but measuring social media buzz is still a challenge. For the Organic Trade Association (OTA), which ran a blog-based campaign, the goal was to create buzz about organic foods for people who are not already organic converts. 

The brand is working with social media services firm BuzzLogic, one of many vendors that have recently released tools to measure social media buzz across the blogosphere. BuzzLogic's latest offering is a dashboard where advertisers can follow conversations across multiple sites.

"We were trying to reach bloggers on smaller niche light green sites to go after the 'light green' audience — people who may lean organic but are not totally converted," said Campbell.

Through the campaign, OTA ran ads alongside contextual conversations about organic and health food on blogs across the Web, based on the conversation. Buzz-
Logic worked with the association on the media buy, based on the context. The banner ads ran alongside the blogs with a soft call to action, essentially calling consumers back to the OTA site for more information.

"We wanted to create a buzz about organic and drive people back to the Web site and have them sign up for the newsletter," said Christine Campbell, digital media director at OTA. "Health is the primary message when it comes to eating organic and we wanted to let people know that organic can still be affordable."

OTA measured four different types of conversations: the parenting conversation, aka mommies; the parenting and novice organic conversation (or the "light green" crowd); the health and nutritious or living conversation; as well as the fitness, beauty and popular culture conversation, because green is big in pop culture these days.

"We worked with BuzzLogic, which identified the conversation we were going to be in," added Campbell. "We knew that if a conversation started in one area of the Web, it would move to another place and then we could watch it move and place our ads against it."

The brand saw a .13% click-through rate from the ad.

"In the early days of social media, it was about running campaigns on the social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook," said Rob Crumpler president/CEO of Buzz Logic. "Now it is about monitoring different conversations across the Web and placing the ads within these conversations." l

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