Last week, many of us were delighted to witness the return of the King of Parody himself, Weird Al Yankovic, after the release of his new Mandatory Fun album. He managed to reinvigorate his musical career through his current fans, while reaching younger generations along the way.
His execution was flawless: eight new parodied music videos within a span of eight days, all sponsored by various media outlets (including Yahoo!) and promoted heavily via social media. That, combined with insane amounts of written publicity, an appearance on Conan and extra YouTube play is enough to call him a marketing superstar.
Ok, so I did open the blog with yet another reference to Weird Al’s recent awesomeness, but there’s a bigger picture here: What does it take to achieve relevance these days?
No matter who you are, you must have something about you - a look, an odd personality, or an extra dose of talent to draw people in. In the online world, we embrace the talented, the quirky, the beautiful, and the weird. Your gimmick has to set you apart, and has to tell the world that there's something interesting and unique about you that is worth noticing. Tuna, the famed Chiweenie with an overbite and a shriveled neck known as Tuna Melts My Heart, is internationally known, thanks to the Internet. At first, Tuna's owner, Courtney Dasher, never knew just how much attention her rescued pooch would garner. Now, his unique physical attributes generate thousands of likes, shares and comments resulting from his daily photos. He oozes cuteness and brings much happiness to his fans, while also being an ambassador for dog rescue.
If it weren't for social media, I probably wouldn't know much about anything going on in the world these days. I get much of my news through various social media outlets instead of television, because online is a more easily accessible and digestible format for me, and I prefer this medium to get my daily information. When I see posts on subjects that I'd want friends or family to know about, I share them online and discuss further next time we talk or see each other. Sharing really is caring. It's a means for connecting with each other in our highly embraced digital world. People enjoy sharing great information, stories, and videos via social media, and that's not likely to change. If we can harness the power of social media to promote awareness for important topics and share little hacks that might make everyone’s lives better, I think we're really on to something!
I believe timing is everything when it comes to pitching someone or something online. When you discover something of interest that is currently in the news, your first instinct is to dig for as much information as you can and find a way to get in on what everyone's chatting about, but that kind of feeling usually has an expiration date. Every day last week, I would see new articles about Weird Al's new album, all of them trying to get at him from a different angle, but all coming to a similar conclusion, that he is a marketing genius. I won't deny that, and the thought of writing about his recent online success did cross my mind this week. Then I thought, who wants to be late to the party by writing yet another article on Weird Al's current rock star status? So, I figured out how to slide his genius marketing skills into this blog without making it all about him. Sneaky, right?
It takes hard work and a little chutzpah to make your personal story seem relevant in our connectively-obsessed culture, and I hope to create something fabulous that will go viral one of these days. To those who have figured out the method to this madness: I'd love to compare notes sometime!
Are you always in-the-know when it comes to what is newsworthy? What source do you use to get your information that you consider relevant, and what would you like to see more of in the online space? Let us know in the comments!