5 Ways the #icebucketchallenge can inspire your marketing strategies

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You’re probably already aware of the social media phenomenon that is the#IceBucketChallenge. It has spread all over the internet like a wave. On Youtube, Facebook and other social networks, videos of people drenching themselves with buckets of ice water are circulating.

Fergus ice bucket crop.jpg
Fergus enjoying a good drenching

It is probably easier to create hype and social engagement around a charity and doing a “good deed”, nevertheless there are some tricks from this campaign that can be adapted to make your strategy more successful (plus videos of Axonners doing the challenge, for a bit of fun):

1. Create a community

One reason why the ice bucket challenge spread so rapidly on the internet is that completing the challenge makes you part of a community and it is hard to buck the trend when all your friends and colleagues are taking part. Not to mention the “guilt factor” for the charity raising the funds. Some would even call this an element of peer pressure.

The more people you get involved in your project the bigger your community will grow, which makes it easier to get your message across.

2. Build attention on social networks

The snowball effect, which is caused by nominating further candidates, is another reason why the campaign works so well. Building attention in social networks is essential to spread your message and reach as many people as possible. Marketers are becoming largely dependent on social media because it is an easy way to achieve awareness and attract your audience.

3. Use videos

Using video is another key takeaway - people are more attracted to pressing the “play” button than investing the time in reading a long article. A fundamental idea of content marketing has always been to make  your content as easy as possible to consume and access, so videos are a great example.

Video works especially well for the ice bucket challenge as it provides hard evidence of completion and combines the delight element with a serious background. It can be rather hard to gain publicity with a difficult topic, but with the ice bucket challenge it linked fun, entertainment and a background story, which is the key to success here.

4. Celebrities are the icing on the cake

The best way of promoting any message has always been to get the attention of significant influencers, even more so with celebrities who are willing to endorse your brand or product. No-one will deny that there is a certain interest in what famous people do and they are often role models for many people. If you can manage to get a celebrity involved it will give your strategy an extra push. 

President Obama, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Britney Spears, and Matt Damon are just a small fraction of celebrities who were willing to take part and get drenched for charity.

5. Low barriers to entry

The harder it is for people to access or take part in your content the less people will get involved. The ice bucket challenge implemented the low barrier to entry perfectly - it is not too hard to find a bucket, fill it with cold water and drench oneself with it.

There is no need for too much effort - keep it simple!

The cold hard facts about the #IceBucketChallenge

  • It first began online in June 2014.

  • Everyone who is nominated for the challenge is expected to douse themselves with ice water and donate to the ALS Association within 24 hours of nomination (or MND in the UK).

  • Don’t want to soak yourself in ice water? You have to donate more

  • ALS is a degenerative disease of the nervous system which leads to muscle weakness and paralysis. There is currently no cure.

  • The campaign has raised $93.4 million - in the same period last year the ALS Association received only $2.1 million.

Watch Axonn’s CEO Fergus Parker doing the #IceBucketChallenge:

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