Clearing PR Pollution at DeSmogBlog

Clearing the Air and Driving Visitors to DeSmogBlog
DeSmogBlog is an advocacy website and weblog, dedicated to “clearing the PR pollution that clouds the science of climate change.” We started working with DeSmogBlog in the fall of 2006. Our mandate was simple, and a common one among our clients: extend their online marketing reach and drive more visitors to their website.

While working ont he DeSmogBlog project, we applied a variety of typical web and social media marketing strategies to bolstering DeSmogBlog’s web presence. We started a weekly ‘best of’ newsletter, created MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr profiles, consulted on a site redesign and so forth.

All of those activities are important, and help with incremental traffic increases. However, to radically increase your traffic, it’s important to get creative and take risks with your online marketing tactics.

The following are three viral campaigns that we created that have worked like gangbusters for DeSmogBlog.

  • We worked with Biro Creative to build a desktop widget (called a ‘gadget’ on Windows) that displayed recent DeSmogBlog news, as well as a climate footprint counter. When we submitted it to Apple’s Dashboard library, it was featured on the site’s home page. For the thousands who have downloaded the widget, we’ve moved DeSmogBlog out of the browser and onto their desktops.
  • We launched a contest, hosted on Flickr, called The Greenest Photo Ever. Why host it on Flickr? Social media marketing works best when you go to the content creators, instead of trying to drag them back to your own site and through a complex submission process. Maybe DeSmogBlog receives fewer visitors during the contest, but they earn more visibility and credibility in the long term.
  • We devised and, working with Suburbia, built Stars and Stinkers, a Flash game where visitors rated celebrities based on their environmental-friendliness. We enabled bloggers to embed the game on their own site like a YouTube video, and also released the source code so that designers could build their climate change mash-ups. So far, 15,000 people have played the game.

The Results

While these campaigns have all driven plenty of visitors to DeSmogBlog, we satisfied a more crucial objective: to bring new visitors from outside the site’s core readership.

Over the past year, we’ve had a radical impact on DeSmogBlog’s visitors, increasing them by nearly 300%.

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