Amongst subscribers of A1WebStats we sometimes see spikes in website traffic numbers that are caused by something becoming a ‘hot topic’.  All of a sudden, people are searching online for something related to the business, which drives more traffic to their website.  It’s not unusual to see such a spike last for several days.

Looking yesterday at the BBC website, there was a story titled BrewDog beers stolen in Billericay warehouse raid.   Being the BBC website, the news articles have a huge readership and all those people who had never heard of BrewDog would now become aware of who they are, including to the point of searching online for them if intrigued about the ‘rare’ beer.

We’ve followed the progress of BrewDog in recent years and have been impressed at the way they’ve grown from a two man band up to where they are now, staying down to earth in their attitude and ‘making it happen’, including using great ways to fund their business.   We wouldn’t mind betting that when they look at their own website (http://www.brewdog.com/) statistics since the BBC news article, they’ll have seen a rather nice spike in activity to go along with the increased brand awareness they would have got from that presence on the BBC News website.

If you look at the BBC website story, it can best be summarised that £50,000 worth of beers was stolen from a distributor warehouse and that the outcome could be as follows:

  1. The warehouse owner was hopefully insured so doesn’t lose out substantially.
  2. BrewDog get a nice bit of publicity for their brand, potentially worth £thousands.

No-one died or got maimed, there was no humanitarian disaster, and it wasn’t a £multi-million gold heist.

A sceptic could say that the whole thing had been engineered for publicity purposes.

So how does this apply to your own business?

While it would be wonderful to be featured on the BBC website as a news story, for many businesses, that’s not going to happen.  However, there could be other websites that would carry stories related to a business, if the story was perceived to be interesting enough.   For the BBC, a £50K theft of beers was deemed interesting enough and, on a day that carried little other news of interest, what would appear to be perfect timing.

So where’s the opportunity in your own business?   Many of you reading this will be in businesses larger than, or similar sizes to BrewDog so it’s not a case of “we couldn’t make such publicity happen”.

BrewDog create product that’s different to others, goes head to head against the established and dominant drinks suppliers, and basically says “look at us – there is an alternative”.

Is there something different about your own business that you could capitalise on to set you apart from your competitors AND, at the same time, get you some free publicity that’ll be viewed by thousands and give you a lovely jump in your website visitor numbers?

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