Use ‘burst’ and ‘drip’ marketing to promote your content

Burst v dripStop and think. You slave away to create great content.

And work your socks off to promote it. You do a pretty good job of it too. But what is your campaign strategy?  Do you start with a big bang or take baby steps and see where it goes?

I’d like to introduce you to a couple of friends of mine. Say ‘hello’ to burst and drip marketing. Let me tell you about them using two real stories that happened to me last week.

Boom – shake the room

Boom! Then silence.

The heavens seemed ripped open with a thunderous bang which shook my city senseless. In response, the city scratched its head in confusion.

Local news reported fighter jets were scrambled to “investigate” a civilian aircraft after losing radio contact. Given the situation, RAF Typhoons were cleared for supersonic – hence the boom.

Fortunately, the civilian aircraft re-established contact just before “intercept”. The city picked itself up and dusted itself down, but not before pulling on a new pair of trousers.

Twitter then came aliveBrilliant burst marketing with people saying what a jolly good job the air force was doing of protecting our skies.

Brilliant ‘burst’ marketing

From a PR perspective this was an interesting unintended consequence of the sonic boom, and very similar to the principle of ‘burst’ marketing.

Burst marketing is typically: short-term, very intense and only performed once or a few times.

The advantage of burst marketing is you make more impact and get more attention. Think what you could achieve by making a big splash, perhaps by firing on all marketing channels at once, and driving traffic to your site.

Ring the bells – often

Things calmed down again that afternoon and I noticed for the first time church bells sounding on the hour, every hour.

A new church had been built in the neighbourhood. It wasn’t fully functional yet but keen bell-ringers were getting in some practice in advance.

Drip marketingThe effect is that over time everyone is becoming aware of the new church which is (almost) open for business. People are receiving that message in a small way, every hour, on the hour, throughout the day, every day.

Drip – ‘drip’ marketing

The repeated ringing of church bells is analogous to drip marketing in the same way a sonic boom is to burst marketing. The constant drip-drip-drip of content in drip marketing is the opposite to the approach taken in burst marketing.

Drip marketing is typically: long-term, less-intense and persistent over time.

The advantage is you’re always in front of your audience, it’s cheap and relatively easy to produce content on a small scale. Think of the relationship-building potential of blogging or emailing in small doses every week.

Burst or drip – which is best?

Neither is best – it depends on your budget, your communication objectives, where your audience is in the buying process, to name but a few factors.

You can also combine the approach.

How about using the drip approach to slowly develop familiarity and trust, and the burst approach, for example, as a one-off to convert readers into blog or news subscribers, or subscribers into purchasers?

Try the other way round too. Conduct a media blitz to make people aware and interested in your organisation, and follow up with small but regular content to ensure you are the go-to resource long after the campaign has finished .

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MD of Ward Communications (UK) Ltd. Helping organisations to grow by providing independent communications consultancy and services. David can be reached at

Posted in All  Public Relations

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