Rotosound: the success story

It's hard to believe that Ditto have been working with Rotosound for over a year now. Over the last few months I've got to know the company really well, and as well as writing their blog for them, we've had a lot of fun coming up with new ways to promote this legendary brand.

Who are Rotosound?

Rotosound are Britain's major string manufacturer. Started in the 1950's by James How, Rotosound have become synonymous with incredible sound, and are particularly famous for their distinctive round-wound bass strings, as used by The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles (as well as countless modern bands including Pendulum, Florence and the Machine, Kasabian and The Vaccines... need I go on?). Needless to say, they've made a heck of a name for themselves.

And the challenge?

Despite being one of the biggest companies of its' kind in the UK, they're competing against some big rivals in the states. Rotosound are an incredibly lucky company in so far as having real 'celebrity' endorsees who are happy to tell their legions of loyal fans just how great Rotosound music strings are. The problem they faced was actually telling their fans about all of the great stuff which goes on behind the scenes - all of these fabulously successful endorsement deals are no use at all if no-one knows about it.

So what did we do?

The first thing to do for Rotosound was start to gather up their monthly news and find a platform for it. They've got a brilliant PR manager who takes care of getting them great press in all of the right industry publications and music forums, but it seemed mad that Rotosound didn't have their own outlet for all their news. Writing a blog for them was the obvious choice.

And so the blog became a reality. I always recommend that you hold off from promoting your new blog until you've built up an archive of 5/6 articles over a period of a month or so. Treat it as a cooling off period to ensure you'll give your blog the commitment it needs to be a success - and after all, a blog with just one solitary article on it is beyond off-putting. Give your readers something to get their teeth into.

The blog won some great readership (handily, it tied in with a website relaunch), and started gathering steam. During one of my meetings with Rotosound's CEO, Jason, we got talking about social media and analyzed how well Rotosound was exploiting the social media revolution. It turned out things could be improved - as with many of our clients, they were time-poor and lacked the knowledge needed to confidently take the social media bull by the horns. We promptly got Jason booked on to one of our social media workshops, and Rotosounds' social media is now under regular review alongside the work we do on their blog.

And has it worked?

Absolutely. Rotosound customers are a very loyal and enthusiastic bunch, and have wasted no time at all in plastering enthusiastic comments all over twitter and facebook about how brilliant Rotosound music strings are. And it really hit home just how powerful a marketing tool social media can be when we started getting big-name endorsees sharing links to the blog and facebook page with their own followers. Last year, the company's worldwide sales were up by a whopping 20%. Of course, social media is only one part of their wider marketing effort, but the work we've been doing has undeniably helped to raise Rotosounds' profile.