A single successful viral marketing campaign can make a failing business do a complete one-eighty. It can make a so-so small business go national. A national business an international phenomenon.
Viral marketing has been the big viral buzzword on the minds of all marketers for the last decade, give or take. While a lot is known about the aftermath, figuring out the “how” is still the toughest part of the game.
Here’s 3 tips for tipping the ball in your favor and maximising the results:
1. Copy & Paste: Look at what influencers are doing.
The whole idea of influencers and their potential for successfully extracting sales out of their following and/or converting tire-kickers into actual buyers is based on what USC’s Information Sciences Institute calls the “Majority Illusion in Social Networks.” Think of this as nothing more than a modern spin on the crowd mentality, whereby the masses can be heavily swayed from convention by a select few who are viewed as highly connected.
Find key influencers in your industry and where they hang out on social (YouTube, Instagram, etc.), and copy their approach. Either that, or pitch them your product and hopefully get them on board with helping you sell them.
2. Segment markets to streamline your approach.
You’ll have likely done a lot of this already by looking at what key influencers are doing. However, it’s often more difficult when you and your marketing team are starting from scratch, as market segmentation happens naturally once an influencer has gained a following (ie., their market finds them). Keep in mind that you’re not trying to identify people who simply won’t buy your product. They’ll never convert and certainly won’t help your campaign go viral.
Jumping headfirst into a massively competitive, generic market like “Weight Loss” and trying to get viral results is a tough go for any SMB. By segmenting your markets, you’ll have a better shot at having a campaign go viral. Consider “Weight Loss After Pregnancy”: Show a video or feature written stories on your blog about women who’ve used their product after giving birth and lost weight — how that experience has helped them grow, etc.
3. Analytics help with future viral marketing domination.
Data is going to tell you what worked and what didn’t work today, so you and your team can put together a better plan tomorrow. A lot of new businesses steer clear of data collection for fear of all the complicated technology often associated with it.
In reality, Google Analytics can tell you pretty much every thing you want to monitor and measure including users/viewers, their basic demographics, and their behaviours onsite. Those who are most successful in the viral marketing game got there using smart analytics. One-hit wonders do exist, but few will get a second crack at marketing stardom without data on their side.
Focus on delivering a strong message for the viral marketing win.
Digital business and marketing expert, Jeff Bullas warns that no campaign can be successful without a clear and strong message. Each campaign needs to be carefully scrutinised and tested before sending it out there in 140 characters or less, as witnessed in the Kellogg’s Breakfast for Children debacle a few years ago.
The company had good intentions and likely thought the campaign had massive viral reach, but the promise of 1 breakfast for a vulnerable child in exchange for a retweet of their message got many people angry at the prospect the company would potentially withhold breakfasts from hungry children if the social public didn’t comply.
Main Image Credit: YouTube