By Matt Seward, Managing Partner, Kilo75
Getting under the skin of your audience...
Viral Marketing, so called because your message spreads... well... like a virus, is hugely attractive to marketeers because of the potential to reach millions in a short space of time and at a relatively low cost when compared to traditional techniques.
It is, however, notoriously difficult to see great results from viral campaigns and its generally accepted that a degree of luck is needed to get the campaign moving. To increase your chances of being lucky there are some proven techniques you can use.
Pass it on...
Behind every successful viral marketing campaign is something truly original, interesting or helpful, that your audience will find hard to resist. When something is perceived as being of value it will be passed on.
The 'value' ingredient of your marketing campaign can take many forms (entertainment, promotions, knowledge, tools, etc) but without this crucial ingredient all your efforts will be perceived as nothing more than spam.
It’s likely that if you use email you will have wasted some of your time deleting spam proclaiming great offers, money off, prize draw winnings etc.
It’s worth remembering that the business people who make up your audience, like you, have a responsibility to view such offers with skepticism, so your viral campaign must rise way above that level. It is a common belief that viral marketing means email marketing.
Sure, your campaign may spread because you audience passes it on via email but consider additional methods of actually delivering that value ingredient, perhaps podcasts, movies, interactive tools on your website, downloads, etc.
Good seeds will grow
Another important factor in achieving viral success is how you “seed” your campaign (or getting it kicked off by the right people). The most successful b2b viral campaigns of last year put their success down to successful seeding through blogs.
Give some careful thought to who will respond positively to your campaign, i.e. who is likely to pass it on to their network of contacts.
Increase your intelligence
Often forgotten is the tracking element of a campaign without which you have no idea if your campaign has actually worked. Monitoring traffic isn't enough and doesn't prove your campaign has done well,
You should set out how you are to measure success against your goals. It is also worth considering that the information gleaned from a campaign can be used to shape future marketing campaigns.
Overall a successful b2b viral campaign needs careful planning and monitoring but most important is the delivery of true value.
It’s said talk’s cheap….Well it can be, but invest a bit in making it mean something to somebody and it’ll be some of the some of best money you’ve ever spent. Get under the skin of your audience and you’ll be there for a good while.
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