Viral marketing has matured over the past few years. There seems to have been a shift to the web not just being seen by agencies and brands as another tick box for any advertising campaign, which is noteworthy enough, but now viral is the medium where a campaign is launched to create a buzz even before it hits TV and print. This is the same method used before a movie is released which used to be seen as the pre-launch buzz-generation activity. Big business now “gets it” for all products and services.
Buzz works! It can work for your small and start-up businesses as well. However, this is not the same as grabbing a camera and shooting a “funny video” in the back parking lot and posting it on YouTube. The planning stage of a viral campaign will set out objectives and develop the viral theme for a buzz. There are three specific core modules to any viral campaign and businesses of any size can use them. They are:
- The creative material: the viral instrument that represents the message you want to spread in a digital format (image, video, text, etc). The trick is to put together material that people will be eager to share with their family and friends. People are much more eager to share “advertainment” than advertisement.
- Seeding: distributing and placing your golden idea online in places that provide the greatest potential spread. This just means that lots of people see your video/art/story, before it drives them to the actual page or place you want them to go. Remember, not everyone viewing your idea will actually do what you want them to, so it is very important to get it out as aggressively as possible.
- Tracking: Measuring the spread of the campaign to provide accountability and prove success. It is absolutely vital that you know what is or is not working. The only way to get that information is to track the results of your seeding.
Lessons have been learned, trends have been developed and there is definitely some science involved in creating a buzz successfully. The buzz technique is here to stay and, if used strategically, it can make a difference to the success of your business.