Viral marketing has matured a bit over the 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 ad campaign, which is significant enough, but now being the medium where a campaign is launched to create a buzz before it hits TV and print. Even before a movie is released which used to be seen as the pre-launch buzz-generation activity. Big business “gets it”.
Buzz works! It can work for small and start-up businesses, as well. The planning stage of a viral campaign will set out objectives and develop the viral theme for a buzz. There are three core components to any viral campaign and businesses of any size can use them. They are:
- The creative material: the viral agent that embodies 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 and people are much more eager to share “advertainment” and advertisement.
- Seeding: distributing and placing the agent online in places that provide the greatest potential spread. Direct viral material downloads or links on specialist viral third-party web sites in order to create awareness and spread before users get to the campaign destination site.
- 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 e-business.