March 1st, 2015
You may have heard it said about some businesses that their popularity and reputation was built through word of mouth, which means quite simply that when one customer finds the business's products or services to be good, they tell all their friends about it.Welcome to the world of viral marketing. As you can see it is not really a new idea. It is, however, an idea that is perfectly suited to this internet age that we live in and can be very effective in promoting branding. It is called viral marketing because the idea, brand, product or service you are promoting is passed on like a virus. Word of mouth is still a good way to have your viral content spread around, but the process can be much more effective when social networking is used. Communication is so much easier these days and it is quite possible for you to say something of interest to a friend when you are out having a coffee and by the time you get home, hundreds of people may have shared that information by using texts, tweets, and Facebook status messages. That example illustrates just how effective and how quick viral marketing has the potential to be.
So how does one go about creating and promoting viral content and ensuring that it succeeds? The secret lies in thorough planning, high quality content and constant analysis and tweaking of content. Each of those stages is just as important as the others, because a poorly planned viral campaign won't reach its target audience, poor content won't hold the interest of the target audience and without analysis you will have no idea whether or not your viral campaign is having any effect and you wouldn't know which parts of the content are working best for you and which parts aren't. The two main things to bear in mind about your viral campaign are that it must be useful in some way and it must also be of the highest quality. Let's talk about the quality first.
The only way for your content to transform into viral content is for it to be interesting enough for people to want to share it with their social contacts. That is why you should strive to make your content as useful as you possibly can. It has to engage the reader and convince them that they simply have to share your content. Research as much as you can to make your viral content interesting and valuable to your target audience.
Once you have managed to create the kind of high value content that you need, the next step is to promote it.To promote it properly you have to first decide the purpose for which you have created it and the audience you are targeting. Without wishing to labor the point too much, the promotion of your viral content and its ability to generate interest will depend greatly on the value of the content. The advantages once your content goes viral are immense, with increased brand awareness and improved rankings being amongst them. Part of your planning should have included compiling a list of contacts where you can promote your viral campaign. This can include people you know, blogs and organizations that may have an interest in your viral content and active tweeters who may also be interested in what you have to say. You can also make sharing easier by adding social media share buttons and making them very noticeable. Contact those on your list to see if they are willing to share your content and if you have researched your content and given it relevance and of a high standard, you should start getting positive results.
The final stage is to continually analyze and adjust your viral campaign. Find out which methods are working best and which are not performing as well as you had hoped. Keep your viral content updated and try to enhance it so that it has more appeal in those areas that are not performing as well as expected. Above all else, strive to make the content the best possible, displaying relevance to the subject and of a very high standard.
Remember, historically, word of mouth recommendation only occurred when the product or service made such an impact on the consumer that they simply had to tell everyone all about it. That applies to your content if you want it to succeed - you must give it that same impact so that people feel they have to share it.