Viral Marketing

What Our Viral Marketing Services Can Do For You

When it comes to marketing yourself on the web, SEO is a good starting point, but to give yourself a little something extra, you might consider going with viral marketing.

What Is Viral Marketing?

People throw this phrase around quite a bit these days, and it gets misused a lot. So, to clarify, let’s give it a simple definition: viral marketing is an attempt at creating an advertisement that will be passed through the internet via word of mouth.

Notice that this definition didn’t include words like “funny” or “video” or “youtube”. Viral marketing can take place in any format, in any medium, on any website. All the word “viral” really implies is that the content “catches” like a virus, being passed from one person to another throughout the web.

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Brand and Product Identity

There are some scenarios where viral marketing is much more effective. In general, even the best viral content can take some time to catch on, so it’s really more suited for long term campaigns. If you’re holding, say, a one day sale or something along those lines, viral content may be too slow catching on to really be worth the effort.

On the other hand, brand awareness is really a perfect fit for viral marketing. Product launches can also be handled very well by viral marketing campaigns so long as you intend to keep this product around for awhile with no major changes in the near future.

Link building campaigns through viral marketing can be very effective, as well, as you’re simply building a larger presence on the web. At the end of the day, it’s really all about making a bigger name for yourself on the web. As such, viral marketing can be incredibly effective for anything where you need long term public awareness of your business, products or services.

Creating Viral Content

What all viral content has in common is a “hook” of sorts. This hook can be politically charged, controversial content, it can be sexualized, humorous or dark content, it can even be a cute animal falling asleep. In any event, it doesn’t just transmit information, it transmits information in a gripping way, a way that people respond to immediately.

To take some case examples of the kind of content that can be incredibly effective in a viral campaign, you need look no farther than “Giant Stars”.

This was an experiment in deliberate viral marketing conducted after a lot of research and planning. The aim was to create a video with a great hook and one that fell into a category and style that was already immensely popular on the web, that being the “world’s biggest…” “world’s ugliest…” “world’s weirdest…” etcetera. “Blankest blanks”, for lack of a better name for the category.

The hook was the notion that however large you may think this or that star or planet is, there’s one that’s bigger. The video shows that the sun is millions of times as large as the Earth, while there are stars billions of times as the sun, and other stars billions of times as large as those stars.

This taps directly into a very basic human concept of our place in the universe. The video gets you thinking, it has a real “wow” factor to it, and it drives a fascinating point home: not only are we pretty small in the grand scheme of things, the things we consider huge are pretty small, too.

After being distributed through a few social networking sites, the video continues to gather thousands upon thousands of views on a regular basis and brought a wonderful flow of traffic to the site within a few days.

Viral Awareness

Viral marketing is chaotic and unpredictable in more than a few ways, but it is possible to at least aim a piece of marketing towards going viral. For many, attempts at viral marketing can be incredibly hit and miss. Building a piece around a central, core concept, a hook, is a good start, but one should also be aware of what really appeals to the kind of people who pass these things on.

People who are skilled at creating viral content are those who are willing to sift through chain emails, portal sites and terrible content for hours on end looking for the universal concepts and conceits that all hot viral content seems to have in common.

From there, it comes down to quality.

Check our viral tests beneath:

Viral Test 1 - Acid Trip Viral Test 2 - Giant Stars

Quality Content

A big part of what makes a video or a website or a song or an image go viral is quality, production value. The Giant Stars video features some basic, but professional looking computer imagery to show the scale of one planet or star to the next.

Something you hear emphasized in talk on search engine optimization is quality content, good writing. The reason some articles may get a couple thousands of reads while others, with the exact same SEO rating, will get tens of thousands is quality.

It’s easy to forget, in marketing, that you’re marketing to people, you’re not just trying to collect views, you’re not just trying to improve rankings, you’re trying to talk to people, you’re trying to share a product or service with them, make them aware of something.

Content, in search engine optimization or in viral content, is all about quality. Visibility is all about quality. Without quality, you’re essentially left collecting every view one by one, posting the video or article or song in one place at a time. Quality is what keeps people trading something back and forth, sharing it with one another on message boards and in chat rooms.

Creating quality content comes down to passion, in a sense. It’s said of screenwriting that if nobody laughs, cries or feels touched while writing a movie’s script, then nobody will laugh, cry or feel touched while watching the finished film. The same goes for passion in creating viral content.

In creating something that’s supposed to be funny, you need only put it to your own standards of humor: did you laugh at this video or article or song? In creating something like Giant Stars, the first person that has to say “Wow” is the person who creates the video.

What This All Means…

All we’ve really been discussing in the above text is how viral content works. When it comes down to actually creating a viral marketing campaign, a lot has to be determined between the content creators and client as the process goes.

Viral content has to be geared specifically towards a certain demographic, it has to be built around specific products or services that are being made available. Discussing your project with a professional who has created and managed successful viral marketing campaigns in the past can, in turn, inspire several new ideas and can show you how closely tied together marketing and business really are.

Some go so far as to argue that the very best products are those that are conceived hand in hand with their marketing campaigns. Something like Pokemon, for instance. The top selling video game series of all time. The game itself requires children to play with one another to collect all of the in-game Pokemon. This is a real-life example of viral awareness: children are seen playing together at recess, and other kids, curious as to what’s going on, observe and want the game for themselves.

Strong viral marketing is all about creating that kind of perpetual awareness in the product or service. An awareness that spreads, like a virus, from one person to another and becomes impossible to ignore. Whether this is something inherent to the product itself or a certain way of seeing the product that the viral marketing suggests, the ultimate aim of a viral campaign is to, essentially, let the market do the advertising for you, and a well designed approach crafted by experienced viral marketers can accomplish just that.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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