Table of Contents
Know the Market … 4
Choose a Type . 5
Choose a Form of Media … 7
Preliminary Advertising and Testing .. 8
Media Blitz 10
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Know the Market
The first step to creating an effective viral marketing campaign is to get to know your target audience. If you don’t know your market inside and out, then you’re going to have trouble with any type of marketing campaign!
If you can, try to do some preliminary market research before you begin developing your campaign. One easy way to do this is by asking your visitors or customers to fill out a quick, anonymous survey.
Anonymity is important. People are more concerned with privacy than ever before, so be sure to let them know that the survey results are used for market research purposes only and no personal information about them will be recorded. Find out their age, gender, income, education level, profession, and anything else that relates directly to your niche. For example, if your niche is acne relief, you might ask them how old they were when they first started having trouble with acne and how long they’ve been suffering. Make the survey quick, because people are busy and don’t have much time. Just get as much information as you can in the time you have.
Choose a Type
There are three main types of viral marketing:
Perhaps the most common type of viral media is comedy. When people see something funny, they have a natural inclination to share it with people they know. Shocking stuff has the power to go viral quickly, but it’s difficult to find something that will truly shock people these days. People are becoming numb to the shock factor. But if you can find something that will shock your audience, it will spread.
Educational stuff can go viral if it’s something new and unavailable elsewhere. It’s tough to find something new and interesting.
Philanthropy is something many people are interested in these days. With major celebrities donating so much of their time and money to philanthropic pursuits, it is quickly becoming the new “in” thing to do.
Altruistic things have tremendous power to go viral, especially if they are accompanied by heart-tugging promotional material. So if your company is participating in a fund raising effort, it can be fantastic publicity.
You have to choose a type that corresponds well to your audience. Younger audiences are usually more likely to respond to comedy and altruism, while older people respond well to education. Most people respond well to shocking material.
This is why it is so important to really know your audience. If you don’t know your target market’s average age, gender, income level, education level, and other vital information, how can you expect to be able to choose the correct type of media to develop for them?
Choose a Form of Media
There are many different forms of media available for viral marketing. Online, most viral media is in the form of video. Video is generally the type of video that is most likely to go viral.
Other forms of media include audio and written content. Audio is not as likely to go viral, but written content can go viral in some markets.
I recommend video for most purposes, simply because it is easy to share, simpler to make interesting, and it has the best potential to go viral.
Just remember that video is enjoyed most by younger audiences. While some older individuals like video content, younger people respond much better to it.
If your market is primarily over the age of 50, you might consider using written content. Ebooks and reports can be very valuable for older individuals, especially if they contain very helpful information.
Preliminary Advertising and Testing
Once you’ve developed your marketing piece, it’s time to do some preliminary advertising and testing. You don’t want to start an advertising blitz right away, because you will have absolutely no way to know whether the piece will go viral. First, you need to do some minor promotion and test the results. Choose one small avenue of promotion that will last for a fixed period of time. For example, run an ad on a high-traffic blog in your niche for seven days.
After the seven days is over, analyze the results for another week. If you continue to see traffic increasing after the ad has stopped running, your piece is going viral.
If traffic dies down, you may have to develop another marketing piece. It’s important to make sure your piece has the potential to go viral BEFORE you release it official and end up spending a lot of money to promote a campaign that won’t go viral.
You can also split test the results of your campaign in order to find out if your marketing is actually effective. Just because something goes viral does not mean it will bring you sales!
One easy way to test the effectiveness of your campaigns is to have some type of online offer ready. This might be opting in to an email list for more information about your product, or buying something online.
Then you can use Google’s free Website Optimizer to test results:
http://www.google.com/websiteoptimizer This tool will let you test and track different types of campaigns, so you will even have the ability to test slightly different versions of your viral media to see which one is most effective at getting people interested.Other Details
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