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3 simple steps to create a viral campaign…

Posted By Howard Kaplan On August 9, 2006 @ 12:37 am In Branding and Advertising Rants | 3 Comments

  1. Get yourself a YouTube, Digg, Flikr, del.icio.us, furl.net, or __________ (insert your favorite online popularity tool here) account.
  2. Get out your handicam, pen, digital camera, blogging software, word processor, or __________ (insert your favorite communication tool here)
  3. Find something to say that’s relevant, salient, and transparent to such a mass audience, it overcomes each visitor, infects them (er, eh, like a virus ;) in such a way they can’t quite articulate, at their core they just have to pay it forward.

I’m sorry, did my title lead you to believe this would be easy? (Ya, fancy little lists give that impression. It’s no wonder why the business section of your local Barnes & Noble is littered with them.)  Not only is it not easy, but more to the point (and sarcasm aside now), it’s also not possible to create a viral campaign in advance. A campaign becomes viral due to the energy the campaign consumes in the wild.  It becomes viral due to factors outside of its control. You simply don’t set out to create a viral campaign.  I’ll say it again, only louder (and with the sarcasm switch turned on again):

You don’t create a viral campaign, simply because you wish your campaign would be viral.

Likewise, you don’t ascend to the homepage of Digg, simply because you’ve written something you wrote simply to get there.

If you swing for the fences, you’re much more likely to strikeout than you are to hit a homerun.  But if you aim to make contact, you just may hit one out of the park.  When planning your marketing communication strategy [1], please do remember to keep your eye on the ball.

Care to share your thoughts on the topic [2]?

PS – Care to know what the driving point for this little rant was? Contrast the following links from AdAge. 

The first, being yet another story around the Agency.com Subway pitch [3] (the irony here is that the industry at large created the viral effects, not the campaign itself.  Had this video been a campaign for a mom and pop shop, trying to win the business of the largest car dealer in Bismarck, North Dakota, the blogosphere would have never heard of it).

The second, being yet another story around the pure viral steamroller that is Snakes On A Plane [4]. Never will a movie make more with less, and they’ve all but acknowledged publicly, they certainly didn’t greenlight the film with this in mind. Have they capitalized on the CGM efforts- absolutely (and all indications are, they’ll continue doing so) but to suggest they planned it this way is laughable. Enjoy, and safe flying ;)

Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2006/08/09/3-simple-steps-to-create-a-viral-campaign/

URLs in this post:

[1] planning your marketing communication strategy: http://futurenowinc.com/methodology.htm

[2] share your thoughts on the topic: mailto:howietkaplan@gmail.com

[3] yet another story around the Agency.com Subway pitch: http://adage.com/outofsite/post?article_id=110870

[4] pure viral steamroller that is Snakes On A Plane: http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=110882

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