Tips for Making a Campaign Go Viral

From Music Think Tank:

Though it may sound like fan fiction, Kaplan and Haenlein’s article “The Britney Spears Universe” is a deconstruction of the pop singer’s use of social media to impact the viral marketing scene around her 2011 album “Femme Fatale.” The album was generally considered a hit with its first week sales moving her into third place for the most number one albums by a female artist, behind Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson. Much of this success is attributed to the marketing team’s use of integrated communication and viral market techniques.

What are the techniques?

1. Starting Before The Beginning
Viral marketing is self-perpetuated, created in such a way that social users become responsible for the delivery of the marketing content. Great content is one of the things that you will need for a viral campaign to work. As Henry Ford put it, “First job is to make good product.” But brilliant content on its own isn’t enough to persuade users to hit the share button. Every viewer needs to share the content with a minimum of two people who also distribute a share for the viewership to grow. Think old Faberge commercial from the 80s where the consumer “told two friends and so on and so on.” That is the basic nature of viral marketing.

Marketing researchers now know that the exponential growth in viewership is dependent on the right core group, called “the seed.” The best seed group will have a large number of people in the network and will have multi-directional communication. The first makes sense intuitively. If you’re going to get your content out to as many people as possible, you want your seeds to know a lot of people. The second part, multi-directionality, is less commonsense. People who pump out content but do not have a dialogue with their network, do not work as good seeds. Instead of these hubs, you want your seed to be people that talk with their network and their network talks back. Seeding takes time and starts long before introducing your content.

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