In conversations about marketing strategies using online media, the words “go viral” often come up. For me, they bring to mind campaigns that are memorable and fun to share because of humor or shock value. For example, most people are familiar with the Old Spice campaign advertisements that have accrued an enormous fan base around the world. The link above is a special report from www.AdAge.com that gives readers 10 concrete and thoughtful tips about effective viral digital advertising:
1. Start with a goal for your brand
2. Pick a creative concept that’s going to grab attention
3. Encouragement encouragement
4. Go easy on the branding
5. If you use heavy branding, use it wisely
6. The more the merrier
7. Celebrities don’t guarantee views
8. Network, network, network
9. Use paid media strategically
10. Dont underestimate Facebook
I have picked out a few that name some very important ideas that indicate the directions in which advertising seems to be moving.
3. Encourage engagement: Many campaigns in the recent years have focused on rallying audience participation through contests, crowd-sourcing, social media interactions etc. Recognizing that consumers become more invested and loyal to a product or brand when they feel that their voices are heard is key component of promoting viral media, since the consumers are the primary source of promotion.
6. The more the merrier: While many consumers get easily overwhelmed by the number of options presented to them in the store, the threat of saturation does not apply in the media. The author recommends creating alternative viral video clips, using web series ad opposed to just one video, and dispersing the videos through a variety of media, so that consumers are not only familiar with the brand from mere exposure, but stimulated by the variety and energy.
7. Celebrities don’t guarantee interviews: Too many companies have signed celebrity endorsers to boost sales, and some of the campaigns seem to ride entirely on the brand equity the celebrity brings. Perhaps consumers are wizening up and recognizing that they too often, such tactics merely have famous people being paid too much money to hold a bottle and smile, and would rather see advertisements that have more a more genial tone of voice that engages them in a more personal manner (see point #3).
10. Don’t underestimate Facebook: Facebook and other social networking tools are becoming powerhouses of information, networking and influence. The flexibility and mobility such platforms they provide viral campaigns cannot be underestimated by any means.