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What do you think makes a good viral campaign?

fantasycouriers

fantasycouriers

New Member
What techniques, and tools, have you seen used effectively in a good viral campaign? (Gorrilla's noted!). What makes a viral campaign "good"?

I always think of the Blair Witch as the king of viral marketing, but it's hard to see how to apply that to a small business (mind you, I suppose with the budget that they had, the Blair Witch film was infact a small business).

What viral campaigns have you thought were good? And very interestingly, can you think of any campaigns that you didn't realise were viral until later?
 
Tim Barlow

Tim Barlow

New Member
A slight side question. Do you think the very heart of a business needs to be viral?
 
S

ScottJ

New Member
Any campaign that gets people to willingly share links or tell others about, it has to drive people to carry your message without them knowing that is your reason for creating it.
 
fantasycouriers

fantasycouriers

New Member
Any campaign that gets people to willingly share links or tell others about, it has to drive people to carry your message without them knowing that is your reason for creating it.
But cadbury's want to sell chocolate, we all know that, is it still a good viral campaign?
 
S

ScottJ

New Member
Depends how you define good

- We are talking about it, so in that sense it was a good viral campaign.
- Did it increase sales? that would be a successful viral marketing campaign.
 
fantasycouriers

fantasycouriers

New Member
Depends how you define good

- We are talking about it, so in that sense it was a good viral campaign.
- Did it increase sales? that would be a successful viral marketing campaign.
What if it did the first but not the latter?
 
S

ScottJ

New Member
Well it would depend on the initial objective,

However I would still say successful in that it is brand building, Cadbury's was not a hot topic and their viral campaign boosted their brand recognition further and penetrated into a younger audience.
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
I got the definition of Viral Marketing below from Wikipedia

Viral marketing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To be honest I think this really needs to be part of a variety of channels you use to market your product or service. I think the very nature of viral marketing makes it unsustainable for a long period so you will need to rely on your other channels just as much.

The other little issue I guess I have with it is it's measurability, how exactly do you do that? I think it's a medium that isn't very mature and to a large extent is untested.

Just my 2p though :)
 
fantasycouriers

fantasycouriers

New Member
This is my issue, . If you can't measure it, how can you evaluate it's effectiveness, partic if it's expensive.

I was looking back at the launch of Grand Theft Auto 4 and their viral campaign seem to completely contradict every other strategy in that they put out very very little information about the game, very few samples, or testers/trials etc, and let the customers work themselves up into their own kind of frenzy! Now that's a cheap viral campaign! But it would only work with something which is already a market leader.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Idea15

Idea15

New Member
I would say the launch of Firefox 3 and the world's biggest download site was as successful as a viral campaign gets.
 
fantasycouriers

fantasycouriers

New Member
The thing is, until i had a customer ring up with website problems, i didn't know that firefox 3 exsited. What was the campaign? Was it aimed at existing firefox users? or the IT profession?
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Good call Heather! Thats actually a really good example :) Basically Mozilla are trying to break a world record by having users download Firefox 3 from their website. It did get quite a bit of press especially as they were going for a world record and will probably get some more if they break the record as well.

The thing is though I think this highlights my point as soon as they break the record the campaign ends as does the publicity. OK you have some degree of measurement as they are downloading it from a site. I think the other thing with this though is that Firefox is free and I think a paid model has far more challenges.
 
Neil

Neil

New Member
By creating an offer where people feel motivated to share the message. There is always some kind of reward and it does not need to be money. Jokes and funny videos have made very effective viral campaigns when there is an embedded address. Free reports and ebooks where there is no copyright and people are encouraged to share them. Tell a friend scripts where you are rewarded for recommending say five friends. The list is endless

It is really down to how creative you can be and remember people will naturally like to help and share with friends.
 
fantasycouriers

fantasycouriers

New Member
Humour and Fear seem to be the two biggest emotions when it comes to viral. Clever, doesn't seem to work as well, and informative just seems to get bogged down.
 
Idea15

Idea15

New Member
Back to this subject of viral campaigns -

Why So Serious

This is jaw-dropping stuff - a campaign carried out over a year with dozens of sub-sites.
 
andrewburnett

andrewburnett

New Member
Late commenting on this - just found SBF a couple of days ago and somewhat insomniac this weekend :)

Matt Inman (ex SEOmoz staff) has managed to rank a new dating site (incredibly competitive market!) through clever "viral" marketing - a more accurate term is linkbaiting though.

10 reasons it would rule to date a unicorn is one of his coups and harvested almost 5'000 links for the site:
https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/advsearch;_ylt=Atb4DZjOL4xkxk.ZFtSfvtjbl8kF?p=http://tenreasonsitwouldruletodateaunicorn.com/&bwm=i&bwmo=d&bwmf=u
Once the links were in place he redirected the domain to his dating site, a perfectly legal practise too ;)
 
Late commenting on this - just found SBF a couple of days ago and somewhat insomniac this weekend :)

Matt Inman (ex SEOmoz staff) has managed to rank a new dating site (incredibly competitive market!) through clever "viral" marketing - a more accurate term is linkbaiting though.

10 reasons it would rule to date a unicorn is one of his coups and harvested almost 5'000 links for the site:
https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/advsearch;_ylt=Atb4DZjOL4xkxk.ZFtSfvtjbl8kF?p=http://tenreasonsitwouldruletodateaunicorn.com/&bwm=i&bwmo=d&bwmf=u
Once the links were in place he redirected the domain to his dating site, a perfectly legal practise too ;)
Legal maybe. And in the short term beneficial. At least as far as one set of marketing parameters are concerned.

But I wonder how many people that re-direct has pissed off and how much damage that'sdone to the brands (both target and source) in the longer term?
 
andrewburnett

andrewburnett

New Member
Legal maybe. And in the short term beneficial. At least as far as one set of marketing parameters are concerned.

But I wonder how many people that re-direct has pissed off and how much damage that'sdone to the brands (both target and source) in the longer term?
Personally I can't think of any marketing parameters that this would be detrimental to. The strength of inbound links also grow with age, so I can't see it only offering short term benefit.

Also I can't see that the redirect can possibly have pissed anyone off or done any damage to either "brand" for the following reasons:

1. 10ReasonsItWouldRuleToDateAUnicorn.com was specifically created for the content.

2. The page it is redirected to on the other domain: here carries exactly the same content.

On the contrary, 10ReasonsItWouldRuleToDateAUnicorn.com was never a brand - but it brought mingle2.com great benefit, it could even be viewed as a product of the brand I suppose....

I could of course only be seeing this from one angle, but I'm exceptionally interested in the subject matter and love debating... feel free to rip my argumentation to shreds :)
 

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