CRACKING THE CODE OF VIRAL MARKETING – There are major corporations around the globe employing some of the top marketing companies in the quest for creating a piece of content that will capture the imagination of users so that they share that content extensively… this type of marketing is commonly known as ‘viral marketing’.
So how do you creating something that will go viral? Is there a formula or some type of magical element that should be incorporated into a given piece of content that will get people to share it in a big way?
I’m sorry but the answer is no.
Recently Commander Chris Hadfield, of the International Space Station, decided to give his rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. For all intents and purposes it’s a highly entertaining video and within minutes of it being uploaded to YouTube people started to share it.
Currently Commander Hadfield’s video, on YouTube, has been viewed over 17 million times; it’s a dream every website owner and corporation wishes to obtain but unfortunately there simply is no measurable way to determine if a piece of content will go viral.
Twitter recently examined three videos that did go viral, the first being Commander Hadfield’s video, secondly was Ryan Goslings refusal to eat cereal and finally Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. Twitter released a statement saying that after examining the data for each item it was clear videos don’t go viral following a particular pattern.
Twitter concluded by saying that there simply are no rules; some take on a very slow trickle reaching millions of people whilst others can go viral in a matter of minutes.
What marketing companies strive for is to capture people’s imagination. Marketing is a careful mixture of science and creativity, it’s goal is to determine a potential population that is receptive to the product or service whilst the creativity delivers a message in such a way that provokes a reaction; generally involving consumers taking action by making a purchase.
Creating something that will go viral really is a hit or miss affair as there appears no right or wrong to what can be created.
Look at Gangnam Style; there are people out there who think this was the most ridiculous music video ever to be produced and yet despite their views Gangnam Style quickly rose to become YouTube’s number one viewed video of all time; reaching over 1 billion people on the planet – now that’s real marketing power.
The question now is; if there is no formula or magical element to virility how can we possibly create something that will go viral. Again there are no guarantees but viral marketing is a bit like the quest for the Holly Grail; some believe it’s in a certain place whilst others believe it doesn’t exist at all or that the very idea of the Holy Grail being an actual cup is absurd.
Trial and error appears to be the only solution. Certainly it’s advisable to think outside of the box and for something to go viral does require the element of uniqueness.
You might be scratching your head thinking that there was nothing really unique about Commander Hadfield’s video but you would be wrong. The original version, by David Bowie, wasn’t shot in actual space and certainly he wasn’t an astronaut. Whilst the song remains the same Commander Hadfield created a very unique element to the content.
I actually asked a few of my friends what their thoughts are and most said they were more likely to share content that surprised them or provoked enough thought in order to look at a particular issue with a completely different prospective.
Almost all businesses on the planet rely on their web presence to get their marketing messages across and each and every one is looking for that one item that will blast their brand out to millions if not billions of internet users.
I have to say writing articles sometimes has me completely perplexed. For instance the other day I wrote an article about Ella Mae, a toddler singing Elvis while her dad took her for a ride in the family car. I managed to get a few hundred visitors to the article but the number of people who shared the article was very disappointing.
On that note I wrote an article yesterday on the Thai system of Marriage Visas in which the article achieved thousands of views and was shared liberally. No it didn’t go viral but I honestly thought the Ella Mae article was far more entertaining than the Marriage visa and yet that’s not how my readers perceived it.
If you are like me and run a website / blog then you will no doubt continue to create content in the hope that one item of content will go viral and will ultimately launch your website into super stardom. Again think outside the box, try to create something unique and above all don’t give up.
What are you mostly likely to share? Do you have any advice for web owners that may help? Please leave your comments below.