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Viral Marketing Guide

Viral Marketing Guide

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Published by watconsult

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Published by: watconsult on Jun 09, 2011
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Redefining Viral Marketing
By Brian Solis, blogger at BrianSolis.comand principal of FutureWorks, Author of the new book 
Engage! ,
Co-Author 
,Putting the Public Back in Public Relations
and 
Now Is Gone
In September 2008 at Web 2.0 Expo in New York, I shared something that many,to this day, believe to the contrary, "There is no such thing as viral marketing."The declaration was empathetic in its direction to those marketers who have beenon the receiving end of directives instructing them to create and unleash viral
(cc) Brian Solis,www.briansolis.com- Twitter, @briansolis
 
content. In parallel, the statement was aimed at those decision makers whoassign such projects.Content, no matter how brilliant, creative, abstract, or controversial, is notinherently viral. Yet, we're asked repeatedly to create viral videos, posts, andothersocial objectsthat will trigger an endless array of retweets, pages andprofiles that immediately attract fans and followers accompanied by a deafening wall of sound propelled by word of mouth.Content doesn't make something viral; people are the primary source of poweringsocial objects across the attention nodes that connect thehuman network .Despite what appears commonsensical, we're surprised when our brainchilddoesn't attract the views, attention, and circulation we believe it deserves.The reality of social media is this, in the attention economy, information isn'trandomly discovered and broadly disseminated. It is strategically positioned toeither appear when someone searches for a related keyword or it's presented tosomeone manually and deliberately.
 As individuals, we no longer find information,it finds us.
The same is true aboutsocial objects. We must create packaged content withsocial hooks that comprise the story we wish to tell and the action we hope tospark - whether it's through video, text, images, badges, widgets, or apps. Whilethere is no such thing as viral marketing in and of itself, marketing inspired tocatalyze word of mouth ( WOMM) is a bit more thoughtful and calculated in itsapproach and it usually seeks options in and around Social Media.
Good Ideas are Worth Sharing
 Ideas represent change whose time has come...
 At the heart of any campaign is an idea. And even though good ideas are worthsharing, in order to have any hope of going "viral," social objects requiresustenance and herding. Essentially, our job is to not only create the content, but
(cc) Brian Solis,www.briansolis.com- Twitter, @briansolis
 
also connect the dots for those individuals who can help us spread our story across first degree relationships defining social graphs (friends) and second-degree graphs linked by friends of friends and so on.Social scientist Dan Zarrella has analyzed over the years, why ideas spread. In hisresearch, he discovered common characteristics of contagious content, thoseelements prevalent in many popular memes, whether organic or proactively marketed.
Seeds
The first group of individuals who are exposed to the idea/social object determinethe extent and reach of the meme. These "seeds" are often mistaken for built-inaudiences, for example, Twitter followers, Facebook Fans, blog subscribers, emaillists, etc. The true opportunity for extending the lifespan and audiences for ideasis to carefully pick influential individuals who can spark activity and response.Early involvement, prior to anything being released, is key as is the definition of the role they will play in the roll out of the content.
Novelty 
Distinctiveness is required for all transmittable ideas. Personal connections arealso paramount. The personal motivation for sharing content is driven by how  well something connects or resonates with the person exposed to it. Ideasconnect initially because they're relevant or personal. Other communicableemotions that factor into the motivation for sharing in a one-to-one modelinclude:1. Personal/Relevant/Timely 2. Humor3. Utility 4. Relationship Building5. Common Interests
(cc) Brian Solis,www.briansolis.com- Twitter, @briansolis

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