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So, let’s start with a true story. My mother called me the other day complaining about her job and asked me, “You work on the Internet-thingy. How can I get a video to be popular? I saw that lady with the dog on the Today Show and she’s made a ton of money off that video Internet thingy. Our dogs are cute. I want to do that. Then I won’t have to work.” Full disclosure, I think my mother is the cutest, most fantastic woman in the world, but her knowledge of computers and the Internet is understandably limited. She grew up in a different time, when elementary classrooms didn’t have old school Apple computers with Carmen Sandiego on them.
My conversation with Mom did spark an interest in me to try to break the code of what makes an online marketing campaign or a video viral. The plain truth is, a lot of it is luck. You can do a tremendous amount of marketing, social networking, etc. and still get nowhere. People are going to pass along the videos, photos, websites, social media posts and the like, that they truly identify with and enjoy.
So although there is no specific formula to follow in order to be sure you are going to achieve viral online marketing success, through my research I’ve noticed a few traits that each of these viral online marketing campaigns seem to have in common.
1. Shrouded in Mystery – Viral videos typically release small little tidbits about their campaign before releasing the whole thing. Sending out a 10-second video, or planting a press release is enough to get people on social media talking.
2. Strong Social Networking Presence – If your marketing campaign is not promoted on any social networking sites, just give up. Simple as that.
3. Tugs at the Heartstrings or makes you Literally “LOL” – Great marketing campaigns evoke emotions. If you have a serious issue you want to address, make sure to push that agenda. If you are going for something funny, go for the gold and do something outside of the box. If it’s been done before, people will notice and push it aside.
Have you created an online marketing campaign that went viral? Comment below and share your thoughts!