Viral Marketing and its don’ts

Viral marketing equals crowd-sourcing marketing or to put it in another way one of the most rapid developing marketing channels. It is a method that quantifies the word-of-mouth and utilization of a message commuter that is not on the product/service manufacturer’s paycheck list.

But what happens if the campaign was not performing so great in terms of brand awareness, engagement, differentiation and consideration? What if matters have gone totally wrong?…

•    The marketer can not know when the crowd will come strong at his brand. Examples – Dove & Axe Mash-up  which is mixing up two different approaches at targeted customer demographics (You’re old enough to get the conclusions by yourself for yourself)

•    Presenting marketing material as crowd generated content when actually you paid a firm to build a viral campaign and they didn’t disclose being on a paycheck or cover up the leads. Example: Sony’s PSP

There is a thin line between success and failure. But reasons for a failure of your viral campaign can be the following:
a.    Building a mediocre or even poor content
b.    Picking up the wrong channels for you content
c.    Didn’t make it available in different formats and share friendly
d.    Chose the wrong message commuters
e.    You forgot to put tags on your content – How do you expect users to find you then?
f.    Don’t forget credibility and trust – the online population is mad about those…

Well, the list is not extensive, but there is something that you as a marketer should really remember… Not all criticism, bad mouthing or remakes of official company ads are bad. At the end of the day, you product’s or your company’s name gets to be mentioned… Level this against your fear to go for viral marketing campaign! Just a thought…

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