I think you know when a viral marketing strategy can spontaneously work in Trafalgar Square on a group of people that it will work on the internet. Nice commercial by T-mobile.
OK, if you watch the video you’ll see the artist Pink in there. The deck was stacked in T-mobile’s favor as this was wasn’t a completely spontaneous event but it worked nonetheless. Another fun entry into this viral marketing blog.
December 13, 2010 Posted by dave | Viral Marketing, Viral Marketing Strategy, Viral Video | Dave Meyer, viral marketing, Viral Marketing Blog, viral marketing strategy, viral strategy, viral technology, viral video | Leave a Comment
I’ve gotten a lot of direct feedback on The Wilderness Downtown Video. People are very curious about how the video was made from a technology perspective. At the core it is based on html5 and Google Street View but there are other technologies at play as well.
Several people told me they downloaded Google Chrome just to see the video. That opens up an interesting question, who’s viral marketing strategy was the video? Google Creative Labs seems to have played a part in the process. It is a prominent showcase of Google Chrome.
I am going to investigate further and see if I can determine the origin of the idea for the video. I hope to have a future post with more information in this viral marketing blog.
In the meantime, here are a few links on how the video was made:
Again if you haven’t checked it out, it’s worth a look.
December 1, 2010 Posted by dave | Viral Marketing, Viral Marketing Strategy, Viral Video | Dave Meyer, viral marketing, Viral Marketing Blog, viral marketing strategy, viral strategy, viral technology, viral video | Leave a Comment
I don’t want to overwhelm this viral marketing blog with videos but this music video is a very intriguing use of cutting edge technology and imagery.
The beauty of a piece like this is that the technology is very understandable, integrating HTML 5 and street level imagery. Yet the application is so well done it results in a music video that is an excellent viral marketing strategy.
Check this out! The imagery of the streets you grew up on brings back memories.
WARNING: This works best on the Google Chrome browser. Seems to mostly work on Safari but not Internet Explorer. If you don’t have Chrome this video really is worth the effort of downloading it.
November 30, 2010 Posted by dave | Viral Marketing, Viral Marketing Strategy, Viral Video | Dave Meyer, viral marketing, Viral Marketing Blog, viral marketing strategy, viral technology, viral video | Leave a Comment
No viral marketing blog is complete without talking about Hotmail. Hotmail might not have invented viral marketing strategy but it certainly is one of the earliest successful cases of it. In 1996, Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith launched Hotmail. The marketing concept was simple with a small budget of $50,000. They added the tagline, ‘Get your free Web-based email at Hotmail,’ to the bottom of every e-mail with a link to the Hotmail site. Within 6 months of its launch they had 1 million users.
This simple yet incredible viral marketing strategy serves to keep us grounded that the best ideas really are the simplest ones.
November 29, 2010 Posted by dave | Viral Marketing, Viral Marketing Strategy | Dave Meyer, viral marketing, Viral Marketing Blog, viral marketing strategy, viral strategy, viral technology | Leave a Comment
This group, ImprovEverywhere uses a viral marketing strategy to promote their videos on Youtube and their website ImrpovEverywhere.com. The clever video below has been viewed nearly 24 million times to date.
Up soon one the first viral marketing strategies wasn’t a video at all. It was Hotmail.
Another weekend so more amusing viral videos for this viral marketing blog. This one got yanked from Youtube which makes it all the more intriguing.
After a little searching I found it on funnyordie.com
I commend Newsday for their creativity in simultaneously plugging two different media in an amusing way. They’ve surely embraced viral video as a viral marketing strategy.
Sex sells is one of the oldest expressions in the ad business and nothing changes in the viral video world. Axe has a series of borderline hilarious and offensive commercials (take your pick) that are certainly viral. The ‘banned’ video below has 24+ million views. Warning this contains some marginal nudity.
Next is a commercial that has humor that makes you cringe but keep watching anyway.
Judging true success of these commercials as a viral marketing strategy is difficult without current and historical sales numbers for the company. But from a pure eyeball standpoint they are a viral video hit! Coming soon, we’ll examine whether getting all these eyeballs actually makes a difference for companies.
This video shows that even what starts out as a standard commercial can become a viral video with over 12+million views. What do you think? Did Dove set out with a viral marketing strategy or to just make a great commercial that struck a chord with a lot of people?
Here is the link (sorry Youtube isn’t allowing embedding on this one)
Although there are certainly other options, imaginative viral marketing generally involves viral video. What makes a video go viral? It’s simple really. People want to pass it on. How do you create a video that they want to pass on? That’s the hard part.
There isn’t really a magic formula here but most viral videos are funny and in some way novel. That combination of entertainment and freshness often inspires people to pass it on so that they can amuse their friends and also showoff that they ‘discovered’ something new.
Viral videos aren’t easy to create though. I like to compare them to Saturday Night Live skits. There are a lot of skits but only a few funny ones. The better the cast and writers the more likely you are to see a funny skit but in the end the batting average there is never near 100%.
If you’re thinking of creating videos through an agency or on your own don’t bank it all on one video. As great as you might think it is, it just might not catch on. Finding something proven for your own use is an ideal strategy but it’s not an easy find in today’s marketplace.
As we go on I’ll search out those opportunities and also discuss the process of leveraging a viral video to grow your business.
November 10, 2010 Posted by dave | Viral Marketing, Viral Marketing Strategy, Viral Video | Dave Meyer, viral marketing, Viral Marketing Blog, viral marketing strategy, viral technology, viral video | Leave a Comment
I previously defined herd of mouth as adding a viral effect to word of mouth for incredible results. Herd of mouth is achieved in a viral marketing campaign through three possible methods:
Let’s talk about inspirational. We’ve all received the chain letters that tell us of some story of great hope. It usually ends with a line similar to pass this on to 10 friends to keep the hope alive. Some of these go viral fast and as a business it is possible to connect yourself with these. But as with most things it’s important to be ethical and genuine. If you know of a great story to inspire people then you can send it out in this way and subtly include a little intro blurb about how you were yourself inspired by the story. It’s OK to include your business contact info in a non-invasive way.
All that said, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this method for the majority of businesses. It is possible and even likely you can be seen as trying to capitalize on someone’s difficult life story. I would only recommend this to people who are already seen in their community as someone who would share this type of story. Then it’s genuine and not out of character. Beyond that there are a few businesses that do fit this method. If you sell mobility products for example (like motorized scooters and wheelchairs) then telling inspirational stories about the use of your products is more acceptable and really takes the form of a customer testimonial.
Method 2 is insane. I named this after all the loud radio spots which shout ‘Our prices are INSANE.’ Basically this an offer too good to refuse. This runs the spectrum from Groupon’s model where 50% off is often offered to pure free giveaways. People who take advantage of truly great offers will often pass them on to their friends afterwards. The key is that the offer has to be genuine and not misleading.
Insane offers can work but they can be costly and you need to decide if your business can afford it. If you are a kid’s clothing store, can you afford to give $100 worth of merchandise away for $50 (and if you do use Groupon they may take half of that)? If you can then sending an e-mail out to your base could trigger moms (or dads) to forward it their group of friends with children. One effect you could see is that people will wait to forward until after they themselves secure their products. The reason is two-fold. First people are skeptical of any offer until they redeem it with no problems and second people are competitive and want to get their items first.
Unfortunately there is an inherent risk with this method in that you could lose money on the offer. This can happen several ways. First, the service or merchandise simply costs more than you are charging. Second, your existing customers could redeem when they would have spent full price although often customers will spend more given the discount. Third, giving huge discounts sometimes alienates your base from paying full price in the future. It really becomes an accounting formula difficult to forecast when you start. Additional factors include do you get enough new customers to offset early losses? And do they come back?
Later this week I’ll explore my personal favorite viral marketing strategy, imaginative. In the next few days I’ll add some examples to this viral marketing blog.
I’ve been working hard bringing new technology solutions to existing industries with over 20 years experience as a technologist, entrepreneur and strategist. From writing the original code for eNeighborhoods to leading the technology team at FreeCreditReport.com, I’ve been working in environments where marketing was at the forefront. Through it all Fabio and Richard Simmons have participated in my marketing campaigns and I’ve even been on stage with Bruce Springsteen in Asbury Park singing Santa Claus is coming to town. It’s been a fun ride.
This blog is focused on my keen interest in viral marketing. How do you do it? How can a small business get in on the act? How can technology facilitate this? Through this blog I’ll be exploring these questions with real world examples. I’ll also have discussions and summaries of the latest business books on the subject which is also a passion of mine. So I hope you enjoy it and please give me as much as feedback as you can. It’s a new era and we all grow together.
p.s. Follow me on twitter @meyerla for the latest postings on this viral marketing blog and other ramblings or e-mail me directly at dmeyer AT mailtous DOT com