5 Viral Marketing Campaign Features I Learned from Clients

Written on January 18, 2008 – 6:36 am | by Glen Allsopp |

I’ve been static from this site, rather shamefully but not without reason, I have a pretty hectic lifestyle these days and am barely getting enough time in to blog myself. Although I’m working on it, and with my new website design out of the way I am going to be contributing more time over here at Collective Thoughts and hope you guys enjoy what I have to say.

To make a long story short, I have my own company, but work full-time for a large internet marketing agency in south africa, and that’s where I get to work with some very large and very interesting clients. Being the Social Media Manager, it may come as a surprise that not all campaign ideas we pushed with were necessarily mine, and whilst I knew of these ‘ideas’ I hadn’t thought about putting them into play at the time. So without further ado, here’s what I learnt:

1. Give something to Charity

One site I worked with, their campaign had already decided to donate money for every ‘vote’ in a competition that was received on the site for images that were uploaded. I found that when promoting the competition, this was a great angle to look at and really ‘spurred’ people to help share the competition and helped with titles for those niche social news websites.

2. Get others to do the promoting

Basically what that means is involve users in a way that they have to promote it if they want to gain anything from it. In the competition above, people talked everywhere about the images they uploaded to a site in that it far amassed the traffic we were sending just from general social media marketing. When you get a large number of people wanting to talk about something on their blogs, myspace and facebook profiles you know you are onto a winner.

3. Use their Offline Presence for Online Gain

One client is a drinks manufacturer, one of the largest in the world actually who sell cartoned juice. They came up with the online idea themselves and just wanted us to help spread the word. One of the best ideas I think they had though to get some real attention was to also advertise the online part of this on their actual product. They had such a wide audience available that this was an instant success. You just need to make sure that you are actually promoting something that people want to get involved with rather than something average and boring.

4. Use Media Buy to get People where you want them

This might seem a little strange, as ‘media buy’ really isn’t social media marketing, but if you think about it, it actually works quite well. If the place you want to get people is likely to draw them in, get them involved and help them spread the word. The a small amount of media buy on a relevant blogs and forums can then help build up the conversation by originally get as many people as possible to know about the idea. This is something I personally hadn’t dabbled too much in but I seen that clients were already doing this and it was having a great effect.

5. Use Technology to appeal to the current ‘Buzz’

I had never been in a position where I could ask for someone to develop this tool, and this widget and that application. In a situation where clients had larger budgets and bigger teams, I could already see them creating tools and items that I would deem link worthy without any of my input. One company created tools and unique site features that related to the ‘green / environment’ buzz that is going around the web, and as you can imagine this was quite easy to promote.

Glen Allsopp can also be found on the ViperChill reputation management blog and look out for more of his posts on Collective-Thoughts in the future!

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  1. 7 Responses to “5 Viral Marketing Campaign Features I Learned from Clients”

  2. By Ernie Zelinski on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    I have been using a bit of viral marketing and it has helped a lot.

    One of the viral marketing tools I use is giving away over half — the top half only — of my book “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free”. (The top half is available as a PDF at http://www.real-success.ca/free_ebooks.html .

    Today if anyone types in “retirement” into Amazon.com’s search engine, “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” comes in the number 1 position — out of over 175,000 books that Amazon puts in the retirement category.
    Given that over 95 percent of the 190,000 books published in North America every year will never sell more than 5,000 copies, my book
    has done very well.

    Although largely ignored by the media, and rejected by over 35 American and British publishers, “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” has now sold over 80,000 copies.

    Of course, word-of-mouth is still the most powerful advertising for any product or service. A great product or service creates its own viral marketing.

    Ernie Zelinski

    Author of “The Joy of Not Working”
    (Over 225,000 copies Sold and Published in 17 Languages)
    Featured at http://www.thejoyofnotworking.com


    “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free”
    (Over 80,000 copies Sold and Published in 7 Foreign Languages)
    Featured at http://www.retirement-quotes.com

  3. By Ben on Jan 19, 2008 | Reply

    Some interesting ideas there. Technology buzz is a great one!

  4. By Affordable SEO - Terry Reeves on Jan 21, 2008 | Reply

    A contest of some sort is the best way to make #2 a sure fire winner.

  5. By Nathan Ketsdever on Jan 21, 2008 | Reply

    Offline and media buy are interesting tactics.

  6. By Bush on May 28, 2008 | Reply

    Thanks for this great list.
    Sounds like truth, but point #4 not so easy.

  7. By Idaho SEO on Jun 26, 2008 | Reply

    Get others to do the promoting is a tricky part, what are some suggestions?

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  2. Jan 25, 2008: 14 Posts That Will Make You A Better New Marketer at A New Marketing :: Simple Ways To Spark New Marketing Ideas from Matt J McDonald

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