The 3 Myths of Viral Marketing

3 Myths of Viral Marketing Exposed – You Don’t Have to Be Weird to be Viral!

Everything you assume about viral marketing is likely wrong…

OK, maybe not everything! But if you think that simply putting kittens, puppies, beautiful women, or severely weird stuff out there will automatically make something viral, you’re missing the point.

And if you think your product or service is so great that people will just talk about it, walk away from the mirror right now!

Here’s a quick video on the 3 myths of Viral marketing, followed by some specific advice from someone who specializes in viral marketing for many years (and not just in business, I learned a ton of this creating an educational social network with the same approach…in fact, that’s where I learned this back in 1996).

[youtube V4U2sywaZiU nolink]

Viral marketing is like strumming the right note on a guitar that makes the audience get up, notice, and tell their friends. In this pseudo ADD world driven by choices and choices, a real viral marketing campaign takes off when you get people to stop jumping and start focusing on what you have to offer, and tell their friends.

The 3 Myths of Viral Marketing

Myth 1: Viral Has to Be Weird, Wild, and Wacky

When you ask most people about viral campaigns, they almost always talk about the weird video someone sent them.

While that’s certainly viral, and organic, it’s not a recommended practice. If you attach your brand to something weird, wild, and/or wacky, you better hope it works.

If it doesn’t, you will be remembered for a very long time by that failure. As I learned long ago, is it comedy if they don’t laugh?

I’m not against risk taking at all, just saying that doing this right requires sophistication, and humor. Try getting up on stage and make people laugh, it’s really, really hard.

Your viral campaign is on the stage called the Internet, mobile, and social. And people remember the bad attempt as much as the good, and when you try again, you’ve likely burned their interest.

Myth 2: Viral Just Happens

While it’s true that organic viral campaigns come out of nowhere and get spread, when you plan a campaign that kind of luck is not likely.

A good viral campaign will try to create word of mouth, and often is driven more by the female gender than males…that comes from growing up with 6 sisters by the way.

Men share jokes and porn, women share things of value with their friends, and what makes your campaign valuable?

If you want to make it viral and valuable, you need to do some footwork. Don’t just sit around a room, go out and:

  1. Research Twitter, Facebook, and discussion groups related to your product or service. Watch what people talk about, and look for the very few ideas they really jump up and down about. What’s important to them, not you, is the key there.
  2. You won’t find this importance in your own head, and they often don’t know what’s important to them. Bank on it and define the 3 core elements related to your product or service, and test it out.
  3. Try to start a simple conversation, see if people react, and if they don’t, ask them why via email..and phone if you’re smart…and do not encourage them to lie to save face, you must be able to handle the truth, which only they know (though not consciously!).
  4. Know the times of day your audience frequents social media, opens your emails, visits your site, and the time of year that are related to your product. People buy more during the holiday season, yet many on the Internet still act like it’s a year round gig that’s all the same.
  5. Listen to your audience, listen and learn, THEN develop your viral campaign.
  6. And if you’re really stuck, or convinced you have to do it tomorrow, at least go to Amazon and read reviews of books related to the product or service you offer, anything that promises to deliver.
  7. Read the 5 star reviews and cut/paste the words they use to praise, and always read the 1 star reviews for what was missing. The latter will give you a focused, blunt answer that may shock you, because when people are let down, they get angry…and anger is just the opposite of love! Put these two together and you’ll find the seeds of a viral campaign.

Myth 3. Convert on Referrals, Don’t Try to Convert the First Visitors

As I share in my Social Media video on marketing to pleasure instead of pain, remember that the first wave who visit your campaign are the judges.

It is their job to share you with their friends; these are the bloggers, the reviewers, the curators, and the wall you must overcome so they will invite their friends, their followers, and their fans.

Try to convert them and you lose, like most old school Internet marketers are doing. Get them to refer and participate, and the next wave they invite in will see activity from people they trust.

That trust opens the door and comes in 10-20X the amount of first visitors. Check your referral rates (how many people are referred, easy on Facebook), track how people invite, and drive them to specific landing pages that help you see if they are interacting, or ignoring you.

The gold is in the second wave of visitors, who give you their trust because the first wave said so….

Let me know your viral marketing questions below, what do you think, and what have you tried?

And are you leaving the comfort of your ideas to swim in the power of the audience, or just winging it?

You May Also Like These Topics...

Culture Sculpture Podcast – The Origin Story

You want to share your story, so you begin writing it down, separate from your audience. You try to deliver something to make them notice. What you’re doing is pitching darts at a target that doesn’t exist, because the dynamic nature of content marketing and social media means the old ways don’t work. Broadcasting tons […]

4 Content Strategy Lessons, 50 million visitors and 20 years later

You’ve heard about building communities by creating your own content, yet look around and except for a few celebrities and Interwebs celebrities, that model doesn’t often work because the audience is watching instead of participating. In this podcast (edited from my Origin Story), I’m sharing the 4 lessons learned in building an organic community built […]

Because content marketing tastes like my first cappucino in Florence

As the nutty aroma of my first cappucino enveloped my senses, I walked into Florence, Italy for the first time – eyes wide open, shaking from the coffee and witnessing the wild breeze. Remember the first time you visited a place where every sight, sound, and action seemed so special? Because when you visit a new […]

“We are not only what we read. We are how we read.”

You’re invited  to briefly dive, instead of another listicle or inspiring weekend vision….into a new discussion, from an article written in 2008  that struck a nerve even more today. Irony Disclosure: Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian and I shared this discussion on Facebook – between pictures of food and cats. “We are not only what we read. We are how we read.” Maryanne […]

Tags: , , , ,
Previous Post
Do you bet on quantity or mine for quality?
Entrepreneur's Mindset Pivot and Profit

The Quality Quandary – The Biggest Mistake Entrepreneur’s Make (Because Less Really is More – Pivot and Profit)

Next Post
Affiliate Marketing Video Series Digital Marketing - Brevenue Social Media Lead Generation Viral-Email Lead Generation

The Real Contextual Marketing – How to Get Recommended By Others – Creating the Context for Referrals

The Growth Generation Method

Simply Responsive LLC
2485 Notre Dame Blvd. Suite 370 #35
Chico, CA.
(530) 235-6331