5 Keys to Success: Viral Marketing and Word-of-Mouth Campaigns
We occasionally invite fellow marketers who have interesting insights to share. Here is a guest post from our friends at Kwanzoo.
Creating and executing a successful viral marketing campaign is on the “to-do list” for most B2B and B2C marketers. After all, which marketer would not want their existing customers or prospects engaging with their brand, spreading the word to peers and friends on their behalf! While there are no magic bullets, here are 5 keys to success that we have seen across several viral marketing campaigns:
1. Be Clear on Goals from the Start
Know what you want out of your campaign. Are you trying to generate more product sales, raw leads (form captures)? Maybe you want to measure brand awareness of your users. Whatever it is, have a clear goal and clear measurement in place.
2. Map Out User Incentive or Reward
Typically, a viral or WoM campaign involves users sharing your brand message. It could be a great piece of content or a thought leadership post they voluntarily share. Usually, an incentive needs to be presented to the user (coupon, discount, exclusive white paper), to be received upon completing the social sharing action. Always ask the question: What’s in it for them?
3. Engagement is key
Use every channel (or touch point) as a platform to drive your viral marketing or WoM campaign. The more engaging the content is, the better! Use marketing content or offers that are “different” and designed to engage the users (e.g. a poll on Facebook or inside an email, a video on your Facebook page, or a Tell-a-Friend promotion for a live event). Incorporate a lead capture or social sharing feature (through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) upon engagement to make it easy to keep the message going.
4. Stick with the Plan
If your campaign does not yield results immediately, do not give up. Chances are, all you need is some perspective. Take a step back and put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. Review the metrics with someone who may not be as closely involved in the campaign. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can give you objective feedback you need. Stick with the plan and iterate; you will learn from both your successes and mistakes thus, increasing the success of your next campaign!
5. Get Creative, and Keep On Iterating
Plan on a multi-touch, multi-month viral campaign. Remember, your users also need time to react to something new in your marketing content, copy or offerings. Come up with your best creative concept for your target audience, and give it a go! Then iterate off real metrics and data to optimize. Numbers never lie.
Image credit: Herbert Kajiura