Igniting Viral Campaigns – SES SJC 2008

Im covering 5-7 sessions for Barry over @ Search Engine Roundtable and there are some other great people doing even more. So as a warm-up for those, I thought I would cover a session this morning. I think I got some of the rust off, but we will find out later.

For full SES San Jose coverage see Search Engine Roundtable.

Chris W – 10e20

What is viral marketing? – it is the spread of information quickly… word of mouth marketing online (and when done right – its supercharged)

In short – its a giant conversation online

Blogs and Microblogs

– Highly consumable format for social media users

– http://tecnorati.com/blogs/directory

People on the street think that Myspace & FB are social media

– niche space: myartspace.com

– look beyond the big ones and into your niche

Online Video

– its a place where people can go and share and discuss

Forums & Groups

– http://rankings.big-boards.com

Socail News & bookmarking

– SU, Digg, Del.icio.us

What is good content?

– lists
– How to’s
– Surveys and rankings
– Comprehensive
– Strong opinion
– “Best ofs” and Complilations
– Calculators and tools
– Video – something interesting
– Widgets
– badges and Quizes

Have clear goals and objectives.

Promote great content.

Contribute to the communities.

Make the sites work together. Cross uses sites to promote each other.


Justilien Gaspard – Igniting Viral Campaigns

= Branding
– Product launch
– Customer acquisition
– Link Marketing

Strategy – People of Influence

The Approach
– you could launch and then contact these people or….

Develop relationships ahead of time, build teams, and collaborate with them.

Start by sending them leads and info… down the road when you launch a viral campaign… they might be more open to helping you – even bring them in to consult.

Blogger – you could use your regular blogger to come up with something creative

Contest – you could run a contest internally

Cartoonist – hire a local or something from a cheaper country

Interviews – Experts, Bloggers, Journalists, CEOs, VPs

Research – white papers, reports, surveys

Brand Advocates

– find these people in social media, own customer lists, forums

Recruiting Influencers

– can be difficult
– attend industry conferences and interact in person
– buy advertising from a blogger that you want to talk to
– Hire consultants – experts, bloggers, journalist, form owners/moderators

Spread the buzz
– *shows long list very quickly*


Fionn Downhill – Elixir Interactive

Why viral Marketing?

78% of 26k surveyed said they trust “recommendations from users”

7 out of 10 americans use the internet for news

– TV news losing 1MM viewers per year

– Newspaper circ down 10% since ’01

Journalists are online:

– 97% find news sources
– 79% find story ideas on newswires


Myth – web 2.0 and viral marekting costs a fortune

Fact – Using web 2.0 for viral marketing takes time and a strategic planned approach for success

Budget – create specific marketing strategies that benefits the campaign but keeps budget low. Dont have the resources for the next chicken or elf dont worrky, you can still leverage web 2.0 for effective viral marketing.

Basic elements of a viral campaign

– give free stuff away
– give away a white paper
– utilize existing communication networks
– exploigs common motivations and behaviors
– scales easily from small to very large
– provices for effortless transfer to others
– takes advanage of others’ resources

– blogs
– forums
-rss feeds
– *took screen down*

To Blog or not to Blog??

– you need to have a plan
– dont write a “me too” type blog

You Tube

– set up your own branded channel
– create simple videos – fun and quirky
– tell your clients and your friends
– optimize your channel
– link from your website
– flip video camera

TubeMogul – free service that distrubutes your video for you

Measuring Sucess
– Rss subscribers
– social bookmarks
– comments to your blog
– links to your website by social media
– what blogs, forums etc are talking about your
– monitor referring links


Jennifer Laycock

How to create ideas that spread

1. Thou shalt know they customer
– all about delivering the goods
– cant deliver if you dont know the desire
2. Thou shalt be remarkable – gives Zappos example
– amazing marketing message
– amazing company
3. Thou shalt try, try again – it may take you 20 attempts
– most viral efforts dont take off
– every try improves your marketing

Brainstorming the idea….

– what do your suctomers love about your
– what do customers not like about your
– what is your biggest challenge?
– what sparks online converstation?
– can you do soething outragrous
– can you do something hilarious?
– do you have a holiday connection?
– can you make the “mostest” something
– what do you wish people said about you?
– can you create or embrace controversy
– do you have an underdog story
– are you connected to a news story
– what time of site sends the best vistors
– what motivates your customer base

Creating the campaign

– can you create and edit videos
– can you create and edit flash games
– can you create and edit widgets
– do you have a skilled writer
– do you have a skilled researcher
– do you have a skilled humorist
– do you have an email list? if so, how big? if not, can you buy one?
– can you partner with a non-profit?
– can you get your product in front of people?
-do you have the ability to track roi from traffic and conversions
– do you have an established marketing budget
– can you give something away for free? if so, how many items?

Launhing the campaign

– can the idea spread ia social media
– can the idea spread via blogs
– do you have a blog?
– can you research and build a pitch list
– do you have established relationships with influential bloggers
– do you have established relationships with influenctial social media users?

Should do before pitching
– read at least five posts on their site
– comment on one or 2 exisitng posts
– write at least 2 sentences that are unique to the person you are pitching
– have at least one other person read the email before you send it
– contact the blogger to share feedback on their site a few weeks before the pitch
– keep track of which sites you plan to pitch

Must does
– maker sure your pitch address the person by name
– make sure you have the right email address
– send individual emails
– be completely transparent (let them know who u work for)
– spell check your message
– familiarize yourself with their readers
– ask yourself in all honesty if this pitch is relevant to their readers
– check to see if they have a policy about accepting pitches
– if you pitch multiple writers at same site, let them know

Next steps
– pass out your brainstorming sheets
– gather thoughts independently
– meet as a group, check off possiblities
– create your idea

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