Viral Marketing: What does it take to go viral?

viral marketing campaignCurious about viral marketing? If you haven’t already, it’s time to check out this quick, insightful TED talk about with Dao Nguyen, a media Analytics Expert at Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed, is known to have a knack for what will go viral. (How else can you explain 800,000 people gathering online to watch nearly 700 rubber bands combust a watermelon?!?) 

As a Publisher, BuzzFeed, Dao thinks about how media spreads online, the technology and data that publishers can use to understand how viral marketing works.

Many of our clients know, media companies mine every possible byte of data related to better connect users with relevant ads. As Dao identifies, “most video companies focus on metadata, or formats – ie the subject” of what users engage with.

In marketing speak, we’ve all heard the phrase “content is king.” Dao shares how the team at Buzzfeed turned how we think about creating content on its head, taking a cue from the advertising industry itself.

She introduces the concept of “Cultural Cartography.”

Cultural Cartography challenges when creating content, think beyond “what is it about?” to “how is it helping users do a real job in their lives?” The latter aspect of this being a golden rule of advertisers; meet your audience where they are.

So when you’re launching a viral marketing campaign to get likes, users and followers, Dao explains primary focus should be to think about the job the content is doing for the reader.

This goes beyond what your product/service does or doesn’t do – it is examining how you will create connection with your audience.

As Buzzfeed aims to capture in data what really matters to users, the better they can understand the role their media plays out in our actual lives in turn allowing them to create better content (even ads).

When thinking about advertising;

  • How do you emulate how your audience feels?
  • How can you make them feel connected, if even for an instant?