Four Pillars of Successful Viral Marketing
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In classroom session during Internet Week, Rocketboom Executive Producer Barry Pousam discussed four pillars of viral marketing; congruency, emotive strength, network involvement ratio and paired meme synergy.
Illustrating the importance of maintaining congruency (the right brand, the right audience, the right medium) when launching something a marketer hopes will become viral, Pousam used a reverse example. Citing the Chevy Tahoe disaster in which the brand asked people to create their own commercial with supplied assets, Pousam argued the brand missed the mark when it opened up the contest to anyone on the internet versus somehow limiting it the suburban soccer moms to which it was more appropriate. To Chevy's credit, the brand left the negative videos up for a while.
Pousam's second pillar of a successful viral is one we are all familiar with. Emotion. Properly crafted and given the proper tone to create the right emotional hook, powerful connections can be made with a target audience.
When Pousam spoke of network involvement ratio, he explained creative has to apply to certain "networks" or audience segments for it to work. Basically, it's targeting 101 but it goes further. Beyond demographics. Beyond psychographics. There is a creative craft that is sometimes unquantifiable. But it's this craft that brings success.
Lastly, paired meme strategy speaks to the pairing of similar trends or topics. For example when Mark Ecko painted the side of a fake Air Force One with "Still here?", the work spoke to both the name of an Ecko brand as well as the real world question, "Are you still in office, Mr. Bush?"
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