· Create media for the Bored At Work Network: There are hundreds of millions of people around the world bored at work sitting in front of their computers connected to high speed networks. This network is bigger than any traditional media network like CNN or ABC. Create something they will want to pass around.
· Practice The Mullet Strategy: Business up front, party on the back. If you have a Website, keep the front page serious so as not to scare off the casuals. Give all the crazy commenter’s and contributors space in the back, and only show them to the rest of the world when they create something that catches on.
· Try Big Seed Marketing: If you are brand trying to create a viral campaign, it might be hard. True viral memes are hard to reproduce. It is much easier to make something that still gets passed around, but you might have to spend some money to seed it around the Internet. The more seed you spread, the more chance it will grow. “Buy the seed, get the viral for free,” he says (this is basically BuzzFeed’s business model).
· Target The Maniacs: The Web is ruled by maniacs, people who get worked up about things and push their ideas out. ”Content is more viral if it helps people express their personality disorders,” notes Peretti.
· Be A Mormon, Not A Jew. This one is tongue in cheek. But Mormonism is a growing religion, whereas Judaism is stagnating in terms of population. Why? Mormons are better evangelists. ”The problem with Jews is that they suck at marketing,” says Peretti. ”It’s almost like they don’t want anyone else to be a Jew.” His point is that it is not just the quality of an idea that counts, it is how much effort you put into spreading it. via techcrunch.com.
Perriti posts some humorous stats on the difference between Mormons and Jews in the growth of their respective religions, and points out that Judaism may be relevantly stagnant when compared to the growth of the Mormon religion. His main message in this comparison is that while Judaism may be a high quality religion, in the viral and socially connected environment that we operate in that quality of message is not a growth strategy. Whereas, with the Mormon religion, they want you to be a Mormon, and make "Evangelism" central to their strategy, and mission. The key take away is that you need to focus not just on the idea or message, but more on the mechanics of how a message is spread in todays socially connected world.
When it comes to viral I have always hated the term “viral” as it conjures up terms in “managements” mind of “high-volume” for “no money” or worse “free advertsiing”. As Perriti points out the reality is that most successful viral business attempts have come on the heels of a large, well funded and integrated mixed media campaigns.
I also believe that good social-viral attempts are those that ultimately give your target audience a chance to emotionally connect with your brand experience; a lesson that I think the recent Irish Spring campaign brought to light.
There are some interesting correlations in thought between Perrtti’s notion that you need to connect with the “maniacs” to the thoughts of Malcom Gladwell in that Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen are key recruits in making an idea tip into the mainstream. This is interesting to note as part of the social aspect of the Irish Spring Campaign was to produce a series of near real time tweets, but the selection of, who to tweet to, in response to the campaign was made based on the tweeters “influence”. This is an interesting notion as we see the rise of “influence” as part of an integrated campaign with a social extension, and also interesting to note that a little “science” was used in making that determination.
In today’s socially networked world strategy and planning, leverage of key influencers, a somewhat bored audience, some good old school marketing, backed up by some decent budget seem to be what is required to make the best use of viral messaging and ideas for marketing. Most attempts will be dismal but a few will be brilliant in that they will enable the audience to emotionally engage with the brand in an entertaining and fulfilling way. Now isn’t that worth a college try?