What can small business learn from viral content?
You don’t create viral content.
You create content that can go viral.
But you don’t get to choose if it goes viral or not.
It’s the crowd that gets to decide.
But we can see what the crowd wants so why don’t we just give it to them?
The amount of choice of content at any given point that the crowd can chose to go viral is immense. It is impossible to plan what the crowd will send viral.
But couldn’t I just spend a lot of money and get the best people together to throw up a viral, like the Old Spice advert?
You could, but after spending cash, which would be multiples of 6 figures, and there is no way to be certain that it would go viral.
But it worked for them.
It did, but why have they not repeated it?
They did, they had a new one out and it had millions of views on Youtube.
But they haven’t replicated the success of the one in 2010, the latest one has 1,994,833 views and 4,316 thumbs up, but 1,721 thumbs down. 250 comments, but most of them foul mouthed and snarky.
Adidas have consistent hits and have a marketing spend of $1.6 billion and from last year shifted most of that spend to “digital media spanning real-time content and online video after vowing to “quickly” recover lost market share to Nike.” According to Marketing Week
How is your budget looking?
So what you are saying is that it’s completely not worth the small business trying to throw up a viral?
Here’s the thing, you don’t “throw up a viral.”
You don’t even create a viral, you create content and as I said before the crowd decides if it goes viral or not.
But why do marketing blogs keep banging on about going viral?
Because it’s interesting for readers, big brands have big advertising budgets and also creatives love making content designed to go viral and so will talk about it more.
So viral content is all fake then?
No, if you have a piece of content which goes viral it can be very useful, but if you are going to attempt to go viral, you need to load up on cash and get the right people on board.
Also, it’s useful to be aware, when making a decision to have all the facts. For example do you know how many pieces of content designed to go viral last year, did not?
Exactly. And are you aware of how much money was wasted on content designed to go viral last year?
So what do I do? How can I take advantage of people being able to send things viral without wasting any cash?
Would you want a 100% guarantee that your money would not be wasted?
Then you can’t do it, there is no guarantee.
However, there are elements of this technique which could be useful to you.
There are reasons why this content goes viral, it’s all to do with how humans communicate with each other, how stories are used to carry information and to persuade people to do things.
Like buy my stuff?
Yes, you see, “viral” is just a label. What people need are answers to their problems and to feel good about the choices they make.
Well that’s easy, I do that with my customers all the time on a one to one basis.
Exactly, all you really need to do is to translate that to an online setting and produce content which satisfies the needs of people who buy your stuff and the people who like to talk about your stuff.
Because the people who talk about my stuff, but don’t buy my stuff may tell the people who do buy my stuff.
That is really interesting and it’s giving me a whole different way of looking at things. By the way, are you going to eat that donut?
This conversation did not happen. It certainly did not happen with someone who runs a small business in Cornwall I met last year, at the Starbucks in Truro and there absolutely was no donut involved and if there was, there was no way I would have giving it up.