This might surprise you, but one does not simply “go viral.”
Believe it or not, we have people [some clients, some not] come to us and ask our company to make them go viral. And we never roll our eyes or laugh at them because that’s what they’ve come to understand as success. How could we blame anyone for wanting that? For most of the world, viral status has become the measure of an impactful, engaging piece of media. And to be honest: We’ve come to accept that. Shareability is a significant part of a brand’s online success for several reasons; the biggest of which is reach. Everyone wants the farthest reach and the most views — it’s sort of become the new definition of famous.
Frankly, we think many pieces of media (photos, publicity, videos, media) that have viral success are the result of happenstance, convenient timing, and lots of luck. And for a company looking to find wide-reaching online success, “going viral” should never be the goal.
The truth is: Viral status is fleeting. And worse, it doesn’t always produce outcomes like sales, measurable ROI, brand advocacy. Someone sees a shared video, watches part of it, and the marketer never figures out who he is. The relationship ends there. But that’s where the focus should be. Instead of reaching for viral success, set some realistic goals for your content. And the best way to do that is good old-fashioned research and strategy.
Here are three big-picture strategies for connecting better:
Implementing Google Analytics into your website is a good place to start when looking at who’s engaging with your brand right now. Because the only way you can identify new opportunities is to look at where you are now. So focus on your current audience: the kinds of people they are, where they come from, how they find your content, and how loyal and engaged they are. See where the traffic comes from and know where to put emphasis.
The social media revolution is maturing. Are you measuring your outcomes? Social reports show you the impact that social media has on your business goals and conversions. Integrated web and social data offers a holistic view of your content and community. And the best use of social media as a practical business tool is to channel information. So use all of your social media platforms to share your content. The can easily become vehicles for disseminating your blog posts, pics, and videos. It’s the quickest way to get around.
Develop relationships with the people who spread your content. Acknowledge them publicly by featuring them on your website or responding to them on social. That’s more than enough to generate engagement and make them feel heard. Then get their email addresses so you can deepen the relationship further with truly useful updates, offers, and calls to action.
So instead of focusing on “going viral,” focus on serving your current customers and winning new ones. And the best way to do that? Find them and make real connections.
You might be wondering what this type of effort looks like, and lucky, we can show you. A few years ago, we shot a quick in-house music video that we pushed out into the world using some of the tactics we’ve described. Check it out!