Friday, January 05, 2007

Interactive promotion report: virals

[Tags: , , , ]. Palminder Shubh looks at viral marketing:

A viral could be a video, email, quiz that is sent from person to person, therefore like a virus. a website that i find is a good example of this is http://www.weddingcrashersmovie.com/ where you can put your own pictures on the site and create a trailor.

As the name suggests viral marketing is something that literally spreads from person to person, or perhaps in our case computer to computer. It is a style of marketing which is aimed to spread awareness of a brand. Virals can come in many shapes and forms for example, e-mail, video, a quiz and others. A good viral should encourage an individual to “tell a friend” therefore spread awareness of a product or advertise it. Its aim is to create potential growth, therefore potential sales and business (if in that particular market).

Advantages to Viral Marketing

As viral marketing comes in many shapes and forms, this I believe is its biggest advantage. You can adapt the type of viral marketing campaign you create depending on what the campaign is, the content, keep the audience in mind. So depending on the mentioned factors you can create a viral campaign accordingly.

Viral marketing spreads easily; this is its job so this is another main advantage to this type of promotional technique. Growth in the market is very much guaranteed with this promotional technique, for instance if you give away an e-book to three friends and each give it away to another three friends and so on you can see the exposure the book has gotten by doing this, plus content in the e-book will also promote other business.

Disadvantages to Viral Marketing

Though viral marketing is a very positive, creative, effective and efficient way of marketing and promoting products it does have its drawbacks and negative aspects. First of all if we look at viral content itself which may be a video clip of streaming video, it may be too large for the recipient to receive. Not everyone is on the faster connection of broadband internet, so this may be an issue. The media format may also be an issue if for instance you require certain software to view the message. If a viral campaign is done through a email attachment then having firewalls and anti-virus software may prevent you from viewing the message. This particularly be the case in office based environments.

Examples of Good Viral Marketing

A very good example of a classic viral is www.hotmail.com. This is a free e-mail service, so when we sign up to this and send our friends and family e-mails there will be a little message under every email saying “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com” therefore, this email facility will increase and become popular.

http://www.hasbro.co.uk/Subbuteo/English/kick/index.asp?allowKick=0


The above example is an ad game which I gained access through via the Sun website. This is I find a good example as it is very much interactive for the consumer and is entertaining. You do need to give your email address and a name, which may be off putting for some people but perhaps not for others. This is the only downside to this particular viral campaign. The target market for this website is 18-24. Again you need a very strong web connection.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,11064-11032,00.html

The above snapshot shows the top 25 viral emails that can be viewed on the sun website. The images you get are delightful and are meant to be funny. The images though are protected by copyright and you are not able to save them, unless you contact enquries@nisyndication.com.

One of my favourite viral campaigns I viewed had to be the coca-cola M5 project: purely because of the way it was designed, the colours it used. The theme, the style, the computer generated imagery that was used in this was very professional and I believe eye pleasing to any consumer. It is a very youth orientated design, with great use of vibrant colours and exciting music. I would email these to my friends as I am positive they would be interested in looking at the videos. It is targeted for a very large audience group, ranging from 16-25.

www.Heinzbeanz.com was also a very good example of the viral technique as it was targeted to a very wide range of audience. Even children can view the website and understand why beans are good for you, and also give adults a view on the origins of beans. Its user friendliness design approach is much appropriate as well as good use of colour and simplicity. As mentioned above it has a childlike feel to it but not just for children, but generally the masses. It is very simple and easy to use and navigate.

Examples of Bad Viral Marketing

One bad example of bad viral marketing was the movie called Corpse Bride: http://corpsebridemovie.warnerbros.com/, though it was designed with the very good effects and it had good use of sound and moving imagery, I classed it as a bad example purely because it was “too” complicated. Every time I clicked to view something new it would take a very long time to load. In my opinion if it was kept simpler it would have been more effective. People who do not have broadband internet would give up on this website, therefore would not promote the film as it is meant to.

Reports

A article I found on the website to find out about successful viral marketing was the following: http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/2003.asp what I discovered was “the message must provide value, be cool and avoid reading like an ad”. This is a quote from the website itself, the author is Tim McHale? and was written April 23 2003. Again it just reiterates that if kept simple and easy to follow with not many difficult or fussy downloads or time delays viral marketing can be very successful. Tim McHale? also gives the same example that I mentioned above where when viral marketing started, it began with free email services, it also points out that it is more than ‘send to a friend’ but rather “about the value proposition”. Another article I found was http://dis.shef.ac.uk/sheila/marketing/wilson.htm which basically gives you the six simple principles of viral marketing. There are also companies created who keep track of your viral. One company who do this is: http://www.diffusion-media.com/ they are a company who track online viral marketing campaigns. They have quoted on their website that “Viral marketing presents exciting new opportunities for highly efficient online advertising campaigns. Viral marketing is increasingly being used by big companies and agencies as a cost-effective addition to the marketing mix”. If I take the http://www.heinzbeanz.com/ campaign as an example http://viral.halperncowan.com/ have again confirmed that is a very powerful tool and when done well can promote an offer very well. The way that this website I designed, its user friendliness and the fact that its target audience is very substantial is a very good approach.

Summary - Characteristics of a Good Campaign

What makes a viral campaign successful - easy to navigate and browse through websites always make successful campaigns. Viral marketing programs that giveaway valuable products or services is also guaranteed success. This can be from free email addresses, to free wallpapers etc. The marketing message itself should also be easy and effortless to transfer or ‘send to a friend’. According to the wilsonweb.com six simple principles to viral marketing the most creative and successful viral marketing campaigns are the one that uses others resources to get the word out. In other words to affiliate programs, meaning adding text, graphics or links on others websites.

References

http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt5/viral-principles.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_marketing#Barriers_to_viral_marketing

http://www.ezinearticles.com/?Advantages-of-Viral-Marketing-Through-Content-Distribution&id=125043

http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt5/viral-principles.htm

http://www.thesun.co.uk/section/0,,11063,00.html

http://corpsebridemovie.warnerbros.com/

http://biad.moodle.uce.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=8727

http://www.weddingcrashersmovie.com/

http://www.heinzbeanz.com/

6 Comments:

Anonymous Adrian Kelly said...

Some great examples on viral marketing.

The latest batman movie is also a good example as it has taken $190 million in the first three days. ALthough the unfortunate death of one of the leads has played apart as well.

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Anonymous Melanie said...

thnaking u for sharing the information!

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Anonymous SEO Specialist UK said...

Much appreciated for the post!

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OpenID rogerburns said...

A great viral marketing campaign is every marketing and seo services providers dream. A well executed viral campaign will basically allow the consumer to spread the message for you. And a person to person recommendation is the most powerful form of advertising there is. Thanks!

3:13 PM  

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