by jessicanabraham | on December 4, 2012
The question that prompted this post on Viral Marketing was this: “What’s the difference between Word of Mouth Marketing and Viral Marketing — if someone is telling someone, who is telling someone?” Well, the truth is that they are very similar so I can understand the question. At the same time, they are quite a bit different.
Viral Marketing is pretty much an electronic art form in this day and age. Sure, physical, tangible items can be passed from person to person, community to community and generation to generation (i.e. folk lore content to promote an idea or product, flyers with entertainment value, etc.). But, when you hear the word “Viral Marketing,” you think of it as more of “an Online thing.”
Viral Marketing is generally a principle or product that is “passed around” and shared between consumers (not necessarily customers) based on the value of a product or presentation in their lives. Most Viral Marketing happens when an emotion or thought is triggered in the minds of audiences being reached. This is a great way to ADVERTISE your product to a crowd, meaning to make them WANT your product. Viral Marketing can happen through Social Media Content (photos, videos, audio, etc.) at the click of a button, which is why including “share panels” and Social Bookmarking to your content is a plus. It can also happen through copy/paste methods, which requires “too much work” for some individuals who want an immediate response. The more value they find in your product, the more of themselves they will give to share the content.
Word of Mouth Marketing, as seen in the previous post, can come from presenting these items to friends on sheer LOVE for what is being seen. So in essence, Viral Marketing is Word of Mouth Marketing, while conversation doesn’t necessarily take place in making the conversion. Nonetheless, Word of Mouth Marketing is by no means Viral Marketing. Word of MOUTH means that conversation takes place from Consumer A to potential Consumer B. Here, they discuss your media content, but more of the conversation is geared in the direction of the actual PRODUCT or BRAND. This is where loyalty takes form and the consumer feels a NEED for your product. This can happen Online or in the physical world we find ourselves in without a computer in sight!
Both forms of marketing are two of the hardest types of marketing efforts to succeed in. Word of Mouth Marketing consists of converting potential audiences into BELIEVERS and BELIEVERS into LOYALTISTS. They have to love your brand. And like people, we can’t just MAKE ANYONE fall in love with us. It happens through interaction, genuine care and nurturing. Viral Marketing, however, takes killer content and hits the emotions and psyche of audience members in reaching new target audiences and consumers.
Viral Marketing is easier than WOM to achieve, because there are many venues and platforms that allow your content to be seen. On the contrary, you have to hit the nerve so strongly that these consumers WANT TO SHARE your content. That’s only the first step. From there, you have to direct them to follow a call to action, which means you have to get them to actually visit your site, attend your event, purchase your product or whatever else you are aiming for with the content. THAT is the tricky part, because our population has become so immune to marketing that we almost lose interest after the content has been consumed and new content is put in front of our faces.
Again, we have to make them WANT to engage in conversation and participation with our brand. How are we prepared to do this? How are we catering to the needs of an unmotivated or semi-interested consumer? How are we making the funnel process easier for them to “check out” before they change their minds? Create a call to action (which will be fine-tuned), create a roadmap, and then reach into the mind of that target and find out what type of content will AFFECT THEM emotionally and mentally. Once this has been executed, you have a high chance to Viral Marketing success!
…Oh, by the way, content quality doesn’t have to be great! Did you know that most high quality and written content have LOWER viral destinations than “on the fly” cell phone and low quality recordings of 3 minutes or less? Also, giving something free to a consumer will give them a sense of privilege and loyalty that will make them go above and beyond. IF they know they’re getting more, they will give more! Interesting isn’t? Let that marinate! It is definitely something to think about.
Take a look at this viral video: “Shorty Produkshins LIVE on the Miller Lite Tour Bus.” Does it make you want to drink some beer (Coors or Miller Lite), want to go to the tour bus yourself? Does it make you want to be part of the industry or in a band? Does it make you want to have fun and be social? Or, does it make you curious about the next year’s Florida Music Festival, hosted by Miller Lite every year? The further you get into the video, all elements come together and you meet a DJ/Promoter and get to hear about the person talking behind the camera. A brief description of the company is given and even some services, meshed with a little comedy. Now, does it make you wonder what Shorty Produkshins was doing filming or what they do in the industry? Does it make you curious about this $1.99/Minute consultation line? Furthermore, do you feel more comfortable knowing that Shorty Produkshins has similar interests to yours, while being staffed with every day people? By the way, this event was promoted Online through Shorty Produkshins’ Event Marketing service and sponsored by the brand, as well, that year.
While this video was never meant to be a viral video, as it was just a documentation of events at the 2010 Florida Music Festival in Orlando. But, I’m sure your mind could be racing on ways to make it better based on these elements in making it a viral success? And what we just “processed” was the same process one must go through in preliminary planning, storyboarding, creation, and production phases of this technique. Good luck to you and your team in all future endeavors!
This entry was posted in 24/7 Internet Marketing Telephone Consultant, Brand Persona, Campaign Marketing, Cross Promotions, Empowerment, Entertainment Business, Event Marketing, Florida Music Festival, Internet Marketing Blog, Internet Marketing Orlando, Internet Marketing Pittsburgh, J. Abraham Consultants, Marketing, Media, Miller Lite Tour Bus, Royalty Connected, Services, Shorty Produkshins, Social Branding, Social Media, Sponsorships, Video, Viral Marketing