Class Slides: Viral Marketing

add: Taboola: The internet firm at the forefront of ‘click-bait’

As part of a content marketing strategy, a goal of a content producer may be to create content that goes “viral”. We examine this idea with a case study, and then identify some key attributes of viral content. How can we create content that is shared through earned media, the Free Marketing space.

Obama Girl

  • My box in a box (2006), spoof of Saturday Night Live Sketch.
  • Doing video of what people are talking about online
  • Fascination with creation of news memes and popular culture, online
  • Obama Girl
    • People were obsessed with Obama, unlike what had been seen before
    • Goal, to make a YouTube hit. Post video, use it to launch a broader comedy channel
    • Hire talent, meet in Starbucks. Paid for day, but committed to subsequent videos, interviews
    • Post video online within 2 weeks
    • Deliberate contact with bloggers, Huffington Post, Drudge Report, MySpace, 50k views in first day
    • Next day, on all traditional media, few million views
    • Saturday Night Live etc.
    • Launched under new brand “Barely Political”
    • Approximately 60 Obama Girl Videos
    • Character created, Obama Girl, takes on life of her own
    • Other media parody Obama Girl (McCain Girl). Lack of control
  • YouTube Channel, Barely Political: 2 videos a week, 1.5 billion views. Brand beyond “Obama Girl”
  • 2008, 5 million views a month
  • From Political comedy, to popular culture, transitioning channel (Obama Girl Team Retools for Tech Satire)
  • Key of Awesome, and other shows created
  • Top 5 comedy channel on YouTube
  • 20th most subscribed channel on YouTube
  • About 500 million views per year
  • Hits drive channel numbers
  • Subscribers versus views
  • Business model: YouTube revenue sharing, branded content via iTunes

Viral Marketing

  • Pre-Social Media: HotMale: great idea, networked economy, 1995
    How Hotmail Became A Viral Hit Once

  • Word of mouth more influential than paid media, persuasive and targeted
  • Messenger impacts speed of virality, not if something will go viral
  • good content may go viral, bad content will never go viral, regardless of messenger
  • virality is not born, it is made: Will It Blend? – iPhone
  • Path to virality
    • Seed selection — bloggers, influencers, own channels
    • Cascade effect, more people in your network that have adopted the content, the more likely you will (tipping point)
    • Mainstream media cross-over
    • Copy cats
  • elements to increase likelihood of content going viral: Contagious and Relles

    Tactics include flashmobs: Som Sabadell flashmob – BANCO SABADELL

    Did Beyonce break the rules ? Beyoncé’s Surprise Album Was the Year’s Most Brilliant Release

    • No deliberate seeding
    • Great content
    • Shock, social currency
    • Cascade effect

    Media companies created within the viral platform, versus media companies adapting to the viral platform: Upworthy — What Happens When a Growth Hacker Launches a Media Company

    Importance of Shares, versus Views, you can buy Views: Viral 2.0

    The Curiosity Gap Is Closing, Says Upworthy

    8 Simple Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Your Writing
    Buzzfeed: deliberate efforts to write titles for sharability

    Publishing as a Product, Pageviews as Users, and What It All Means

    The Psychology Of Online Sharing – The 5 Primary
    Motivations & The 6 Online Sharing Personas