Chasing the Viral Holy Grail

As I said in my post Rethinking the PR Pitch and Campaign:

What this boils down to is that the objective for your next campaign might
not be to snag that briefing, series or briefings, or exclusive…

I also posed several questions, one of which related to the types of content you have or that can be generated to support the campaign.

Here, many people go down a rat hole that I call the viral trap.   Everyone wants to chase the holy grail of the You Tube video or viral Web site that catches on and spreads like wildfire.   Of course, precious few do go viral and become wildly popular.

Here it helps to remember some basic laws of marketing, business and also some cold realities that dictate how ideas catch on and spread.

First, as I have blogged previously, it is well near impossible to predict in advance what will become a hit.  Research has proved this.  There are complex systems involved, people are unpredictable, etc. etc.  That does not mean that you cannot boost the odds of going viral, and that there aren't common elements to popular content.  It just means that, all things being equal, it is still hard to predict what will rise to the top.

Second, your content probably does not need to go viral to call the campaign a success.   Assuming you are interested in some business result and not just trying to entertain a lot of people, the laws of ROI say that the return – in terms of increased traffic, name recognition, Web site registrations, sales, however you measure it -  has to be greater than the investment.

What you do need to do is consider the audience you are targetting.  You hopefully will have some kind of mechanism to monitor the progress and success of the campaign.  And you do need to consider what types of content or Web destination will be interesting enough to become popular amonst your target audience and help you achieve your business results even without any viral explosion.

This entry was posted in Web 2.0. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *