Adam Ferrier

Adam Ferrier

Friday, 13 July 2012 15:00

How do I make my marketing go viral? Start-up Mentor Adam Ferrier

How do I make my marketing go viral?

What does it take for a marketing idea to go viral and spread overseas? Is there any kind of approach that you can take with your marketing to help others spread it around?


Don't believe it when people say “you can't make something go viral”, you can. It's just up to you whether you really, really want it to or not.


There are two ways to make something go viral.


Here are some general tips first, and then some very specific recommendations.


In general, marketers are not good at thinking about what consumers will do with the information they receive. They focus too much on whether we are saying the right things about our brand and whether consumers will receive the right information. Scrap that thinking.


Instead focus on why the consumer will pass on your message. What's in it for them to pass the message on? At Naked, we think the consumer is the departure point, not the end point for all communications.


Specifically, for something to go viral, think about this: The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.


So load your piece of content with pieces of content that have gone viral before. Look at content that has been passed on and gone viral for your audience before. Does it involve famous people, cats, or gory crashes?


If you want it viral, think about how you can incorporate such themes into your work. You will have to be very charming, very extreme, or very interesting. Does this suit your brand? Think about famous people you can mention – all of whom have a social graph you can tap into. Think about being topical and linking it to popular themes of conversation.


If you want it to be viral, then commit to creating something worth passing on (in the consumers’ eyes, not yours).

Adam Ferrier is a consumer psychologist and founding partner of Naked Communications Australia.  He began his career as a forensic psychologist. Adam then had a stint at Saatchi & Saatchi before starting Naked Communications in 2004. He was also State under-12 Chess Champion in WA. Follow him on Twitter.


Ask Adam or any other StartupSmart mentor a question here.

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