As technology has rapidly progressed over recent years it has become increasingly difficult to boldly go where no one has gone before; in marketing terms anyway. Almost every conceivable digital strategy has been considered at great length, and the lion's share of those concepts have been thrust into the public domain to see what sort of success they can generate for their creators.
Two key factors have contributed to the rise of digital marketing; the unparalleled size of the marketer's target audience and the relatively low level of investment needed to be able to reach that audience. Social Media (SM) is a prime example of this; it doesn't cost a penny to start using SM outlets like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Socially speaking, mediums like these are vessels to connect with friends, family and associates, past and present. From a marketing perspective though, they give the end-user an opportunity to engage with and target a potential audience of millions. Naturally, this assumes that they have designed a suitable digital strategy based on the product/service being pushed to the market. This article focuses on viral marketing strategies, and below are some of the best examples that Big Dot Media could find.
Viral media has become the single quickest way of increasing brand awareness, and 99% of the time it's as expensive as recording and uploading a video to YouTube. Even globally respected brands like Microsoft have realised the value of jumping on the viral bandwagon, and have invested heavily in producing a number of short videos designed with two things in mind; capturing public interest and increasing the amount of times that the phrase 'Microsoft viral video' (or similar) is typed into search engines like Google and Bing! If they do take off, these videos aren't being viewed by a few thousand people either; we're talking millions here.
If you are smart/lucky enough to be the creator of a successful viral, you will see two tangible benefits. Firstly you open a brand new (and potentially lucrative) stream of income, and secondly you can increase your brand awareness almost exponentially. One of the most successful virals out there, Charlie bit my finger is an innocuous video of two children arguing that was uploaded by an amused parent a few years back, purely to share with friends and family. The video has now had close to 500,000,000 views and the family earn well in excess of £150,000 per year from paid advertising on their YouTube channel alone.
Companies will pay top dollar for successful social media campaigns on this basis. Even the simplest concept can turn into a social media powerhouse. Take 'Sockington the Cat', a Twitter account that has been posting for nearly five years. Not your ordinary Twitter account, the posts are written by historian (and cat owner) Jason Scott, but from the perspective of his cute, fluffy pet - Sockington. That account currently has near enough 1.5m followers, more than @ESPN, @BBCNews and many other globally known Twitter users. It goes without saying that captive audience of 1,500,000 people is worth a pretty penny to the right person. Global brands would much rather capitalise on existing successes like Sockington and Charlie, rather than spending huge amounts of time and money trying to come up with their own.
So if you're looking to implement a new digital strategy, the two questions you should ask yourself before delving into the world of social media marketing are quite simple. Does your concept have the potential to appeal to a wide and massively varied audience? What makes you different from your virtual rivals? If you can answer those two questions, we might all be subscribing to your YouTube channel or following your pet on Twitter this time next year.