The 3 Pillars of Viral Marketing, Part 2
This week, in part two of this multipart series, I offer a case study that puts the three pillars of viral marketing discussed last week — targeting your audience via social media; reaching your audience by pinpointing influencers and enticing them to become brand ambassadors; and creating the right call to action by analyzing what your audience is into and designing campaigns based on this information — into action.
(For part one, which ran in the April 16 edition of eM+C Weekly, click here.)
Case Study: A Special Event
The following case study demonstrates the true power of second-generation viral technologies.
The Vibe Media Group, an urban music/lifestyle media company, wanted to expand its brand awareness, grow site traffic and drive incremental ad revenues for its VIBE.com property. Management believed a special online event was just the ticket.
So Vibe created Vibe Verses, a rap battle contest sponsored by AT&T in which independent rap and hip-hop artists were invited to record their lyrics and post videos on Vibe Verses’ Web site. The rappers also received widgets that let them share their videos with friends and fans who voted for them. The friends then went to VIBE.com, where they joined the VIBE community, viewed contest entries, voted for their favorite artists and communicated with other community members.
To ignite this campaign, Vibe used social search and analysis solutions provided by my company, UNBOUND Technologies, to identify rap and hip-hop artists in a database of more than 70 million social network users. The campaign team then homed in on the artists who were the most socially connected to the target audience and also had the greatest number of views and plays associated with their social network pages. Vibe incentivized these artists to participate in the contest through cash prizes and a potential record deal with Sony.
Vibe Verses went viral in 36 days, delivering the following results:
- more than a 100-fold increase in video streams viewed per month (from 10,000 to 1.2 million);
- 60,000 new members of the VIBE community;
- 375,000 unique visitors to VIBE.com;
- 775,000 media views (widget views, display ads, images, etc.);
- 5 million monetized ad impressions for premier brands such as Microsoft; and
- an 800 percent ROI.
Chase McMichael is founder and chairman of UNBOUND Technologies, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based affinity- and influencer-based viral marketing firm. Reach Chase at firstname.lastname@example.org.