Beauty & Brains in Branding & Web

Creating Buzz and Going Viral

Create Buzz

Create Buzz

Is it possible to create something so unbelievable, so unheard of that people might actually wonder, “Could it be true?!” Creating unique content can create a buzz, but creating unique content that challenges our instincts and perceptions is something that’s worth talking about and capable of going viral. Within the last 48 hours, a video of a child snatched by a golden eagle in Montreal exceeded 25 million views, called for expert analysis while generating immense media coverage. Everybody was wondering if it could be real. It was later discovered that it was a local Centre NAD school’s annual “Hoax the internet” project.

So, what does it take to create buzz or go viral? These 3 tips could take your campaign from mundane to extraordinary:

Content, Content, Content!
As I previously mentioned, your content is a major factor in generating social activity. It needs to provoke thought and conversation. With the World Wide Web at our disposal, it is all-too-simple to find redundant information, but if you can create something new, people are sure to talk about it. Nobody had ever heard of a golden eagle in the city of Montreal or the possibility of one swooping down to snatch a child, but it was close enough to being possible that it got people talking. After all, it was only a few weeks ago that a monkey was found in a Toronto IKEA parking lot. So, the next time you create content and want to generate a buzz or go beyond the norm, ask yourself, does this engage me?

Create an Incentive
A good one! Consider your market and their needs and wants. If you are trying to gain a Facebook following, you need to encourage people to “Like” and “Share” your branded page. Providing an incentive to do so is key. Creating an incentive that goes viral is a little more challenging. Suppose you are looking to recruit young sales personnel for your storefront through Facebook. You have acknowledged that these prospective employees are highly engaged on the social platform and connect with brands that resonate with their identity and social groups. The challenge for you, is reaching them and converting them into followers and to make them aware of your opportunity and brand.  A very effective way to accomplish this goal is, as I said before, is to create a great incentive that is valuable to your targets. An opportunity to win a printer by “Liking” the page likely won’t be as successful as winning a $500 shopping spree for this audience.

Reward Action
This somewhat ties into my previous point, as it too, is an incentive. The difference is that you are providing an immediate compensation for the action of disseminating information. This is common practice among coupon and flash sale sites. They provide discounts or coupons to individuals who successfully refer new clients. Simple-to-use platforms, like that of Viral Ninjas, make this very easy to implement.

So, next time you have a goal in mind make sure to consider your content, target market and reward if you really want to get people talking. The strategy can and likely should extend beyond these basic principles, but I would love to hear from you. What do you think it takes to go viral? Do you have an example of a campaign that generated a lot of buzz? Please let me know in the comments section below!


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