Viral marketing is programs designed to accelerate awareness, trial and sales through a high degree of social media networking being shared or spread in a short period of time (as defined to Wikipedia).
Successful viral social media marketing campaigns deliver big media exposure and buzz for a relatively small investment. But one of the biggest dividend occurs in how viral marketing programs encourage others to share.
Here’s what 6 viral marketing case studies teach us.
1. ACNE FREE: Decided to generate awareness of a new product, Therapeutic Sulfur Mask, through sampling and sharing on social media, not that traditional route. Through their Facebook page, the AcneFree fan-gated welcome tab featured a form for fans to fill out as well as a share and tweet button on the offer. The goal was to gain 30,000 “Likes” by launch. The page had 41,000 “Likes” with only $1,100 spent on advertising. The deal was shared on Facebook over 500 times and tweeted over 1,000 times. The “Talking About This” metric was the highest in the catetory and the Facebook page now has 101,000 “Likes.
2. BLENDTEC: Is a company that manufactures blenders for industrial use (Starbucks uses Blendtec blenders to grind coffee beans). They decide to sell direct to consumers through commercials on YouTube that cost $1,000 each. CEO Tom Dickson blends golf balls, broom handles, iPhones and iPads in a Blendtec blender in these commercials to prove the blender’s effectiveness. Many of the commercials receive 10,000,000+ views, the Blendtec website receives 120,000,000+ visitors in the month the commercials launch and Blendtec sales increase +700%.
3. CHRISTIAN DIOR: As viral marketing has evolved, it has been integrated with mass marketing. In May 2012, Christian Dior released a YouTube video called ‘Secret Garden – Versailles’, supported on the brand’s Facebook page, Twitter profile and magazine, DiorMag. to generate awareness for the Fall collection. A ‘Making of’ video was issued 10 days later with similar social media support. The 1st video received 17,000,000+ views; the follow up video received 5,000,000+; social network enrollment experienced a huge increase; all for a marginal investment relative to traditional marketing.
4. FORD FIESTA: Selects 100 socially vibrant individuals who are provided with the European version of the Ford Fiesta 18 months prior to it being manufactured and released in the USA. These socially media aware fanatics are encouraged to share their experience with the Ford Fiesta over the 6 months on their Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube channels. The effort generates 11,000,000 social media impressions; 11,000 videos uploaded, 13,000 photos posted and 50,000 “hand raisers” or “leads” who want more information; 97% did not currently own a Ford.
4. OLD SPICE: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” featuring Isaiah Mustafa attracted 19,000,000+ views to date across all platforms according to Visible Measures. Perhaps more interesting is the level of engagement demonstrated by the number of responses the video received within the first 24 hours compared to other historic videos.
5. TOYOTA: Toyota in the UK put together a social media marketing program that saw two bloggers attempting a 500-mile road trip in a Toyota iQ, all on a single tank of petrol. The trip would take the two drivers to 18 UK cities and every step of the journey would be shared through social media. It resulted in 64 blogs, including Wired, the New York Times and Treehugger reporting the attempt. Toyota reaching a potential audience of over 105 million readers worldwide. It reached a possible 3.7 million in the UK alone. Traffic to the Toyota iQ blog increased by more than 212%
What all of these case studies teach me is one of the most critical planning point for a viral social media campaign is how it will be shared. What do these 6 viral social media case studies teach you?