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What Does Viral Mean To Me?

Aug 28, 2009   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Social Media  //  No Comments

Wikipedia define Viral Marketing as:

The buzzwords viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages. The basic form of viral marketing is not infinitely sustainable.

The goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to identify individuals with high Social Networking Potential (SNP) and create Viral Messages that appeal to this segment of the population and have a high probability of being passed along.

Ok so in basic terms how can I apply this to help my business produce sales and leads?

But how?

There are a lot of concepts to viral marketing. Here are 7 important ones:

1: Make people feel something
Create emotion good or bad. Forget about being neutral stand up and be bold and expressive. You want people to:

  • be filled with love or hate
  • be happy or angry
  • be expressive or a crank
  • have their heart pumping from excitement

Just do it!

2: Do something unexpected
This is pretty simple, if you want people to notice your campaign you have to do something – DIFFERENT.

Forget about promoting your products and how great they are – everyone has done that before and people don’t care. Forget about making it cool – everyone has been there and did that.

3: Do not try to make advertisements (that are normal or common place)
One of the biggest mistake companies make is when they think viral marketing is just advertisements that people share – it is not. Traditional marketing is about promoting your product, showing how good it is, giving it center stage – and generally being incredibly selfish.

But guess what, nobody cares about you!

Viral marketing is all about a good story.

4: Follow up on what is successful
People have seen your campaign and you have pumped up the volume and they are interested – you have them at your finger tips.

What comes next?

Most companies will do nothing they let the energy die… and that is the worst mistake. When you have people’s attention you need to act, and one of the best things to do is feed the energy and give them more. You can do this by:

  • Extra content or video similar to what you have done
  • Break down the curtain and give a behind the scenes look at the creative machine
  • Bloopers
  • Extras
  • Education

Never let people hanging… Feed the addiction.

5: Allow Sharing, downloading, and embedding
Viral Marketing is all about sharing. If people can’t share your message then it will never reach a viral status. This means you need to allow people to:

  • Download or view the content
  • Allow other to embed the content on their site
  • Send it to others, either directly or via a link
  • Publish it on Social Networks
  • Allow people to Social Bookmark your content

6: Connect with comments
You have created something that has caught people’s attention, they are excited and want to talk.

Just remember creating a viral buzz means that people really like what you have created. That means you also have raised emotions Good and Bad, you have to accept both in your comments, and you have to welcome all.

Most important connecting means you have to communicate! It cannot be a one-way communication. Do not add a comments area if you are not willing to participate.

7: Never restrict access!
Viral Marketing is about creating something that develops a life on its own. Think of a computer virus and how it spreads throughout the world.
Remember to get people to tie into your marketing it has to be FREE.

  • Do not require people to register
  • To become members
  • To download special software
  • … or do something in order to get the right link.

Viral marketing is never about exclusivity. It is about getting it out there for everyone to see.


There is a common message in all of these concepts. It is that you need to make it right – or not do it at all. Only the best viral marketing campaigns make it – the rest literally suck.

If you have any tips of your own, I sure would like to know about them! Also, If would very like to see any cool viral advertisement that you might know of.

The staff of 4D Impressions is here to help you design a roadmap that will aid in you in creating successful internet marketing campaigns.

Links for 8-18-2009

Aug 18, 2009   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Thought Leadership  //  No Comments

Is Twitter for Business or Is It a Youthful Fad?

Aug 15, 2009   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Social Media  //  No Comments

I was reading Information Week this morning and I came across a very interesting article based around Twitter and why CIOs need to understand its corporate power. In the article Bob Evans states, “So you don’t use Twitter, huh? You think it’s a silly productivity drain and solely the province of professional goofballs and teenagers? With zero or less than zero business value?

You couldn’t possibly be more wrong. And at best, your blinders could get you labeled permanently as the backward-looking CIO who’s resistant to new ideas. At worst, your pig-headedness could cost you your job.”

So is Twitter the revolutionary save all to the “Next Generation of Marketing”? My answer would be NO, with a strong But…

Is Twitter a tool that we should all be looking at? To answer that Bob does cite some very strong cases of companies that are currently utilizing Twitter and being successful at it. At 4DImpressions we have customers who are utilizing the power of Twitter and the data that Twitter has within and beyond what most people think Twitter is used for.

As Bob shows why CIO’s should watch what Mayo Clinic, and PepsiCo are doing we should be watching how the small companies like the Australian winery are utilizing the power of Twitermania for their benefit.

The information Week article can be found here: http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/interviews/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218900376

So do you believe that Twitter is for Business or should it be left for NFL football players and the Ashton Kutcher’s of the world?

I would like to hear your thoughts.

Erik Olson
President – 4D Impressions

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