Virality is one of those big words used so much nowadays that it’s almost blaze. Clients demand it, marketers sought it, but it doesn’t have an effective study done to show how to obtain it. Of course there is some randomness to it – but it also involves some background and context.
Virality can be obtained via the following formula:
Know thy Consumer + Brand DNA + Stresstetainment + Social Tools = Engagement
Know thy Consumer – Who are you talking to? Well, if it is viral, then you definitely want to contact the trendsetters for the online world – the well know Generation C. Based on World Domination via Content creation, earning Cash, exposing their Creativity, paying no attention to the Casual Collapsing of old moral and social values, being in absolute Control of the market and soughting the Celebrity status, this generation is spending more and more time online, engaging with Brands in an hardcore fashion. Searching for information from their peers and pushing their influence onto others, they are the main motor for virality – so don’t ignore their way of life.
Brand DNA – How are you talking? Brands have to preserve their identity more and more in order to show a coherent image to their consumers – the Transparency Tyranny effect. This way, the Brands who are considered more influent in the symbolical universe of the consumers are those who clearly show their mission and values in a consistent, in-your-face attitude.
Stresstetainment – How long are you communicating? A trend first communicated in the Trendwatch, Stresstetainment shows us that time nowadays is apprehended as shorter than it used to be. We hardly have enough time to see everything we have to to be decently in tune with the latest trends and news. This way, three areas have to be considered when you want your consumer to pay attention to you and not to others:
- Timing – Be holistic in your approach – choose your channels wisely and communicate accordingly;
- Target – Be consistent in your target – take the long tail approach in your communication;
- Transparency – Be transparent in your communication – don’t fool your target or you’ll be wasting your time.
Social Tools – How are you communicating? Social tools are here to stay and their usefulness is far from being explored. Consider all the Social Bookmarking, Social Networking, Social Evolutionary Computation or even Forums, Blogs or Virtual Worlds. So instead of trying to replicate them, try to use them to your benefit – Database included! If you try to replicate them, the most probable result will be having a mere 1000 user database versus millions in a full scale Social Website.
In the end, it all leads up to ENGAGEMENT. Virality isn’t obtained via a short lived hype or random role of the dice in the online world. It can be obtained via a careful study of the context, the investment in a strong holistic concept and a deep knowledge of the consumer online.
This doesn’t guarantee you 100% sure virality, but it definitely takes you down the right path!