Blogs Are Conversations Waiting To Go Viral

A few years ago I stumbled across Dr Ralph Wilson suggestion that there are 6 fundamental principles of viral marketing:Viral Marketing Blogs Are Conversations Waiting To Go Viral

  1. Gives away products or services
  2. Provides for effortless transfer to others
  3. Scales easily from small to very large
  4. Exploits common motivations and behaviours
  5. Utilizes existing communication networks
  6. Takes advantage of others’ resources

When I first read Dr. Ralph’s 2005 post I didn’t truly understand the impact that viral marketing was going to have on us. While his hotmail example is still a great guide for product adoption, since 2005 the web has changed. Now everything can go viral.

We now live in the world of status updates, retweets, and diggs. We spend more time online, devour more information, and share that information across a far wider range of networks. Why? Because it’s easier and more fun than it has ever been.

Everyone can ‘go viral

Because every company has a story to tell, every decision is fuelled by inspiration, and every person has a passion to share, everyone can now ‘go viral’.

In the past if you were posting on a blog or Vlog to fuel an on going conversation what you were doing was not considered viral marketing, it was relationship marketing or PR. This was simply because adding to a conversation didn’t scale dramatically into the same explosive buzz that giving away email accounts did. But today any post that is shared, retweeted or Dugg becomes part of mini-viral interaction, and there are thousands of these mini-viruses spreading and then dying  out every single day.

6 has become 3

There are three fundamental viral conversation guides:

1. Start a conversation that inspires us
2. Make it easy for us to retweet, digg & share
Scales easily from small to very large – What number does your retweet button go up to?
Exploits common motivations and behaviors – We’ll share it if your story is good enough
Utilizes existing communication networks - We’ll share it wherever we want to
3. Use third party tools and apps e.g. don’t make a video & not upload it to youtube or vimeo

What do I do with this viral attention?

All traditional viral messages die eventually. The more people that know about your viral campaign the smaller the incentive to share becomes, but the more people that are involved in a conversation the more valuable the dialogue. With blogging, viral marketing shouldn’t be viewed as a once off promotion, but instead a catalyst for a drawing people into your conversation.

If you continue to spark enough mini-viral conversations, one day one of  them might just reach millions.  Just ask Jeff Jarvis who’s Dell Hell experience is now being used as a case study in first year marketing classes around the world.

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 Blogs Are Conversations Waiting To Go Viral

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