6 Steps To Going Viral On A Limited Budget
Last week we here at EDGE were fortunate enough to work with Bing & PMC to develop a viral campaign for The 14th Annual Young Hollywood Awards that would ensure brand mentions, sentiment impact, and community growth- the catch, we had 1 month and a very limited budget to do it all.
As a team we identified what the core principals are that drive valuable content and themes to go viral and then how as an agency we could create a campaign that could get the results Bing was looking for. We identified these 6 key principles and have listed them here along with our current results and hope that you can leverage our experience to create and enhance your own campaigns.
1) Create tip of the tongue creative
If you want something to go viral, create it so that can roll off the tip of your tongue. What makes something shareable is its ability to be easily passed from one conversation to another.
For Bing and the Young Hollywood Awards, we combined the essentials that make an awards shows great with key value traits of our clients brand and what we came up with was a mixture of big moments and the term bing itself, and when combined you get #MyBingMoment, a hashtag that drove a 300% increase in mentions on Twitter.
2) Develop 360-degree channel integration plan
Never focus on just one social media channel, look at every asset and invite them all to the party, after all that’s the whole point of being social right?
To increase reach, we developed a series of hashtag driven contests across Twitter that emphasized a photo sharing contest app we built on Facebook which was then advertised by a network of fashion bloggers we gathered in the LA area to spread the word even further. The multiple streams of engagement ensured that for every action, there were three or four reactions, is your social strategy doing the same?
3) Understand that high conversation rates does not mean high costs expenses
Going viral and getting the conversation started does not mean big dollars- it just means big effort compiled with strategic thinking, Most videos that go viral are not created by agencies, they’re created at home by customers for nothing without any media buy behind it, so much for the paid drives earned theory.
To get the conversation started across multiple networks, and after synergistically linking the social channels, we created small incentives & conversation starters based on last second consumer insight reporting in order to drive conversation. That, compiled with a great relationship building approach, increased our PTAT by 10,000% without a single ounce of paid media.
4) Activate influencers
Whether it’s in life or work, we’re all in the relationship business which is why it’s important to facilitate even that much more of a stronger relationship approach with online influencers and the people who have the power to make the most impact around your brand and with your customers.
To influence sentiment, we linked our social efforts and hashtags to a campaign we launched with 9 of the top fashion bloggers in LA, completely unpaid by the way, by bringing them to the show and providing them a holistic experience of the Young Hollywood Awards. Our blogger campaign has already received more than 2 million targeted consumer impressions, thousands of tweets and counting.
5) Go offline with your online
Life is social, so with mobile capabilities why should your online efforts only take place in front of your computer screen? They don’t have to anymore; with mobile you have the ability to do so much more with your social activations now offline.
To remain consistent, we strategically positioned our team at different locations with their phones synced to Instagram and took a score of photos that were linked to a Twitter hashtag. That along with a social media correspondent placed on the red carpet interviewing celebs, we were able to increase our Twitter mentions and grow our Instagram following and engagement rate by 1,500%.
6) Leverage the power if earned media
Earned Media is all around us and is the key to exposing your brand to millions of more customers; more importantly (if done right) earned media is free. At EDGE, when we create a campaign we always ask, now- how does it drive media?
To massively expand reach and community, we knew that if we had enough people chatting online, signs and interactions offline, along with our influencers tweeting, we’d get everyone talking about our campaign #MyBingMoment, it also helped we and the PMC team had personal relationships with media. The end results were that the campaign was mentioned on several news outlets, ION television, E! News and more, leading to more than 10 million media impressions and counting.
At the end of the day, we did this campaign for less than a few round trip flights around the globe in an effort to build new relationships and prove that big thinking and hard work outweigh big budgets.