Everything About Viral Marketing Campaign
In contrast to most forms of advertising, which increase web traffic a modest amount, viral marketing campaigns can increase traffic to your law firm's website by as much as several thousand percent. What's more, they can do it without requiring a big expenditure—all you really need is the right idea and enough technological expertise to pull it off. Keep reading this guide to find out why viral marketing campaigns are really like viruses, and how those similarities can help you create a successful viral marketing campaign for your law firm.
What Can Viruses Teach Us About Viral Marketing Campaigns?
Viral marketing is called “viral” for a reason. In today's largely interconnected social media world, some ads can spread like viruses, becoming “contagious” across entire regions or even the whole globe. The similarities don't stop there: viral marketing campaigns and actual viruses have a lot in common. What can you learn from an organism measured in nanometers? Try this on for size:
• Viruses can't be spread without a host. Unlike bacteria, which can multiply all on their own, viruses need living hosts to survive and be transmitted. Similarly, your viral marketing campaign depends on people who are more than the sum of their demographics. If you want to think about how to “infect” as many people as possible, you need to know what they do and what might make them listen to your viral marketing campaign.
• Viruses fail when the host dies. If their host organism is killed by their actions, viruses can't keep spreading. While it's unlikely that your viral marketing campaign will actually kill anyone—and if there's a chance of that, perhaps you'd better reconsider—viral marketing campaigns can kill a customer's enthusiasm. Pushing too hard will turn people off, and that can cut off your viral campaign before it ever really begins.
• Viruses mutate. Once your viral marketing campaigns are broadcast to the world, you lose a certain amount of control over them. Because social media generates so many different conversations, you might see your intellectual property being “mashed up” and reworked. Unless something really egregious is occurring, it's usually best to keep a “hands off” approach—even if you're technically in the right, losing the goodwill of the internet community can make your victories Pyrrhic.
• Viruses have a life cycle. When an epidemic—or your viral marketing campaign—begins, only a few people will be infected. Usually, the curve for number of “infected” people will rise slowly at first, and then, when it reaches a critical mass, the numbers will rocket upward. These numbers plateau after a certain point, and it's very difficult to make them rise again.
• People develop immunities to viruses. You can't generally be infected with the same virus twice, because you'll gain antibodies that make you immune. Viral marketing campaigns that do something that's been done before are doomed to fail, because viewers are no longer “wowed” by your content enough to infect others with it.
Is Your Firm Ready for a Viral Marketing Campaign?
When your firm starts to contemplate viral marketing campaigns, it's important to think a few things over. Being completely honest, how internet savvy has your firm been in the last months or years? How much interaction have the attorneys or marketing professionals in your firm had with users of social media websites, and how well do you understand the tools on those websites? Are you familiar with at least a few successful viral marketing campaigns?
If your firm lacks internet knowledge, or if that knowledge is limited or outdated, a viral marketing campaign may not work for you. Good viral marketing campaigns require up to the minute knowledge not just of the law, but also of pop culture and internet memes. If you're not part of internet communities, it will be difficult or impossible to make a viral marketing campaign that doesn't seem tone deaf.
How Can I Guarantee Success with a Viral Marketing Campaign?
No matter what an agency or a marketing guru tells you, there's just one answer to this question: you can't. Just based on sheer numbers, most viral marketing campaigns are going to fail. No consumer can spend all day looking at viral ads, so not every viral marketing campaign will get the kind of attention that marketers hope for.
You can, however, increase your odds of success by making sure that you are constantly seeking feedback. Remember that it's statistically unlikely that your first viral marketing campaign will succeed, but that's no reason not to try again. Ask people with a good critical eye (or a marketing agency) what went wrong the first time and how you might be able to improve your viral marketing campaigns.
Don't try to force a viral marketing campaign that isn't working. Scrap it and move on to the next thing—the life cycle of viral marketing campaigns on the internet is notoriously quick, and you're usually better off coming up with new content than trying repeatedly to salvage your old efforts in the name of efficiency.
Using Agencies to Help You Develop Viral Marketing Campaigns
If your firm doesn't have a social media superstar who can readily create a popular viral marketing campaign, you may be considering hiring an agency. Before any agencies develop viral marketing campaigns for you, make sure that you have considered the agency's previous work carefully. You don't want to hire someone who could develop an unethical viral marketing campaign or whose work has resulted in embarrassment or public relations disasters for other clients.
The right agency should be able to craft viral marketing campaigns that go beyond flashy publicity stunts and into real information. Law firms are staffed by professionals, and while it's always a good idea to make your viral marketing campaign fun, it's not a good idea to make your firm seem in any way unprofessional or less likely to be taken seriously.