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How can B2B companies approach viral marketing?

Can B2B marketing be fun and creative? The idea came to me to write about it because at newAD we are now talking to one of our clients, an IT company, to use viral campaigns as part of their marketing plan. With viral marketing, online campaigns get a life of their own, because, if the spot is both funny and witty,  everyone wants to see it and share it. The rules for success in B2B viral campaigns could be summarized in:

  • Make sure the specialized agency delivers good content, which is both interesting and funny, and conveyes the benefits of your products or services. Research several social media sites, such as YouTube and StumbleUpon, to discover what the big success stories were for industries related to yours and try to replicate that success.
  • Build a fan base. Put the video on your company website and integrate other social media tools to build a user base and communicate with them.
  • Use Search Engine Optimization, as your video has to be easily discovered through YouTube search. That’s why videos should have clear titles, an accurate description and appropriate keyword tags so that they can appears correctly in a YouTube search.

How can viral marketing benefit B2B marketers? The way that people find answers to their problems and research problems is to turn first to Google. In this respect, viral marketing spreads your ideas so that people find you. Any company with irelevant  ideas to share—and intelligent methods to gain interest in them—can, after a while, get fame and success on the Web. A successful viral marketing campaign can increase exposure for your company and product while increasing the number of links to your website.

An interesting thing that our client wanted to know was how can the effectiveness of their viral campaign be measured. The truth is you cannot measure it in the number of sales leads if gets you. It’s all about spreading your ideas, without spamming people.

There are, though, things you can measure:

  • How many potential clients are exposed to your ideas?
  • How often bloggers talk about you and your ideas? And what are those bloggers saying?
  • Where are you appearing in search results for important phrases?

If your viral campaign is successful you need to follow it up with something that holds the audience’s attention. This can be a sequel, or some behind the scenes videos, but the idea is to exploit the buzz you’ve originally created for as long as you can.

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Filed under: b2b marketing, Best Practices, General, Guerilla Marketing, how to, Marketing Tactics, , , ,

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