I am pretty tired of reading about “experts” and “gurus” chatter about viral content being a be-all end-all tactic of successful marketing or communications. We may also see “going viral” as part of a set of other nuttiness like the “Ultimate 24-hour Facebook Campaign” and the “Become an Overnight Social Media Superstar” strategy.
It creates terrible conversations with businesspeople that pretty much revolve around some illogical plan that in order for brand to be noticed, they need to do something ridiculous and slap their logo on it.
I really did have a conversation some time ago that somehow connected being terrible on a social media platform to influencing people to visit a site and make a purchase. It hurt my brain. That’s not all that great of a content strategy. It’s terrible. Friends don’t let friends create stupid content during an exciting time of growth and influence on the web.
While it may sound fun and exciting to base a campaign off of notoriety or irreverence, it’s not exactly for every business out there. That stuff is completely different than creating remarkable content or something incredibly useful.
That’s the good kind of viral.
You know what? Eff “viral.” Let’s just shoot for remarkable or useful.
So how about we build foundations for either remarkable or plain darn useful content?
Google had a remarkable piece that promoted their Chrome browser. You have no soul if you aren’t somewhat touched by this unless you happen to be a robot. If so, that’s okay. Don’t get angry… I usually don’t discriminate against my android pals.
Or, maybe you’re incredibly useful like the instructional PDFs that come with a Dropbox account or the actual document or presentation demonstrations included with the iPad’s Pages and Keynote apps. All of that effort has made my life, and the lives of many others, a lot easier.
“But our organization is small and we can’t make stuff like that.”
Of course you can! Anyone can!
If you’re being all negative like that, then maybe it’s time to revisit your audience—your customer. Dig in and do a little homework about what they’re experiencing on a daily basis that would lead them to seeking your product or service. There’s got to be a reason, right?
Once you dig that up, figure out how to make the path from,
“Oh, my life really sucks right now because I need a solution for this PROBLEM that I have” to
“Oohh, I dig this solution. Get me a first-class ticket to wherever you are!” a lot easier to take.
Just make sure you’re on the receiving end of that fantastic path. The last thing you want to do is drop a bucket of insight that leads your customer to hit the road toward Better Solutions Elsewhere City.
If the offering serves your audience well, they’ll rave about it. You’ll have to market it of course, so don’t forget to set aside resources for that.
You don’t have to take my word for it though. Perhaps you have your own story about how your content went massively viral. Do you dislike the usage of viral as much as I do? Maybe you have a trial by fire story. If you have any story at all, feel free to share it here. I’d love to hear about it.