Monday, November 10, 2014

Going Viral

This is a simple but little known trick in helping something go viral. Find the people who are most influential in their fields, the people who speak and write and are quoted and have blogs and are interviewed and whose voices are listened to. Show them your stuff. If they like it, it will go viral. It’s that simple. I have done this several times for different companies. At Hallmark, when we were launching our personalized Letter from Santa, we made one for Johnny Carson and sent it to him knowing there was a high probability that he would read it on air. When I took the marketing VP helm at Element K (now Skillsoft), I asked our customers to whom they listened for advice. It turned out that two magazines, one conference and two industry experts were all we needed to focus on to get our story spread throughout the industry. And it worked…inexpensively, I might add.

I just offered free copies of Brand Aid, second edition to top brand management professors at top business schools. I notified the heads of the top 200 ad agencies about the publication of the first edition of Brand Aid.

Think about it. If you can touch the heart or mind of someone who can reach 400,000 people, the impact is substantially larger than touching the heart or mind of the average person.

Yes, making something cute, clever, outrageous, unexpected or entertaining will help it become viral. But jump-starting its geometric spread will depend on getting it to the right people who can multiply its effect. Good luck.

Pre-order Brand Aid, second edition here.

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