Monday, October 3, 2016

Capitalizing on Viral Trends

"The brain wants to have fun. If you keep thinking about that every day, you’re always going to be interesting and relevant. The brain hates boring and expected."
                                                                                 Linus Karlsson
Have you ever planked? Maybe you’ve tested your fortitude with the cinnamon challenge. How about grooving out with your favorite touchdown dance? Don’t be ashamed, millions of people have and had a great time doing it.
These examples are drawn from viral events and in marketing, catching a ride on a phenomenon sweeping the globe is like winning the lottery – if it is done properly. As for creating a viral event, that simply doesn’t happen. Not consciously, anyways. Viral happenings come from out of nowhere and organically attract a following. A video that has 6 million views on YouTube isn’t viral, unless of course those 6 million hits come all at once.

viral marketing

Put the idea of creating your own viral phenomenon out of your head – statistically, you have a better chance of being hit by lightning twice while a shark is nibbling on your toes.
Your best bet is to learn how to recognize a viral event and utilize it for your own benefits.
Trends such as 2016’s Pokémon Go craze are not always as obvious as they appear. Viral happenings occur overnight and last as long as the public’s attention is fixated on them. The dance craze’s of the 1920s can be directly attributed to lower prices in radios to spread the style, and television in its heyday created more than its share of national fervor – elevating social protest in the 60s, spreading pop culture through MTV in the 80s, and redirecting a generation toward online communication in the 90s.
Today, social media is the single most significant driver for culture. We are constantly a short tweet or text away from investing our interest in one another’s daily activities, catching up on breaking news, or winding down with some streaming videos. The more interest an event garners, the more it is transmitted, re-tweeted, liked, and shared until the steamroller of popularity puts it on everyone’s radar. No matter how disconnected they might be from the mainstream.
keep calm gangnam
Think of a viral idea as a pebble that starts to roll from the mountaintop - as it gains momentum, it bumps into and dislodges more pebbles, creating a force that now can dislodge and start larger rocks to rolling downhill. This momentum compounds until nothing in its way can go undisturbed, continuing on until it comes to rest at the bottom. Your message might not be that first pebble, but by keeping a watchful eye you can certainly throw your weight into the avalanche as one of the first.
Keeping up with trends can be extremely beneficial to a small business as it allows you to keep in touch with today’s common rhetoric. Consumers are infectiously intrigued by popular trends, sometimes even more so than their interest in the video, product or idea itself. By joining a movement, they become part to something universal and wide sweeping, feeding a deep-seeded desire to belong.
Political candidates use this psychology of inclusion as an integral element in their own marketing campaigns. Candidate X says, "WE Stand Together Against Y,” and candidate Y says, “Only Together Can WE Change America.” Both messages insinuate that not agreeing with the message makes the voter an outcast - not cool.

Trends become trendier just because they are trending. In the marketing world, this equates directly to traffic - traffic equals business, and subsequently, money. When consumers are in constant contact through social media apps, they discuss how and where they are retroactively affecting the performance of these trends through likes, comments and shares. The phenomenon of social media use goes back to our primal search to feel good – when another social media user reacts, the original poster’s endorphins go nuts, flooding their body with serotonin.
Simple as can be.
The first step in staying in tune with social media and that rock slide of viral fervor is to become a permanent resident in the online social sphere. Choose what platforms to subscribe to and keep at it with a consistent message and plenty of interaction. When an event occurs that you want to jump on board with, you will have a ready-built audience to help carry your modified message outward.
watch me whip
cinnamon challenge
Primarily, your strategy will revolve around a loose formula: four parts interaction (socializing), one part calling to action, and one part selling. For each of these elements, attach some indicator of the viral event: mention it, share it, re-tweet it, takes pictures of it… simply talk it up. Incorporate it any way you can along with your message branding. A good example of this in practice is a tweet we sent during the Pokémon Go craze:
Rare Pokémon captures with each free SMM consult. Contact us to book a guided, downtown safari! #pokemon #gottacatchemall #consulting #smm
Whether you blog about the viral phenomenon from an outsider’s point of view, take pictures of others participating in the event to post on social media, or directly participate and promote the heck out of yourself doing it, being associated with a viral trend is simply good business.
Stay in the social media stream and jump on a viral happening as soon as you come across a good one.
It will definitely pay off.