Traditional marketing is dying
Not a new statement but it’s one that is becoming ever more true as advances into social media develop. Platforms like Twitter allow brands to not only target new audiences, but communicate with them in a way that is not possible across other forms of marketing. The ability for a brand to be able to converse with a target audience in a real-time within minutes of any major news is now one of the most powerful of marketing tools, allowing brands who make good use of it to access new and previously unreachable audiences.
As an agency that specialises in social media for brands that market to sports fans, it’s in our nature to know what sports fans are talking about and what makes them tick. This insight into their habits gives us the slightest edge over our competitors and gives that important boost to our clients, who are desperate to have their message spread the farthest in the quickest time.
What is viral?
When we talk about ‘viral’ content, in essence we’re talking about content that hits a mass market audience in a small amount of time. There is no set number of people to reach for something to be deemed viral. That said, if large numbers of people are sharing and interacting around a piece of content, then it’s had what is deemed to be a viral pickup.
How does a piece of content go viral?
Here we break down the viral process into 5 simple steps:
- Choose your topic: Pick a topic that is currently either trending or one that has a sufficient active target base to tap into
- Brainstorm a few ideas that can work around said topic. These ideas need to be played out in a simple media format so that it’s easy for your audience to interact (comment/share) with. Content can be either proactive (planned) or reactive, however reactive pieces tend to have more impact (overall) based on the relevancy to a trending topic
- Publish your content during the height of the trend. Timing is critical when it comes to viral content plays. It’s a hot topic, therefore it’s obvious that you’re not the only brand piecing together a response, so be quick, or you’ll miss out.
- Aim to syndicate your content to a network of influential Twitter accounts, they can ensure your contact spreads faster and further than if you pushed organically. This requires you have to have an influencer network to begin with. We find having this at our disposal ensures our clients’ content travels faster and further than those that do not. Note: when it comes to reactive viral content, promoted spend may not have any impact, due to the time it takes for your advert to be approved.
- As your content spreads, it’s likely to be picked up by more influential accounts, in addition to the target audience thus reaching critical mass
Examples of Viral Content
The Tweet below is one we created 888sport. With over two thousand retweets it’s a great example of viral content made simple
The next example we created for Fantasy League.
— Fantasy League (@fantasyleague) June 25, 2014
Important to the success of these examples is the fact that they are original pieces of content. The first crossed the boundaries of two sports. Furthermore the fact that people were talking about both the England v India cricket match, as well as Liverpool’s transfer targets at Southampton meant that the tweet tapped into both trends.
The second was a reactive meme about the trending Luis Suarez bite, which created a buzz at a time when many brands were merely posting generic content, reporting the incident.
Virality is not just about retweets and favourites and in the case of Moneygram Cricket, this piece of content was picked up by a major influencer in Kevin Peterson, reaching millions of people organically and has thus helped the account grow to over 18,000 followers.
We have collated other examples of viral content that we have created and placed them on this Pinterest board Follow We Play’s board Viral Content on Pinterest.
Other Examples of Viral Content
— adidas UK (@adidasUK) December 15, 2013
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 9, 2014
— Sony Xperia GB (@sonyxperiagb) July 9, 2014
Shareable content is central to Twitter, but a brand will always limit the success of a post if it is something that has already been widely circulated. Coming up with an original concept will always enhance the success of your content and help it become viral.
Not all content goes viral for the right reasons. While it is important to be unique and maximise the potential to share content with humour, it is important to understand the audience you are serving.
Any piece of content from a brand that goes viral will be seen by millions of users on Twitter, yet costs relatively little. Compare that with other formats where you can spend tens of thousands to reach the same sized audience. Being active, engaged and in the know on social media will increase the chances of content going viral, in turn widening the fan base of any brand on platforms like Twitter.
Many brands may not have the resources to attribute to creating proactive or reactive content for social platforms, therefore investing in social media experts to run your social media strategy will ensure that when a trend or hot topic breaks, your message can achieve mega cut through, without spending millions on traditional media.
Want to discuss your approach to social media with us?
We can help you maximise your efforts