7 Hot Viral Marketing Campaigns Any Business Can Run

Sept 29th/2010

Today we are going to review a variety of marketing techniques that are generating a lot of favorable talk for the companies using these methods. Each can be used to generate more talk about your business and increase sales leads.

Some are complete business strategies, others are the basis for a strong advertising campaign, and some make powerful slogans for a business.

#1) Challenges

The word challenge has become one of the most effective words in marketing over the last few years.

Savvy businesses are challenging their customers not just to use their product, but to try to achieve a specific result with it.

Good challenges have a time component to it:

“Take Our 7 Day Challenge”

You may also consider offering a reward for those who complete your challenge.

“Those Who Last 30 Days Receive a Free…”

You could even promise a refund to customers if they fail to achieve the results you are promising providing they follow the program.

“Follow this challenge, and if you complete it without achieving <goal xyz>, we’ll give you a full refund”.

#2) Experiments

You can remove all the risk out of a decision if you can create an experiment that proves your product/service can achieve a certain result for people.

The best experiment I’ve seen to date was on a poker site called Full Tilt Poker. Chris Ferguson, a professional poker player, created a little experiment which inspired an entire generation of wannabe pro’s.

He made a pledge to create a $10,000 online poker bankroll by starting with a bankroll of $0. He started in Freerolls - poker tournaments that have no buy-in and award the winners with a small amount of money. He then used smart bankroll management to turn his $1 into $10, his $10 into $100, and so on until he reached the $10,000 mark.

In the months that followed, thousands of players buckled down on Full Tilt Poker to try to duplicate his experiment, playing hundreds of thousands of hands of poker – with the house receiving a cut of every one of them.

Your experiment must be 100% clean of statistical trickery. People must be able to observe the progress of the experiment independently. They must feel that what they are watching is 100% legitimate – something they can repeat if they dedicate themselves to it.

There are too many experiments that occur under lab conditions a regular person could never duplicate. People have grown wise to these phony experiments.

Experiments make great viral marketing campaigns because people talk about experiments that interest them.

#3) Competitions

Give your customers the chance to compete against each other in a competition – with the winner receiving a prize.

Competitions make great public relations opportunities. The media loves stories about fierce competitions.

This works a lot like a challenge. People love the challenge of beating out a field of competitors.

Create a competition that involves using your product to achieve a specific goal, and you’ll increase the immediate use of your product, and generate a lot of word of mouth and publicity for your product at the same time.

#4) Program/Systems

Many companies are too product focused. But people are only willing to pay so much for a product. The question is, what problem does your product/service actually solve?

Create a program or system which includes a proven program or system which helps the user increase their chance of obtaining the goal that caused them to buy the product in the first place.

Not only can you charge more by including a system, people are more likely to talk favorably about your product if they have been successful with it.

Include some type of guide with your product that helps people achieve exceptional results.

#5) Simple Company Goals/Projects/Mission Statements

Simple company mission statements help your customers understand what you can do for them. The key is to avoid using complicated words, and to talk in their language – without using corporate jargon.

For example, a financial organization could market itself using the following statement:

“Our company exists for one reason – to help people pick stocks that are about to take off. That’s all we do, and we’re good at it.”

A corporate egghead would rewrite this sentence something like this:

“Our company strives to generate dynamic solutions for our financial partners and stakeholders. Through corporate leveraging and key strategic partners, we formulate customized monetary solutions for our clients.”

Microsoft was the best at this: “A computer in every living room by 2000”.

Microsoft had a clear goal. Their goal, if successful, would clearly create a better world. And the company seemingly had our best interest at heart. Since the goal was achieved, however, Microsoft failed to create a new goal – and their competitors have been quick to move in from every direction.

Having a clear company goal will cause people who believe in that goal to recommend your company to everybody they know who needs what you are selling.

#6) Revolutions

Challenge the way your industry operates with a "Revolution". Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is a huge hit right now.

If your business offers something nobody else in your industry does, or if your business is working towards changing something in your industry then start your own revolution.

Consumers love the idea of a company championing something they agree with. By positioning your business as the leader who is taking on an injustice in your industry you can create customer loyalty in a way that few other marketing methods can.

Revolutions are a great viral marketing weapon businesses of any size can use.

#7) Bootcamps

If your business involves helping customers achieve a specific goal you may consider running bootcamps which teach your customers how to succeed at achieving their goals.

You may even be able to expand your business. If you offer a product, why not create a service packaged as a bootcamp which helps people learn to use it effectively. People will pay for knowledge that helps them achieve a goal.

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