Keeping it viral. Making it useful.

I’ve just read a great post by Richard Lees (dbg) on Econsultancy about keeping viral campaigns going, and how important it is to make sure that you get something from them. He’s been working with Beatbullying’s ‘The Big March’ campaign – the worlds first virtual online protest – in order to make sure that they follow-up on the initial hype and capitalise on their success.

Some key bits of advice from him on thinking ‘long term’:

  • Create something which is relevant and wonderful (goes without saying!)
  • Excite people
  • Think about the channels which are best for communicating with your target audience
  • Include clever data capture where possible (getting the right data to ensure ongoing communication is relevent and in the right format)
  • Just because someone has engaged with your campaign does not mean that they have an affinity with your brand – Follow up communication should work on creating this
  • Follow up should always have a reason, and must absolutely NOT be merged with in-house marketing lists without good reason
  • Plan the campaign in full – not just the initial elements, but the 12 months or so following and the materials which will need to be developed in order to keep it alive

Wise words! You can see how these have been put into action if you sign up to the Beatbullying campaign. The website is by far the best charity website I have ever seen, with the design and functionality clearly well thought-out and appealing to both kids and adults alike. You can explore it. It’s fun. It’s full of relevent content in lots of different formats, and it gives you lots of opportunity to ‘spread the word’. Most importantly, it captures data from you the minute you sign up. The supporting Facebook page and Twitter accounts are still very active even though the main online protest event has already happened, and you can see how they are working hard to maintain the momentum which the campaign would have created initially.

I think a lot of valuable lessons can be learnt from this. It would be interesting to see just how many of the most talked about recent viral campaigns have thought this long-term and planned so well for longer term relationships with their supporters!



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