How Viral Marketing can really, really work

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“Oh, we’ll do it with viral marketing, we’ll just use Viral Marketing and it’ll take off and blow sales (hits, links, ads, whatever) out of the water.

But of course, 99.9% of the time, it falls flat. Why? Because marketers who want to use viral tend to forget one very important point: Viral marketing, to work efficiently and correctly, has to have not only a call to action, but a personal mission.

What’s a personal mission? It’s what someone offers and puts on the line when they see your viral ad or story or site or whatever. It’s what they DO because they want to, not because you asked them to. It’s personal – it’s about trust. Check it out:

They think, “OK, I’m going to forward this onto my friends.” That’s the call to action. But it’s also the personal mission – You’re asking people to basically put their reputation on the line for you. They’re forwarding stuff to their friends, (which is much, much more likely to be opened than a simple email ad or opt-in email,) and say, “hey, you trust me, so check this out, you’ll like it, and I’m willing to risk that trust by sending it to you.”

That, my friends, is how viral needs to work. And with that, may I present, approximately 24 or so hours old,

“Stolen Sidekick.”

Viral done 100% right. And like almost all virals that are done 100% right, it wasn’t intended to be a viral, or market anything, or for that matter, even sell anything. And that’s why it’s so perfect. And I know that’s hard to replicate in the “real world,” (i.e., sell something to earn money,) but there are ways. Your job is to figure those ways out, and create a viral for your client or company that’s 100% right.

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