The term "viral" is on everyone's lips these days. Media outlets large and small are increasingly devoting time to covering the latest viral video or tweet. But what exactly is viral content? Does viral content tend to have certain characteristics that lend to its success? Why do we love it? Simply put, what makes content go viral?
IS IT VIRAL?
By way of a social media marketing 101 working definition, content goes viral if it spreads very fast on the Internet, just like a flu virus would in real life. The content itself can be an article, a blog, a picture, or a video, but it must be very funny, controversial or thought-provoking so that people feel an urge to talk about it or share it on social media.
Marketers are always trying to create campaigns that go viral. Hubspot social media scientist Dan Zarella defines a viral marketing campaign as "any online content created with the intent to 'go viral.' This includes non-interactive media like videos, podcasts, articles or blog posts, as well as interactive content like tools, web-based games or ARGs (alternate reality games)."
Tremendous Upswings in North America & Western Europe Drive Mobile Momentum
NEW YORK, NY AND BRUSSELS (July 9, 2013) — The U.S. IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB Europe and IHS revealed today that global figures for mobile advertising revenue leaped a massive 82.8 percent to $8.9 billion (€6.9 billion) in 2012 from $5.3 billion (€3.8 billion) in 2011 – highlighting a strong positive growth story taking place across mobile advertising formats. With growth rates of 88.8 percent in search, 87.3 percent in display and 40.2 percent in messaging at a global level, ad spend in these formats reflects bullish growth in the sector.
Mobile advertising revenue continues to be dominated by the search segment, which represented 52.8 percent of total global mobile advertising revenue, or $4.7 USD (€3.6 billion EURO) in 2012, $2.5 billion in 2011(€1.9 billion). Display advertising accounted for 38.7 percent and messaging 8.5 percent.
The share by region of the global figure of $8.9 billion (€6.9 billion) for 2012 is:
- Asia-Pacific: 40.2% ($3,558 million/€2,769 million)
- North America: 39.8% ($3,525 million/€2,743 million)
- Western Europe: 16.9% ($1,499 million/€1,167 million)
- Central Europe: 1.3% ($112 million/€87 million)
- Middle East & Africa: 1.2% ($109 million/€85 million)
- Latin America: 0.6% ($50 million/€39 million)
Some small businesses are getting creative and earning their social media followers' trust -- and their dollars -- by ditching the one-way hard sell that's all too common on Facebook and Twitter.
They understand that social-media platforms are fertile ground for potentially lucrative two-way conversations with their target customers. To these companies, there's much more to social marketing than peddling their brand story as bait for hollow likes, re-pins and re-tweets.
Here's a look at three such businesses using inventive and effective social-media strategies to boost brand awareness, build relationships with customers and drive sales:
1. Warby Parker
Warby Parker's 'Home Try-On' campaign lets customers get feedback from their social-media friends on which glasses they should purchase.
In content marketing, consistency is everything. In an interview with Marketing Sherpa, George Stenitzer, VP of Communications at Tellabs claims that his content marketing strategy, which he refers to as "message maps," tripled his company's yearly revenue. These message maps are nothing more than a one-page document, outlining the most important points on a given topic and are designed to keep all departments on the same page with content publishing. After using message maps for one year, Tellabs was able to triple their engagement with company-produced content, which Stenitzer says ultimately contributed to the boost in revenue.
This engagement, Stenitzer says, must come within the first ten seconds (about twenty words) of the process. From here, if the reader is engaged, he will make his way down the "content funnel." Identifying the various levels of the content funnel is the first step in creating a message map. Stenitzer divides these levels of the funnel into four different categories depending on their level of engagement.
With their recent study, The Creative Group predicts that the majority of advertising and marketing executives (62%) expect an increase of their company's spending on Facebook marketing in the follwoing twelve months – 9% more than they predcited one year ago.
Not surprisingly, the advertising spend on Facebook leads the list of social ad spendings. However, the majority of executives will also invest in other channels more than last year: LinkedIn (51% up from 38%) and Google+ (50% from 41%). Twitter is also on the plan for a budget increase with 48%, as well as Youtube (40%), Pinterest (35%) and Instagram (32%)
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