#SMM, Online Marketing

Viral Marketing Initiatives

What is Viral Marketing?

Much like a cold or flu, Viral Marketing is when there is a high pass along rate from person to person (ie: shares, retweets, comments, etc.).  Over the years, there have been many examples of successful viral campaigns, and all of them utilize a few key characteristics.    Check out these Viral Campaign Traits as well as stellar examples for each:

Viral Campaign Traits & Examples

  1. Current – Old news is just that, old and forgotten. Viral campaigns are trend-setters on new-news which is why being current tops the chart of traits for a viral campaign. Take for example Planet Fitness who capitalized on one of the 5th worst power outages in NH this week with offering FREE visits to their NH facilities for shower, power and to use their equipment.  This social reaction filled a current need for those without power and, helps Planet Fitness to showcase their clean gym facility.


  1. Relevant – Relevancy can either be related to your target audience or more general in nature to attract a broader audience. Animal Adventure Park reached a broad audience and topped You Tube charts with April the Giraffe  as viewers anxiously awaited the birth of the baby giraffe (and then the name of the baby).  Here are their impressive campaign metrics:
  • 232 million live views
  • 6 billion minutes of live watch-time
  • 2nd most viewed YouTube History in 66 days
  • Top 5 most-watched moments for a live event on You Tube


  1. Creative – Creative marketing requires making new connections, with a focus on the unexpected. Housecleaning is what most considers a boring chore which is why the Clean  snappy, tongue in cheek and buzz worthy Valentine’s Day Video Ad was creative for this cleaning supply giant.  The Mr. Clean You Tube Video garnered these impressive metrics with its creative spin on cleaning every nook and cranny in your home:
  • 11,700 impressions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in ONLY 1 Minute.
  • To date, there have been over 17,500,000 views of this video.


  1. Purposeful – There is a difference in purpose and purposeful as it relates to marketing. Being purposeful focuses on a problem or challenge and uses sale of products and services to create positive change. As we are coming up on Black Friday, it comes to mind the story of REI  who took chance a few years ago with #OptOutside.  This campaign encouraged people to go outside and enjoy the beauty of the world instead of shopping on Black Friday. This has been so successful; other companies have joined in this effort and REI has used #OptOutside consistently to showcase that their brand is focused on the great outdoors.


  1. Shareable

Social Media is no longer just for the tech-savvy, it is a platform to leverage the internet to inspire millions to follow a story, share it on their own feeds and participate in conversations (and debates).  It should come as no surprise that one of the most shared campaigns has been surrounding President Trump.   There is a Huffington Post  titled “An Open Letter to My Friends Who Supported Donald Trump” which was shared a total of 2.2Million times across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Domain shares.

The fun part about Viral Marketing is that you never know what will take off, what will speak to the masses, and how far it will reach the depths of social media.  There are so many examples of viral campaigns, what is your favorite one and why?

Online Marketing

5-Step Email Marketing

One of the most used methods of online marketing is e-mail marketing, yet very few articles have an A-Z guide on what you will need to be successful in this medium.  Here is a 6-step process on how to get started with your email marketing campaign today!

Step 1 – The Why’s

The first step is to understand why to email your customers.  Forbes shares these benefits of email marketing:

  • 91% of US adults like Emailed Promotions
  • Email is 40% more effective than Facebook & Twitter
  • Builds Credibility
  • Boosts Sales
  • Strengthen Relationships
  • Device Agnostic (open on any mobile platform)
  • Looks professional
  • Garners Immediate Results
  • Generate Leads
  • Promote Services
  • Attract New Clients

Email Marketing is indeed a key to generating revenue for both acquisition and retention efforts.  It can strengthen the business’s marketing efforts by efficiently delivering content on a routine basis to everyone that has opted into marketing (more about opt-ins below).  Email marketing content should be a complementary array of promotional and brand messages to keep readers engaged, informed and interested in remaining opted-in to continue to receive emails.

Step 2 – The Strategy

Once a business determines to pull the trigger on email marketing, the next step is to learn the science behind creating an Email Marketing strategy such as these key ingredients:

  • Customers Must Opt-In
  • Customers Must be able to Opt-Out
  • Honor Opt-Outs Quickly
  • Straightforward Subject Lines
  • From/To/Reply must be authentic
  • Include a real postal address
  • Be upfront that it is an Advertisement
  • Use caution with “forward to a friend” email
  • Understand what makes a commercial email
  • Be aware of emails send on your behalf


One helpful tip in creating the strategy is to think like the consumer such as: Would you want to read the email? Is the content aligned to your target audience?  Is it snazzy and eye-catching or just a whole bunch of words?  If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it is time to re-think the strategy until you can answer “yes”.

Step 4 – The Database

Once the content is built, will they come?  Um, likely not.

Growing an email database will take more time and effort than designing the content. Building a Killer Email Marketing List starts with your strategy and then focuses such as simple opt-in forms, list management, subscriber management and performance tracking aid into making a healthy database.  The majority of your email database will come when consumers “opt-in” to receive your emails.

Hubspot, a successful inbound community helping businesses reach their goals share these tactics on how to Grow an Opt-In List:

  • Create gated assets (webinars, e-books, a variety of content) to for people to give you their email address
  • Create useful tools
  • Promote your gated assets on your marketing channels (ie: social, blogs, etc.)
  • Run creative email marketing campaigns with a call to action and/or reengagement campaign

Step 5 – The Laws

Yes, there are anti-marketing and Spam laws.  Spam is when you get copies of the same email message even when you do not choose to receive it. There are laws surrounding spam, such as the Can-Spam Act of 2003  which assigns a hefty fine of $16,000 per infringed email.  There are also marketing laws specific to each state and country so be sure to research these before deploying an email marketing campaign.

Step 6 – The White Flag  

If all else fails, choose from one of these Best Email Marketing Services which have been reviewed from an overall perspective as well as Email Sending, Creating and List Management.

Have other tips and tricks to share?  Let me know in the comments!