09/5/14

Two Charity Campaigns that Went Viral

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

According to BBC News people donated $98.2 million to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association from July 29 to August 28 this year – compared with $2.7 million donated during the same period last year. All thanks to its Ice Bucket Challenge. Celebrities, politicians, business executives were among the thousands of people all over the world who took part in this clever social media campaign, including former President George W. Bush, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and performer Justin Timberlake. The campaign faced some criticism.  Not all #ALSIceBucketChallenge participants mention the disease and some celebrities use it more as a PR stunt for themselves. But as a marketer you have to admit that the campaign turned out to be a success and has achieved its overall goal: to raise awareness for ALS. According to BBC News the ALS Wikipedia page had 2,717,754 views from August 1 to August 27 this year, a significant increase compared to the 1,662,842 people who had visited the page during the preceding 12 months. By August 29 the Challenge had gained 4,483,726 Twitter mentions and increased its followers to 22,000, from 8,975 in early July.

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08/12/14

3 Common Mistakes Marketers Make When Trying To Make Their Campaign Go Viral

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

Photo: Markus Spiske

Photo: Markus Spiske

There is not shortage of articles that offer advice on how to create marketing content that can go viral. However, nobody can tell you for sure what mechanism works behind the phenomenon of viral campaigns: content that gets shared and commented on by millions of people worldwide.

The foundation of inbound marketing is simple: companies need to involve their audience in the creation process. David Spitz writes in his recent article for the Harvard Business Review that we need to change our thinking and ask ourselves “Who are the multipliers we are trying to reach with this campaign?” instead of “How can I make my content go viral?” For a B2B marketer aiming for a “viral” campaign could be even ineffective and a waste of marketing budget, since almost every viral content is targeting the mass market. Social media platforms have become the main source of content discovery and a major channel for audience engagement. Continue reading