“Going Viral” is not a strategy

Posted on Tue, 16 Dec 2014

With the advent of the internet, the market has become saturated with start-ups. The key to success for most start-ups, is getting noticed and becoming relevant, however this can prove to be a challenge. Trying to capture the attention of an audience who see hundreds of advertisements each day is hard. Most SMBs don’t really have a strategy on how to capture audiences, and the ones that do always want to ‘go viral’ because they can’t afford huge marketing campaigns.

Everyone wants to ‘go viral’. Unfortunately, as Darcy Schuller mentioned in her article, going viral is merely a desired outcome and not a strategy. To begin with, let’s look at the definition of ‘viral’. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, viral means quickly and widely spread or popularized especially by person-to-person electronic communication. I would personally like to add one more word in this definition and that is ‘spontaneous’. Most viral campaigns happen spontaneously and if you ask any general of any army, they would call you bonkers if you placed spontaneity and strategy on the same level.

Here at Sourceguru, we share the same view as Darcy Schuller. We believe that there are various ways of marketing your start-up and many of them don’t have to break the bank. They key though is being committed, consistent and persistent in your marketing efforts. Here are a few points that we feel could really help you in your marketing efforts.

Tell your story

Most start-ups tend to want to tell their prospective consumers what they offer and a list of features and specifications of their products or services. We get it, you’re good at what you do. At the end of the day, the consumer always wants to know how they can benefit from buying your product or signing up for it. Shift the focus from the features and specifications to the benefits of acquiring the products. What do consumers gain from it? Is it solving a pain that is in their lives? It can always be risky trying to create a need, instead, identify a problem they have and demonstrate how your product solves that problem.

Be a thought-leader in your field

Let’s face it, no one is going to listen to you if you have no expert value. That’s just the way it is. You can grumble about it all you want but this fact isn’t going anywhere. Put yourself out there as a thought leader by engaging in online forum discussions or doing a live discussions at a University or an association. Read up about how the industry you’re involved in is doing and and share your thoughts on trends or predictions of where the industry is moving in the future. Over time, your reputation and credibility will grow, and so will your fan-base.

Leverage on social media

Social media has one advantage over all other forms of communications. It happens in real-time but that doesn’t mean that you have to be fast and ready at all times. You can never predict what’s going to happen to your brand on social media but you can prepare for as many scenarios as possible. When something goes wrong, it’s going to escalate fast on social media. Your job is to address your fans in a clear and concise manner, and more often than not, it’s wiser to take your time to craft a good response. Most companies make the mistake of crafting a response in a hurry and usually, that’s when things go wrong. Using social media as part of your marketing strategy can be a really good idea if managed well however, it can become really expensive when executed poorly.

Darcy Schuller has given 17 more tips on how to further boost your company’s campaign on raising awareness. We found a few treasures in there that you might find interesting. Check it out!

Originally published at blog.sourceguru.com.

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