10 Reasons Why Online Marketing Campaigns Don’t Work

Friday 12th, August 2016

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Trying to get your content to go viral often seems like solving a Sphinx’s puzzle – figure it out or face crushing defeat (or in the Sphinx’s case, be eaten!).

Marketers over the world are flummoxed by what really makes any content (articles, ads, videos) go viral.

Some of us have our theories. But sometimes despite our best effort, content doesn’t go viral – leaving marketers deflated.

Majority of marketers feel that getting a digital marketing campaign to go viral is largely a combination of luck and timing.

Though not completely untrue, we need to remember that a lot of thought and effort goes into making a viral campaign!

That said, let’s discuss some errors that marketers can avoid, to improve a digital marketing campaign’s chances of spreading like wildfire.

Too complex

We’ve all fallen victim to unfortunate episodes of explaining something in excessive detail. When that occurs in viral campaigns, it results is an instant disengagement from the audience.

Doesn’t evoke emotion

The primary reason why a particular content goes viral is because it exploits some commonality amongst the masses. Content that evokes emotions on a large scale is more likely to be shared by people.

Not easily share-able

If content can’t be shared easily, it almost certainly won’t go viral. By not making your content capable of being easily shared on social media you take away the crux of the entire process.

Doesn’t encourage participation

When you make it possible for your audience to participate in your campaign, it automatically improves your chances of going viral.

For instance, the dance steps of Gangnam Style song were simple enough to be replicated by any group of people anywhere in the world. Little surprise that it is the most watched video on YouTube.

The dreaded hard-sell approach

Audiences are more discerning than one would want to admit.

Pick any of the successful viral campaigns and you will observe they don’t hard-sell.

Marketers are better off not ruining the experience with incessant messages about their brand.

Just imagine seeing a video of Himalayan safari with ads of Mountain Dew popping every now and then. Would be annoying, isn’t it? Mountain Dew might have sponsored the expedition – but placing ads that interrupt the flow is definitely a bad idea!

Poor distribution across relevant channels

Viral digital marketing campaigns, like all other campaigns, need a strategy.

This is especially required when it comes to distributing the content across relevant channels. Marketers need to ascertain which channels are aptly aligned to their content as well as which channels are frequently utilized by their target audience.

No influencer outreach

Want another great way to go viral?

Get influencers to recommend/mention your campaign. There is nothing like getting some glitterati on your side.

Lack of spontaneity

Spending two months of endless discussions with the best talent in your team to come up with a viral digital marketing campaign concept?

Chances are it won’t work. Unfortunately, lack of spontaneity is easily detectable in these campaigns. You need a raw, out-of-the-box idea to become popular.

For instance, you might have heard the song, ‘Why this kolaveri di‘. It has simple lyrics with words in Tamil and broken English.

This song was initially leaked on YouTube by a disgruntled employee – which surprisingly became a hit. Instead of taking down the video, the producers decided to ride on the popularity. Within half an hour, an official version was shot and uploaded.

What followed, has now become a classic case study for viral marketing.

Too nice

There’s not much scope for being diplomatic in viral campaigns. Accept that there could be some people who might be offended or bored by your campaign.

Focus on the large multitudes who will receive it the way you expect them to.

Too long

The average attention span on individuals on the internet is rather low ( around 8 seconds!). Also, their time is precious. So do everyone a favor and keep content to a minimum.

Brevity is the soul of wit, remember?

Have points to add? Share with us in the comments section below.


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