The question on everyone’s mind is “How do we get a product to go viral?” You fantasize about seeing mass numbers of people hitting your website and social channels, liking your viral video and ultimately filling your bank account up with cold hard cash.
Virality is rarely FREE or EASY. The reason something goes viral is often a result of strategic planning and design. To increase the chance of going viral and spreading the word online, below are some of the steps that we at IdeaPros suggest.
How Do You Increase Your Chances of Going Viral?
1. First things First, Build an Audience
You may think you have the greatest idea but if you’re the only one who thinks it’s great, there’s no use making or selling it.
“The real secret to launching is not to launch until you already have your audience.” Fred
We encourage entrepreneurs to put feelers out to see if the idea is something people would be interested in. Remember that you’re not selling yet. You’re just checking to see if there will be potential customers for your product or app idea. Talk to your family, your friends, your co-workers, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, Instagram followers, LinkedIn associates, and anyone else who you can ask and communicate with.
2. Stir Interest and Drum Up Support
Once you’ve reached a consensus that yes, there is an audience for your product or innovation, stir up interest even more.
Whether you are going the Kickstarter route to get support and funds or you are creating a landing page, we recommend these 4 MUST-DO tasks to get the results you want:
- Get attention. Boring pages rarely inspire people to invest. So be as fun and bold as possible.
- Be clear about what the problem is and how your product or app solves it. The product doesn’t necessarily have to solve problems in a revolutionary way but at least tell your target market why they need the product and how it will make their lives more convenient.
- Connect with your audience – be authentic and available. Video is excellent for this. Show or explain what your product will do. If you don’t have a prototype, get a graphic designer who can create a simulation or illustrate the problem and solution.
- Ask for their help. So many people set up a Kickstarter or landing page but they chicken out when it comes to asking for contributions or donations. Without funds, you will get nowhere! So politely ask your audience to contribute to the business; the right people will WANT to help you.
Ask for Help
Their contribution of ANY amount will fuel your ability as an entrepreneur to turn your idea into a reality. In return, your supporters get dibs on the first batch of releases and a significant discount for purchasing it.
“Don’t build anything until you already have an audience that’s out pre-buying what you have.” Fred Cary
For family, friends and other people close to you, it will be easier to ask for help, even without promising to give anything in return. However, as your community and potential customer base get bigger, you may need to offer incentives.
Don’t hesitate to ask them to help you make the product go viral! Again, if you don’t ask, they will never know that you need their help to make things happen. They can like your page, check out your posts, and share the page with their own friends.
Contests are a great way to gamify the sharing process and encourage virality. Tools like KingSumo or Viraloops are popular nowadays. At IdeaPros, we urge entrepreneurs to take advantage of these tools as it can help you to track the entries for all these different actions as well as the affiliates who shared them. The more they share the more entries they get in the contest.
3. Keep Your Momentum
When you have gained an audience using the contest example, keep using it. It’ll continue to be a good platform to keep momentum and drive up interest even more. Gamifying can work well in this instance where you reward users’ support with something in exchange. This is similar to being given a referral discount but with the added twist that the discount increases as the number of people referred or shared with goes up.
Our IdeaPros Launchpad follows this interactive rewards approach. The popular Rainbow vacuum cleaner does something similar as a marketing tool. You are given a discount on the purchase price of one of these expensive vacuums that can purify the air, clean beds, pillows, etc. With the discount increasing depending on the number of email addresses or contact information you share.
4. Engage Your Core Audience
At this point in the viral launch, we assume that you haven’t shelled out any money for traditional advertising. You are merely asking people to help you out and spread the word about your product. Your core audience, particularly in the early stages of your business, will mostly made up of people that you have a personal relationship with. Get them invested in your product because their support has been invaluable from the get-go. Provide them with a sense of ownership towards you and the product you are launching.
“It’s really important for entrepreneurs to start with that nucleus of really dedicated people, your friends, your family, your coworkers, people that you have as acquaintances.” Fred Cary
Create Super Fans
We believe that when this personal touch is present and customers perceive that there is value in their relationship with you, you can create a super fan. Super fans are die-hards that will buy your product and support you day in and day out because they love you, the message, your product, or what you represent – – despite the competition. A great example of this would be the Apple product fanatics that literally stand in line overnight to be the first to buy the newest iPhone.
Stay in Touch
Throughout these months that you are gathering support and collecting email addresses for your email list, we suggest that you take the opportunity to create and nurture a relationship with your customers. Take care of them and don’t lose contact with them. You can send teaser videos once a month. Send them a sample of what they are supporting you on and give them a taste of what is to come.
5. Influencers Are Worth Their Weight In Gold
If you are able to include an influencer or two in your marketing strategy, you will be glad you did. With just one share, an influence can take your video from 5 view to the next “viral video”, reaching thousands. Check out our influencer marketing video blog for more information about how to find and secure influencers, as well as track the campaigns to ensure it is an effective use of your marketing dollars.
“If you get the right influencer involved, they can broadcast out to 500,000 people in one day. And so the value of the right influencer that will work with you, within your budgetary needs, is priceless.” Fred Cary
|Did you know? The largest Instagram influencer of 2019 are Cristiano Ronaldo, a professional soccer player, Ariana Grande (147 million) and Selena Gomez (146 million) according to Hootsuite.
Also, we recently did a LIVE session about INFLUENCER MARKETING where we talk more about social marketing and how big of an impact it can make on your business.
Riding the wave of this momentum can be a lot of hard work and effort and it doesn’t stop when your shopping cart officially “opens” for purchase. After your launch, you have to make sure your product is advertised. You have to take care of your delivery and lead times in order to maintain the relationship you have with your customers and still provide them with satisfaction on their relationship with you. If your product is not as great as they have come to expect considering the relationship you have made with them pre-launch, you will hear about it through product reviews, Facebook posts, Twitter rants, etc.
IdeaPros’ mantra “Under-promise, over-deliver”. If there is a long lead time, let them know. If there is a delay, let them know. You can always offer to give them something like a free gift so that their perception of you and your product is still good despite any setbacks. Use videos to help your viral initiatives. Remember, before, during and even after launch, customers, and their perception of you, determine your success.
“Fundamentally, and ultimately it’s up to the entrepreneur. They hit that ball out of the park and we’re there, we’re the coach, we’re lining everything up.” Fred Cary
Harry’s Razors: Harry’s Razors is a good example of going viral. How did Harry’s razors raise launch? The very first thing you’ll see is if they got 100,000 email addresses in one week. But that’s just part of the story. They spent two or three months really pounding on doors, begging their friends, getting this community started. When they were ready to start this campaign they already had a 1,000 email addresses. With Harry’s Razors, they ended up getting almost a million email addresses before they launched and it was an immediate success.
Mint.com: Mint.com spent nine months nurturing their audience. Making sure that they had what they needed, so when they went live it was all good.
At IdeaPros, we know what you are going through as an entrepreneur. We care about you and what you are going through as aspiring entrepreneurs. Many articles and video resources are available on our website to help you launch your own products or apps.
Want to get notified about new blogs, videos and templates? YES, I DO!