Make It Easy On Yourself: Do Your Homework First

You’ve decided you want your promotion to go VIRAL!  What now?

  • You know marketing campaigns that “go viral” are wildly successful.
  • You know you can create brand recognition significantly faster when your message spreads organically through the internet and lands on the monitors of the fan boys and gurus who are today’s Rainmakers.  Influencers in the parlance of the web.

But how do you get their attention?

I want YOU to want me!

Cheap Trick, circa 1979; YouTube (if you’re feeling nostalgic)

You have to speak to them in their language. You have to know the goal of your marketing, what questions you are answering, what problems you are solving.

You must know each of your buyers’ Personas.

And what, pray tell, is a buyer persona? As defined by David Meerman Scott,  a buyer persona is

… a representative of a type of buyer that you have identified as having a specific interest in your organization or product or having a market problem that your product or service solves. 

This is going to take some serious thought.

Man, Woman, Child?  Entire Family Group? An industry?

After you decide who your Buyer Persona is, you need to know more about him or her.

  • What do they want of your product?
  • Are they young, single, childless with expendable income?
  • Or married with a mortgage and kids?
  • Is your product a luxury to them?

Answering these questions, and any more you think of for your product, will guide you to the best way to present to each ‘persona’.

Have more than one target market?

Simple: create more than one Buyer Persona. Create every one of the ‘personas’ you imagine who could need what you’ve got.

A great example that Scott used when discussing Buyer Personas in the book The New Rules of Marketing and PR – Second Edition is the 2004 presidential election. He shared that the campaigns for the two major parties broke down voters into groups (often called Micro Targets in politico speak) the examples being Nascar Dads (“rural working class males”) and Security Moms (“mothers who were worried about terrorism and concerned about security”).

The campaign folks then spoke directly to those personas.

You can, and in my opinion, should, create as many Buyer Personas as you can manage marketing to directly. The more specific your content the more impactful it will be.

Do not create a broad sweeping and all inclusive, hits-all-the-targets ad campaign. Even if you could, there’s no data to recommend that as a method to get the results you seek.

Have you seen an ad campaigns that spoke to everyone, across gender/race/age/socioeconomic divides and compelled you to buy?

Thought not.

Have you seen videos that were forwarded among friends that were hilarious and interested you in the company that could produce them? And did you forward them on to friends? Or tweet them?  Or ‘share’ them on Facebook?  That’s you helping take things viral.

I have “followed” my favorite companies on twitter and “retweeted” their funny, informative, or interesting tweets.

I have “liked” company pages and suggested them to my friends.

I do read my Facebook wall and I pay attention when a global company speaks directly to me there. I like going to their pages and interacting with other people who feel the same way I do.

That’s the whole idea of Social Networking.  Building a community where people interact with a company and the people they attract.  People that feel they are part of a group that thinks along the same lines.

Probably, I have done these things because somewhere out there, there is someone at those companies who created a Buyer Persona with a woman like me in mind.  (Radical thinker he was!)

Then they began speaking to me, in a language I understood and appreciated. So I told two friends. And they told two friends.

And on, and on.

That’s viral.  And that’s what we all want.

Watch David Meerman on Vimeo: How to Generate Attention For Your Business

Get his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR – I nag my clients to read this before they start making decisions.

“You can buy attention (advertising)
You can beg for attention from the media (PR)
You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales)

“Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, a blog, a research report, photos, a Twitter stream, an ebook, a Facebook page.”

David Meerman Scott