Reading about any literature I could find on WoM and Viral Marketing from now till 50 years ago, from the Six Simple Principles of Viral marketing to the Six Primay Emotions I found many models regarding Viral Marketing were incomplete, nevertheless very good, but incomplete to describe the full process of a VMC. Perhaps I have missed a great article that sums it up even better?
I came up with these 10 steps to have the highest probability of making a succesful Viral and I invite you to comment as explicitly possible on each of the steps or on the total picture.
An intended viral launched has the most chance to be successful if it follows these comprised steps:
1) The creator of the intended viral knows to whom the message should be send, by doing online research to identify networks and opinion leaders, track their behaviour and receive permission to contact them.
2) The intended viral is created with the right aim towards the right target group, focused on the right gender, while being cultural aware of a global audience. The message send to this target group includes Mavens / E-Fluentials / Opinion leaders who contribute in making the message go viral.
3) The intended viral should contain a message that connects with the reader and triggers him/her to forward the email, for various reasons; the message is important or will be perceived to be of interest to the potential receiver, thus making the sender have a positive emotion while forwarding the message.
4) The message will connect best to the reader if it is aligned to the right emotion that makes the context of the message have the most impact. This emotion being preferable surprise with either the emotion joy, sadness, anger, fear or disgust.
5) Surprise implies that the message has new context, is remarkable/unique, is refreshing and therefore creates new food for thought and so has Word of Mouth potential.
6) It should be made as easy as possible to forward the message, any threshold is one too many. Once the message has gone viral it could last for a long time and build further on established Word of Mouth.
7) The creator of the viral should follow the viral (and have the right tools to do so), guide its spreading by giving new bursts by seeding the viral in new communities along the way and encourage publicity.
8) The creator should openly interact with receivers and forwarders (i.e. blogs) regarding the context of the message or the underlying product/service/brand/etc, thus feeding the viral with new life.
9) A viral is successful if it reaches a significant audience that connects with the viral, acts on the message of the viral and as a result reacts to the product/service/brand by creating more awareness and/or sales, therefore delivering tangible, measurable and ongoing brand benefits.
10) When connected to the consumer, it is key to maintain an intriguing, trustful and transparent communication. Meanwhile creating a basis for permission based marketing for future endeavours.