New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Viral Campaign - getting there

We just ended our second experiment with viral marketing here at NJ State Library and it worked. Well, let's say we got a taste of success. This is the second viral campaign we've run. The first was "Tell us Your Three Reasons" where we created the video and then asked folks to add comments and videos. I think we have around 9,000 hits on the video but it made more of an impact on the field than it did the public.

Learning from that campaign, we launched the Super Librarian YouTube/Comic contest where kids would create their own content. We used Freepolls to set up a voting system, letting everyone see the results as they occurred. We had over 17,000 votes but the key is that nearly 90% of those votes came from four contestants... and that's what viral is all about. One parent told me that not only did they call friends and family but their pastor actually announced the contest during the service and gave out the website right then and there! I love it!

If I were to do it over, I would not have put an age limit at 18- we missed the talents of college film majors and I think we could have gotten some neat WOM marketing going with that group. We ended up taking down comments because one overly eager contestant had fans who were getting pretty cruel about others scaring parents. Letting everyone see the results had pros and cons but I would keep it because it did motivate those in the lead to work harder to get out the word. The downside was that it discouraged those who felt too far behind.

Early on in the contest when I worried we wouldn't get any entries, the thought came to mind that it might have been a good idea to include libraries. Now that it's over I'm glad we didn't. We would probably have gotten more videos submitted but this allowed us to keep customer driven.

Of course, we'll be using this info to build our next campaign....which I suspect may take our WOM efforts to a new level....

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