Posts

How to go viral

Ultimate Guide To Going Viral!

These days, any marketer is sure to get one request above all else regularly. “I want you to make me go viral” they say. It is the dream of every small or even large business to go viral. Unfortunately, very few understand what ‘going viral’ is. If one could just magically add a cat to a video of people eating pizza from your restaurant, it will be shared millions of times, and my restaurant will be famous, and I will never have to pay a penny for marketing again. If this were true, marketers would be out of a job. If there were a magical formula for going viral, and any marketer had it, you can be sure it would be treated as a cure for cancer. A closely guarded secret we would charge a million dollars or more to have access to. The practical realization is there is no magic formula for going viral, and if there were, it would be so common, viral videos would be as common as catching a cold.

The reality is while certain traits are more massively appealing than others, there is no magic, guaranteed way to go viral. The best that can be done is to add the elements of what makes content go viral and hope for the best. However, we can give you some tips on what makes something go viral. If your content has at least one of these factors, it has the potential to go viral, but remember, at the end of the day, the most significant factor is luck. Or at least a lot of money boosting your content. So, without further ado, here is the handy, straightforward guide to making viral content according to Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On:

1) Social currency

The first factor in going viral is social currency. People want to be cool. They want to be the first one to share a meme. They want to be in on the new hip lingo, they want to like a band before it was cool. If you can convince the customer they are in on something secret not everyone knows, you spread your social currency. This is the trick behind naming items after customers or having secret menu items.

2) Triggers

Triggers are the things in your life that remind you of the product. Geiko scored a big win with Hump Day. They had two mascots at the time, the caveman and gecko. In fact, overall, Geiko is fantastic at viral content. With the camel, they made shouting out Geiko slogans and commercials and posting them on social media a weekly thing. Every Wednesday, people voluntarily talked about the Geiko commercial and shared photos of camels. Rebecca Blacks video, as horrible as it can be explained in large part to the song title. People shared that song every Friday. Even I have done it, and I hate that stupid song in its fat face.

3) Emotion

See above. I mentioned Rebecca Black. Why? Because I hate that stupid song in its fat face. It brings out an emotional response in me. This is the key to Donald Trump’s success. Love him? You talk about him. Hate him? You talk about him even more. Trump has mastered the viral game either on purpose or by accident, it does not matter, that is how he won an election spending less money.

4) Public

See above, I mentioned Donald Trump. What is everyone else doing? Why, they are talking about Donald Trump, of course. Recently, Nike went viral with the Colin Kaepernick ad. Viral marketing genius. Not only did they get the brand out there, but they also triggered emotions, both positive and negative at once, and even had a bonus of getting the public to go on a marketing mission of creating hundreds of images to share making fun of the original ad. People who don’t even care about football or the issue got on the marketing bandwagon with their own Nike memes. It was brilliant, and Nike not only knew it would cause controversy, but they were also counting on it.

5) Practical Value

Is it helpful? I am giving you 6 simple rules for creating viral content. Is it helpful? Yes, it is, or I would not bother telling you. People do not search for things that are not helpful. We share lunch hacks, car saving fuel hacks, 3 tips for doing this or that. People love sharing tips.

6) Stories

People love to tell stories. So much so, 95% of people share content by word of mouth. Most people heard about the hump day commercial at the water cooler from their friend before they saw it online. Who asked their friends what day it was on Wednesday? Did any of you in the 90’s answer the phone with a “WAZUUUUUPPPPPPPP?” Telling the story even in some way’s circles back to number one, social currency, you are in the know of the new joke. Or even better, you were in the know before it became a commercial and you get to brag you did it before it was on television!

There you have it, all the critical factors for going viral. Now, this is no guarantee you will ever go viral, but if you want to create content that goes viral, you need to have at least one of these elements. Remember, in marketing, you do not want ONLY to create viral content, you add viral content to your kit, and if you get lucky, one of them goes viral. Your marketing team should always keep these factors in mind when creating your marketing plan. If your company is not doing this for you, be sure to give Zilker a call, because we will.

 

Customer Service Graphic

Customer Service Will Always Be The King Of Your Marketing Plan


What is the best marketing trick you know? Ads? Community service? Commercials? How about social media? Is that Instagram account what drives more sales and customers to your store? Or is it something else? Some businesses have gimmicks. The Speakeasy Bar inside a hot dog restaurant in New York gets by on word of mouth alone because it is a fun gimmick that gets people talking. Out of everything in your marketing toolbelt, which one works better than the rest, hands down across all industries?

I will give you a hint, it is also one of the cheapest methods of marketing around. It is not even a new technology that gives you the ability to do what you never were able to do before, You will not find it online or in your mailbox or anywhere else outside your store. In fact, the public at large would never even see it. You may be asking yourself, what could you possibly do to market yourself if the public never gets to see it?

Customer Service Is Key


Customer service. Word of mouth is still and always be the king of marketing. Over 100 million people watch the Super Bowl every year, and brands spend millions to produce a 30-second commercial to pay millions more to have it shown. This does less for marketing than a single viral act of selflessness or selfishness by a brand. A single response in anger can ruin a business forever, United Airlines still has not recovered from the removal of one customer one time by force. This has happened to every airline countless times in the past, but this time the internet caught wind of it. A single act of goodwill can cause an increase in sales that no commercial could ever give. Staying in the airline industry, Southwest outperforms every other airline in history. They are not the most comfortable or accommodating, in fact, their reputation is quite the opposite. However, they have this. Great customer service whenever possible and these are the things people remember.
Across the board and even locally, Austin businesses such as Luxury Auto Works and Capital Pediatric Group have gone out of their way to accommodate customers needs, and in a way that genuinely assures their customers’ health and happiness, even if it may hurt the bottom line. Many local Austin businesses learned this in the recession. When families needed to cut back on expenses, those businesses that maintained a stellar level of service stayed in business despite cuts to other areas of operation.

 

Building Trust


The number one reason people try out a new business is that someone they trust recommended them. This is why influencer marketing is growing. People trust someones personal recommendations, even if that person is a celebrity. Brands are just not trusted with their own message these days, the consumer is far savvier than in the past. One friend telling another that a certain detergent did not remove a stain holds more weight than 100 commercials on television no matter what the brand says.
So, if you want to really increase your brand’s reputation, do what nobody else but you can do. You have to offer a superior service. You have to care. Survey after survey shows time and again that a customer is willing to pay a premium for service. If your customer service is not stellar, prices or quality will not save you no matter how good it is.

Instagram has announced a new stand alone video platform

IGTV announced

Instagram TV is here!

With little notice, many did not even know it was coming. Now that it is here, we here at Zilker Marketing have done all the hard work for you in getting you all the information you need.

First, Instagram Television is not appearing to be the single-handed game changer Facebook may have been hoping to gain. One thing IGTV is for the industry is proof that the future of social media is video. Facebook has invested considerable resources into this new platform that is video based. This would not be the case if it were not considered the future.

Eventually, we are going to reach a point where typing is almost non-existent in social media.

Many are asking if Instagram thinks they are going to try to compete with YouTube. That answer is a solid no. Facebook does not seem to have an interest in taking on competitors that large head on. Their strategy to this point has been to either try to coexist with the other big dogs and devour the young who may grow to be a threat. Yet, Facebook does not take on Twitter or YouTube head to head.

What Instagram does seem to be doing, is immediately going after the Influencers.  It is a smart move as this has been where platforms gain popularity celebrities and influencers encourage their fans to migrate over. This has the profiles grow the audience for the platform, a trick that has been used since the days of Myspace. Younger crowds are turning to such people for even things such as news besides entertainment and consumer advice.

“Creators are what bring the eyeballs to platforms, and vice versa. Sort of a chicken-and-egg thing, because you can’t have creators and no platform. You can’t have a platform and no creators. You have to work with each other, but it’s a important reason why a platform can become successful.”

~Marcus Brownlee

Some brands have immediately taken to the new platform. National Geographic immediately re-edited its show “One Strange Rock.” One area that seems to be crushing it on the new platform is the food niche. TasteMade and Food Network are excellent examples of what to do with IGTV. The new vertical platform is worth exploring and has its uses.

In short, Instagram is looking to compliment, rather than overtake the video market specializing in influencer content. YouTube will continue to be the go-to place for the majority of video content across the spectrum. While the success or failure is still too early to say for sure, it adds a new focus to specific markets.

Facebook Live for marketing

Facebook Live To Boost Your Visability

Tl, DR. If you are not using Facebook Live in your business, you are wasting time and money. Start now.

Facebook Live has a purpose no matter what your industry is. Whether it is charity, retail, food, anything you can imagine, Facebook Live can benefit your business. Besides, it is free. Facebook is giving you a free ad to place to all your followers. In a time when Facebook is becoming pay to play, this is the one exemption to get you guaranteed eyeballs onto your page. With most content, Facebook will bury it on a business page. With Facebook Live, not only does it not bury the post, it sends out notifications telling people you are live. to the followers that are not online now, they get a notification that you were live! This is in many ways better than paying for an ad. Every single one of your followers get a notification that you did something and are inviting them to watch. Not even a boosted post can guarantee every follower will see it.

 

Ways to go live

How to Facebook Live

You may be thinking to yourself right now, but Eric, I am shy and awkward! I get stage fright, I don’t like cameras, insert excuse here. None of that matters. The great thing about Facebook live is it can be you and the camera. Nobody else, like double-secret-talking-to-yourself-in-the-mirror secret. And, what is even better is you have many options for going live. You don’t even have to be on the camera! You can walk around talking to other people. You can host a Q and A with another person to take the attention off yourself. And if you like the attention and being in front of a camera, it is even better. You can do anything you want, and it will not bother you. You can even consider doing a weekly show! trade retail is great for this. You can give art or clothing tips.  Sephora does makeup and hair demos live. What Martha Stewart does many other businesses can do with their products. All industries can learn from Martha Stewart live videos! The opportunities are endless!

No matter what you do, Facebook live can help your business. Bars can feature bartenders, restaurants can walk through kitchens. Even a regular old marketing company can give an office tour. Plumbers can go live in a home while doing a simple repair. Show people how to do it, the car dealership can go live at a deal closing to show a happy customer taking delivery. Even a doctor’s office can go live with their patients telling how wonderful their experience is. No matter what your business is Facebook Live can benefit your business. If you do not think Facebook Live is a fit for you, give Zilker Marketing a call. We can help guide you in how to use social media to earn loyal customers, followers of the brand and of course, money.

Equipment

Cell phone tripod

Cell phone tripod

The great thing about Facebook live is it is cheap, and you are only limited to your creativity. At its most basic, you only need your cell phone camera. Yet, you can get lighting and a microphone for a better-quality production for well under $50. Then there are people who go all out and spend hundreds, even thousands on their Facebook live

Conclusion

As you can see, Facebook live has unlimited potential. With how Facebook is promoting the live feature, not making use of it is like turning down free advertising. It should be used by everyone. If you do not take advantage now, a few years down the road, you will be regretting missing your chance at a free foothold into an advertising avenue. If you need help coming up with a Facebook live strategy, feel free to contact our offices to plan today or head to Hubspot for their very handy ultimate guide.

What is an influencer?

Kris Jenner with a makeup box

Influencers are the latest big thing in marketing.

DEFINITION

Social Media Influencer:

(noun)

A Social Media Influencer is a user of social media who have established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience. They can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.”

(Definition courtesy of Pixelee)

While the days of organic reach are declining (Some ad ‘gurus’ will even try to tell you organic reach is dead), this is not always the case. if you post quality content, your scope is not dead. Zilker Marketing takes great pains to provide quality content over spam in our work. When spreading the word about your product or service, you have several avenues of distribution. Social media being one, there are also several methods within social media. You can post your original content, place ads and hire influencers are among the top means.

An influencer is often an excellent choice for business. A regional influencer is known in a city, especially a large city such as Austin, Texas, Chicago, Ill or Los Angeles. Even many smaller towns have influencers. Local influencers promote sports teams, restaurants hotels, salons and retail outlets to a regional audience. Austin, Texas has several influencers marketing people should get to know

Then there are national and international influencers. Most countries have their own local national influencers who are usually models. It is possible one can claim ET was one of the first brand influencers for M&M’s!

Top Influencers

Kylie Jenner is in the top /001% top influencers

Top influencers in social media today are names you know- Celebrities. The Kardashian family have pretty much mastered the influencer game. Kevin Hart has lends his profiles out to companies. With a campaign with a celebrity, you are sure to reach an audience of millions all around the world.

PewDiePie art sketch

Kiwiebird – DeviantArt

But, the real influencers are people known on their channels. The benefit to an influencer is they have built an audience in social media. A celebrity has their audience elsewhere and they use social media to promote what they know. When you use an influencer, you can hire a fashion blogger such as Chiara Ferragni to develop your clothing line. Lindsay and Morgan can help you with your restaurant. Charles Reagan is your go-to guy for music and entertainment. PewDiePie has a YouTube audience larger than most celebrities with 62 million. If he promotes a gaming product, you can be sure it will sell. With an influencer, you reach a smaller audience, but often the audience is a much more targeted audience tailored to your needs. The celebrity is a shotgun blast to the influencers sniper precision.

 

How To Get One

tacos in front of an Austin sign

Lyndsay and Morgan Instagram @eatingATX

Making use of influencers is quite easy. If you are looking for a local influencer, you may want to start with some good old-fashioned hashtag research for Austin, Texas. Next, narrow it down to your niche, food, fashion, makeup, etc.  Once you choose a few people you would like to promote your brand, look at their profiles. Do they post lazy photos of the brand, or do they provide helpful information as well? Is their brand trusted? If all they do is promote brands with no original content, you may want to shy away. You want to choose an influencer who is trusted for their content who recommends products they believe in. You do not want anyone willing to just throw money at them.

Finally, you will want to look at their engagement. Do they have an engaged audience of fans, or are they nothing but paid bot followers?

Once you have selected a few possible matches, send them a message on their social media profile asking for necessary information. If they seem to meet your needs, you will want to move the conversation over to email to finalize details and close the deal.

Influencers are a tremendous and fast-growing addition to the social media marketing mix. We at Zilker Marketing believe they will be a continued presence in the future.

How Facebook groups can boost your business!

With all the new changes to Facebook, including many that are burying content, some companies are looking to Facebook groups as a way of gaining engagement for their content. Facebook has stated they are going to put more focus on groups and community. Therefore a logical step is to consider starting a group. There are many changes, and it is not wise to consider starting a group with the intention of skirting the new rules. The rules are similar to what Google implemented three years ago, as this is the content users want. It means content has to be useful and thoughtful, not just ‘clickbait.’ You can be sure if you employ the same tactics in a group, you may be looking at group engagement being banned. In fact, we are anticipating this being part of the next set of changes in a year or two.

How to run a facebook group for effectiveness.

The first thing to remember is a group is a community. If you wish to start a group with the intention of hard selling the members, you will quickly find yourself in an empty group. The purpose of a group is the soft sell, to lead by example. For example, if you run an auto repair shop and you want to start a group on automotive repair, you should focus on many do it yourself posts, offer advice for those who are trying to fix things themselves and offer simple car care tips. If the administrators of the group are pushing helpfulness, you build trust. When they run into problems they cannot fix themselves, you will be who they call. A well-tuned community can almost manage itself, and after getting the initial members, the group will practically maintain itself, and it becomes only your job to remind the community of your services occasionally get rid of the abrasive members of the group.

Groups have a curve to follow when growing them. Some examples to follow of proper ways to build a group is shown here. Unfortunately, to see how they are employing growth methods, you have to join, but you will be able to get the impression without joining if you choose. The first is a new group called Build, Scale, and Entrepreneur up, which is a new community that offers incentives to members to stay engaged. New people entering a small group and seeing even a couple engaged members adds to a willingness to stay. This group is doing an excellent job of that, and the members are offering helpful information for the page owner, so he has time to focus on his career. Even a small group such as this already polices itself in the realm of growing a business.

 

Another is Arne Giske and his Millennial Entrepreneur Community. At this point, I feel I should mention we are not paid to promote these groups, but I am suggesting them because I do believe they provide a legitimate value. Arne Giske runs a professional service and group built on growing groups. To watch how he runs his group, you can pick up a lot of tips without paying for the service. He also has a fan page that offers regular tips on growing groups which I follow religiously. I will leave it to you to decide whether or not paying for his services are worth it or not as I am not here to promote paying for outside services.

Whether you decide to start a group or not to help grow your business traffic, know the team at Zilker is here to assist you in a plan to grow and engage your group.