Most people have heard the phrase ‘going viral.’ In our case, I’m referring to an image, video, or link that spreads rapidly through a population online by being frequently shared with a large number of individuals. The phrase is like magic to marketing execs and clients alike – and for good reason. This type of content is usually inexpensive to create and can provide big results. But hold on! Is ‘going viral’ right for everyone? Should your company try to create viral content?
While appealing, trying to create viral content is like playing the lottery; it’s very, very hard to win and if you do, you never get the full amount. By that, I mean that you have very little control over who is seeing your message and the outcome. If you live in the world of small business – like I do – the answer is no, you shouldn’t waste time trying to create viral content. However, I have good news – there is a better way.
I’m not 100% positive, but after a Google search returned nothing, I believe I’m the first person to coin the term ‘MetroViral’- which is kind of exciting – but for the sake of clarity, I want to explain what the term means.
MetroViral, or MV as I’ll now refer to it, is an image, video, or link that spreads rapidly through, and only through, a targeted, local population online by being frequently shared with a number of individuals. Sound familiar? Good, that’s because it is almost identical to the definition of ‘going viral,’ except for a slight distinction. That slight distinction makes all the difference in the world, and I’ll tell you why.
If you own a Michigan restaurant, barbershop, or small print and design shop, what good is it if ten thousand people in Russia see content from you? How about ten thousand people in California, or in Florida? The answer here is not much good at all. The reality of the situation is that brick-and-mortar small businesses are not going to significantly benefit from, or have the time to create, national or international viral content.
There is, however, my MetroViral Approach, which is an amazingly effective approach for small businesses to take. Here’s an example:
Below is a post from my client’s Facebook page.
After careful analysis, there are a number of factors coming into play with this post. Of course, timing is always relevant, but what makes this post MV is that it only resonates with the client’s preferred local audience. The content is so specific that the audience feels as if they are on the inside of our secret little joke that most people wouldn’t even understand. By the numbers, you can see that it’s a powerful feeling and specifically promotes sharing.
Now, it’s important to create content that effectively includes the people you want to include and excludes those you do not. This is the key distinction! By excluding a majority of people, you motivate the people you decide to include. Remember, *no one* is passionate about something that *everyone* is passionate about!
I always pay close attention to analytical data before, during, and after a MV event. Below is a screenshot of the traffic to our client’s website two weeks following our MV post.
Knowing that our website traffic increased by 34% after the MV post is a great indicator of real results. Having offline analytics is equally important – if not more important – for most small businesses. With this particular MV post we measured a 17% increase in foot traffic.
The MetroViral Approach is not specifically a new way of doing things. People unknowingly achieve similar results frequently. The difference is knowing why the MV Approach works and being able to reproduce it consistently. When I create content, build a website, or help improve customer service through social media, it’s because, at the end of the day, we need the consumer to buy. As you can see using the MV Approach – which costs clients almost nothing – pays off big time.
Along with the main points I mentioned above, keep the following in mind when applying MV posting:
1. Know your audience – If you can’t tell everything- down to the type of laundry detergent your audience likes – you haven’t spent enough time understanding them.
2. Timing – Everything, from time of year to time of day, is important.
3. Emotion – A MV post always registers high on a main emotion (positive emotions work better).
Reach 67K People By Using The MetroViral Approach