5 Must Do’s After A Successful Viral Marketing Campaign


5 Must Do’s After A Successful Viral Marketing Campaign

2010 SEMMY Winner
I have talked a lot about what to do to create and promote viral content. I wanted to give some tips that have helped me ensure that my future campaigns have equal success.

First and this should be obvious before any viral launch you should have a set of metrics and goals you are looking to achieve and track. Whether that is sales, traffic, leads or links. What is it that you are looking to achieve as a result of a viral campaign? I am going to manly talk about learning from your mistakes to make future virals better as well as links and traffic as that is the most common/general goal of successful viral marketing.

Back To The Future Amp Feedback1.) Feedback: Believe me there is very few things more painful then reading through hundreds of snarky comments left by the social media middle class, but beneath all the noise there may be some useful feedback. Look for repeating trends left in the comments regarding actual constructive criticism, these can be learning opportunities for you to better prepare your next piece. You will often see actual feedback about your site, regarding your design, layout or even how dumb your bio pic looks. Hopefully you can gather which feedback might have some merit and make some definitive decisions regarding your site or content. Again this will be “needle in a haystack” but if there are certain things on your domain that do not sit well with your audience you may want to change them before your next piece.

Magnifying Glass2.) Analysis: We will talk about referring domain data below but first you will want to pay attention to some things like what time of day the piece “went viral” or what day it did? How long did it take to reach critical mass on the social sites? How many Diggs, Thumbs Up/Reviews, Tweets/RT’s? Every piece is going to be different but it can help you plan and execute later if you know all of this. I know some people that only launch on Tuesdays or only start the process at a certain time of day. I like to plan things for Tues-Thurs and so they are aimed to reach critical mass for mid day. You need to find what works for you.

RSS Subscriber3.) Conversions: What type of conversions were you looking for if any? More RSS Subscribers? More Twitter Followers? Comments? Newsletters? Leads? Sales? All of these things can benefit from successful viral marketing. If you were looking to get one or more of the above, did you? If you did, why do you think you did? If you didn’t, why not? Maybe you need to make your call to action more prominent, or maybe less prominent? Maybe you need to make your RSS Button bigger or have a reminder at the bottom of the post instead of just relying on your Orange button on the side nav? Maybe your Twitter account info needs to be better located? What type of content brings more of the goal you are setting out for? Does a more specific list/tips type post get you more leads? Does an informational type post get you more Twitter followers or RSS subscribers? You need to test and test and pay attention and make note as to the answers to all these questions.

I have seen posts literally bring hundreds/thousands of new RSS subscribers or Twitter followers. I have seen virals bring hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business within days. I have seen them bring thousands of leads, and it is important that I know why, when and how. *Tip make sure you use analytics to track what referring sources brought these conversions. You can use BLVD Status to track out going clicks and other stuff more specific to viral success.

Traffic Jam4.) Referring Traffic: There are really two parts to this section; first, traffic counts from the different social sites/blogs that you targeted and second, traffic counts from sites/blogs you did not target and otherwise didn’t really expect. You may know how much potential traffic Digg can bring (just had one last week with more than 200k) StumbleUpon can get up into the 30-50k range now, Reddit is often 9-20k and I have seen Twitter do 10-20k, I know it can do more and on avg I see it do about 3-5k (*Twitter specific articles usually get the most traffic on Twitter). It is good to note how much each one does, but the gold nugget here is the second part, which is to watch for the traffic sources that surprise you. Did you know that a foreign site similar to Digg/Reddit can bring over 20k to your site without breaking a sweat.

There are numerous blogs and social sites you might not frequent that can do serious traffic and link damage. Make note of these and if your next viral does not get submitted there, then submit them yourself or find someone you know that uses those sites. Either way it is a quick way to build your arsenal.

Rolodex5.) Rolodex: This is saved for last cause it is so simple yet most people I talk to never do it. Generally speaking gaining high quality relevant links that you couldn’t otherwise get through any other means is the main reason for the majority of viral campaigns. This is a legit reason, I have gotten hundreds of thousands of links that you could never get any other way, no matter how big the link building team or how much money you had. If you want a link from WSJ or NY Post, Newsweek, USA Today etc. you gonna get those from a link broker (notice how I kept Forbes out of that list :)? Creating something truly viral and useful is the best way to get links from the big dogs. And getting links from the big dogs is what may be the difference between you out ranking your competitor.

One of the most important things you can take from this post is this; if you get a link from a big dog site, contact them and thank them. Put that author/editor on your radar, tweet their good stuff, comment on it, build a relationship and the next time you have a viral that is worthy of the big dog love send them a link. The only thing better than a link from the largest most trusted site in your industry is two links from the largest most trusted site in your industry. I am in no way suggesting you should spam and bug these people, I know how annoying it is to get asked to blog about stuff. What you are doing is finding someone that likes the content you create and you are establishing a relationship with them that can be beneficial to both parties. It is a business contact that you create, nourish etc. and it is so simple and it works well and the next time your piece gets buried and gets sub par traffic you can still come out on top with some killer relevant links. After all isn’t that the reason you started out building the content in the first place?


  • http://www.newspapergrl.com Janet Thaeler

    Chris, great post! Very generous with the foreign site (more?). Love #5 about creating and nurturing relationships you build in your campaign. Do you keep any sort of spreadsheet or CRM to manage these relationships?

    How about writing a post about using link brokers?


    • http://www.97thfloor.com Chris Bennett


      Thanks for the comments. I mostly use Google Docs and spreadsheets to keep track of everything.

      Also I don’t use link brokers, just saying if you were going to buy a link on Newsweek or WSJ could you imagine what that would go for vs. creating viral content.

  • http://www.k2seo.com K2seo

    Thank you for such a nice piece of information. Your all the 5 points are very important and following all of them will definitely going to give the result.

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk/ Mandy

    Great post. I agree if you can create an inspiring piece of content that will get people talking you are more likely to encourage links from the larger companies. The hard part is coming up with the creative content that will create the stir in the first place!

    • http://www.97thfloor.com Chris Bennett


      Check out my viral ideas for boring industries post, and our viral friday series. A lot of ideas there.

      Also will be doing another post and probably video soon on how to research and come up with strong viral ideas.

  • http://www.marketingperformance.net Susanna

    I agree # 3 is imperative! Thank you for this great post

  • http://naperdesign.com Christian

    Great…. First I need to have a successful viral campaign…lol

  • http://www.neotericuk.co.uk/seo-london.php Seo London

    Useful content typed with a great sense and simplicity, really informative and inspiring post and Chris can we have more on Viral Marketing .

  • http://www.TheThinkBigNetwork.com Trump Network

    Thank you for your great post. I’m looking forward to delving into the “analysis” of creating a successful viral campaign.

  • http://www.airabongco.com Aira Bongco

    Chris, a very nice post!

    If we focus on these very useful points, better results shall happen. I agree that there have been a lot of noise embedded among the comments, but surely there are some very useful and relevant ideas that rise from time to time.

    Also, very useful tips and links. Keep up the good work!

  • http://oes--tsetnoc.blogspot.com oes tsetnoc

    Nice article. Just joined my first SEO contest so anything will help.

  • http://www.thesmallcompanyblog.com/ Eric Rudolf

    Agree. So many marketers completely forget to do what I call the “autopsy” of a marketing campaign. Unlike 20 years ago, marketing is no longer about design and visual creativity. Math and analytics are now not only important, but critical for marketing success. Nice work.

  • http://ixod.com ixodcom

    Viral marketing is a good way to promote your site online but is there any success with it. I think it is if it is properly done by seo expert. This was a good post

  • http://www.ganeshagro.com/ Sandeep Goyal

    Your all the 5 points are very important and following all of them will definitely going to give the result. Thanks!!!

  • http://ixod.com ixod

    Creating something truly viral and useful is the best way to get links from the big dogs. And getting links from the big dogs is what may be the difference between you out ranking your competitor

  • http://final.graphicseo.com Joe

    A successful viral marketing campaign always makes me feel good. Thanks for the extra tips.

  • http://ixod.com ixod

    The success of viral marketing is to achieve and track the goals you are looking for your site.

  • http://www.dollarearner.com/ Victor

    Useful content with a great sense and simplicity, really informative and inspiring post. All the points U have mentioned definitely works for it.

  • http://www.secuteam.net Detektei Frankfurt

    I agree this a very interesting and useful article. It is in fact very imortant to first determine what your goals are before you start a viral marketing campaign. I hope there will be more articles of this quality in the future.

  • http://www.mdcpackaging.com John

    Some excellent information here, thank you!

    Viral marketing is an area I know very little about, and never considered much. I wouldn’t even have the first clue how to go about this…

  • http://www.them.pro SEO China

    Interesting stuff. I loved the #5 tips. That’s logical to thanks “big dogs” (as you said), but i have never thought about that kind of “social marketing” ^^.

    I will think about it next time. But first, i have to set up a viral campaign.

  • http://seo-voyage.com/ John

    Great article! It’s often difficult to find articles with relevant content relating to SEO. This will be useful for me in my search for a search marketing expert, as now I will have an understanding on what to should really be going on. Thanks!

  • http://www.optimum7.com Melissa Gonzalez

    Thank you for the post, this is good information. I agree with the feedback part. Sometimes people can be harsh critics but looking for a pattern or trend can really help for improvement.

  • Sam

    Great stuff. I had no idea single sites such as digg and stumbleupon could bring so many people. Anyway, do you review blog? How much would it cost to review my new blog at http://www.venturalist.com

  • http://www.adbizniz.com Alex Beevers

    I have picked up some pearls of wisdom from your posts and I really thank you.I just love your Blog,and its content. It really is a very interesting read.

  • http://seo-voyage.com Danny

    This is very interesting! How much do viral marketing and local search marketing/ search marketing local have in common? Are these all in the same area and aspect? Thanks in advance for the help in understanding this.

  • http://getsometraffic.net Vanessa Lopez

    Great advice!!I use google docs to keep the record of my documents and data.I think these 5 tips are very helpful for all the people who are in this SEO field.Viral marketing is a new term so very few people know about this but this is a nice post to know about this.

  • http://onlinefreegames.eu csjoe

    Very useful article, thank you for it! Keep on writing.

  • http://www.unv7.com Deepak Bari

    Very unique information in blog

  • http://www.blackdotcm.com Christen Black of BlackDot

    You’re right on with the relationships point. Loyalty is so key to a successful business. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you.

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  • http://www.posttwo.com PostTwo

    Is it a good idea to “reciprocate” some of those links (referring to your 5th point) as a thank-you, or does that cheapen the effect. I’ve even heard, form an SEO standpoint, that reciprocal linking is less valued than one-way.

  • http://www.seonoobie.com Maciej @ SEO Noobie

    You have to do the due diligence after a campaign like that really analyze what worked and what didn’t.

  • http://www.w3roidirect.com mike

    Great information, just like you mention it is important that you have a system in place to analyze all your hard work in your marketing campaign.


  • http://sextoons4you.com/ riven

    Some excellent information here, thank you!

  • http://www.movienewsclub.com/ Telugu Cinema

    Congrats…for 2010 SEMMY Winner in Viral Marketing …Exlelent Article for web Masters for Viral Marketing…

  • http://www.websurfermarketing.com Justin Gray

    I wish i would have had these tips a few months agao. I will have to keep them in mind for my next viral campaign.

  • http://www.dsptn.com Trump Network

    I love that you brought this up. This is the one thing that most of us don’t do. We run the campaign, then run the next, not taking the time to measure and improve.