Anatomy of a Viral Campaign [with a FREE special gift for real estate agents and mortgage brokers]

Stewards Log: 1053:21:06:2010

The power of viral media, the power that makes a 2 day old cat cuddling with someone’s finger more popular than your mayor, is a force that every company, marketer and entrepreneur wishes they could harness.

I think you can.

It take some planning, some creativity, but you too could have a viral marketing campaign, so let’s break it down together and look at the pieces, then watch as we put together a viral campaign that any business engaged in the residential real estate sector could use.

1. A Viral campaign is still a Marketing campaign.

They have different rules, but at heart a Viral marketing campaign is still intended to build your business by; driving sales, increasing your brand awareness, or strengthening your relationship with your client base.

So your viral campaign will still be TARGETED to your key demographic, at least initially.  It will be designed to have the greatest appeal to this segment and speak to them in a voice they see as CREDIBLE?  The fact that you are using a viral campaign should help DIFFERIENTIATE you from the completion, but you’ll want to ensure it is a significant gap and does not simply promote your industry and sector.  Finally we will actually have 2 CALLS TO ACTION , the first will be inherent in the idea of viral marketing, they will need to have the desire to spread the message, and your second will be to buy/use your product/service.

Failing to observer this rule could result in you promoting your competition, or simple the viral medium it’s self.

2. It needs to Resonate with people on an emotional level.

Since you have an idea who your target market are, you hopefully know more about their behaviours and beliefs and habits that the average Joe or Jane on the street.  This will allow you to write an emotional charged message to them.  A story that tugs at the heart-strings, a photo or video that brings laughter to the viewer, or even for those of you who are not faint at heart a message that boils the blood.

Take a look at this internet meme : Sad Keanu is sad L it’s a series of photo edits, but the question is what made it so popular in the first place.  There are millions (possibly billions) of celebrity photos that could easily have caught on to a trend, but here is one that was emotionally charged to start with, sparking people to wonder, what was he thinking, eating, ect.

If your message does not “resonate” with people emotionally you have lost your viralness.  They may not pass it on.

3. Make it feel good to pass it on.

This is more than building on the emotional appeal, but actually making the sender/sharer feel good.  We all receive buckets of spam every day; some of it still even makes it to our in box.  When was the last time you sent a piece of spam on to your friends?  I meant intentionally, yet every day we also received pictures, videos, cute poems and links from our friends, family, co-workers, bosses, ect.  Now I know you think some of this fits into the spam category but why are these people passing it along to you?


They think they are doing a good think, they are brightening your day, sending you an important warning, and it makes them feel good doing it.  This is what you want to tap into with your marketing…otherwise it just becomes spam…spam…eggs and spam.

But I don’t like spam.

4. Remind them to send it…by hypnotic suggestion.

Now I got your attention, actually so much so that you’ll ALWAYS remember the IDEA VAULT whenever someone mentions VIRAL MARKETING.

Oh well it was worth a try, but the core concept is to have a trigger, something that reminds people to spread the word,  the way that song pop’s into your head whenever you drive past a certain sign, or when you by a new car that you start seeing it everywhere.  Your filters have changed; you want to do the same thing with your viral message.

When I worked in real estate a kept component of the business was to ask for referrals.  Any time you are talking to someone ask for a referral.  You know what; very few people could think of one, I like to believe because if they did they would have told you.  However the most successful line I use was the follow-up “…well, when you do talk to someone THIS WEEK thinking of selling their home, REMEMBER me and give me a call.”  What did I do there; I primed the people’s filters to FIND someone that week to refer to me.  The same can be said for your viral message, have it prime the audience to think of who they can send it to (for you).

So those are the four factors of Viral Marketing;

It is advertising so stick to the rules;

It needs to evoke emotion in the viewer;

Passing it on makes the senders feel like they have done a good thing;

And it’s hypnotic…makes people start thinking who can I send it to, or better yet tells them.

If you would like to see some examples of a viral campaign in action this one just started trending up today :

Viral Campaign Sample (A gift to the real estate industry, feel free to use it.)

Renewing your mortgage could end up being a deal breaker.

Is your mortgage coming up for renewal?  You might be shocked to find out you no longer qualify to own your home.  That’s right; the changes to the mortgage rules could put you out on the street.

A few years ago you could get a “NO MONEY DOWN” mortgage and amortize it over 40 years to keep your payments low.  That is no longer the case; now you need at least 5% down and the longest amortization you can get is 35 years.  Here is the problem, if you took a $0 down 40 year mortgage on a 2 to 6 year term, you have not yet paid 5% of your principle…

…that means at renewal time you could own the bank THOUSDANDS of dollars in order to KEEP your home.  This issue has the potential to affect 54,208 people next year alone.

Take a look at these amortization charts and you can see it takes until year 7 to pay your principle past the 5% mark.

If you or anyone you know has a $0 money down mortgage they need

to act before it is too late.

Call 1-800-save me! Or email to find out how you can avoid losing your house.


Voila a short and sweet Viral Campaign that people will pass from email to email, could be made into a website, Facebook group, video series, collect real life stories as they happen.

This is a real issue by the way that affects 11.2% of mortgages.  Here are some stats charts I used to compile this information.

Here’s hoping I’ve give you an Idea or 2.

Dave Williams


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