Viral Marketing | What the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Can Teach Us About Content Marketing

Viral Marketing | What the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Can ...

Viral Marketing | Unless you live in a volcano, you’ve probably heard of the ice bucket challenge. The challenge is simple: pour a bucket of ice water on yourself and film it, share it on social networks, tag yourself, and then tag and challenge friends to do the same thing within 24 hours, or make a $100 donation to ALS Association. According to the association, between July 29 and August 12, The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an amazing $4 million in donations, compared to just $1.12 million during the same time period last year. But why did it work?

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The ice bucket challenge phenomenon is an inspiring way to show the power of social media, content marketing, and how things go viral. No other phenomenon has spread through the web so quickly and on such a personal level. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been the viral event of the summer, but what can it teach social media marketers about engagement?

Social Media Is The Real Deal | Viral Marketing

The Ice Bucket Challenge became viral because of the easy rule that says you have to nominate three of your friends to take the challenge after you. It’s such a simple concept, that we’re sure marketers everywhere are kicking themselves that they didn’t think of it first to try and sell more products, or spread the word about their brands. Social media is still one of the most powerful communication and influence tools available today. The reach is strong, and your marketing influence can be stronger, you just have to know how to use the social media the right way.

Viral Marketing | What the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Can ...

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Video Communication Is On The Rise | Viral Marketing

It’s possible for any type of content to go viral. But if you want to maximize your chances of success, video is the way to go. According to Cisco, video traffic will be 79% of all global Internet traffic in 2018. This means we will consume and communicate via video a whole lot more in the near future, and the ALS ice bucket challenge has only showed people’s acceptance and readiness to communicate more through video. While it can cost more or take longer to do a video, the power of this medium makes it well worth the effort.

It’s Personal | Viral Marketing

It’s an active way to do something – a person isn’t just forwarding something to friends that someone else did; they are participating in the phenomenon. By asking you to nominate other people, it has become personal – even if you don’t know someone with ALS. If you’re challenged by someone to do this, then you become accountable, both to those people and to yourself, both in public and private.

It’s Simple | Viral Marketing

Getting people involved in the next great viral marketing campaign is as simple as dumping a bucket of ice on your head. I’m sorry, let me rephrase that: getting people involved in your next great viral marketing campaign needs to be as simple for them as dumping an ice bucket on their head. There is the false notion in the world of content marketing that every piece of content has to be huge. Articles need to be 2,000 words and filled with incredible infographics. Videos have to be created by world-class directors using the finest video equipment money can buy. The ice bucket challenge debunked all those myths. It’s simple – anyone can participate. All that’s needed is a bucket, some ice and a smartphone.

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Viral Marketing | What the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Can ...

It’s Funny | Viral Marketing

Humor is a crucial element of the ice bucket challenge. It’s silly. People like to laugh, and as a nation, people needed some comic relief to wash down the other, tougher hashtags that dominated August. If you can make your audience laugh, they’re going to want to share your content with others. It’s worth noting that you can still be informative while also being funny. To do it, you simply have to find the right approach to take.

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Celebrities Are Doing It | Viral Marketing

Of course, all of these factors are nice, but getting some famous people on board certainly can’t hurt, right? That’s the first rule of advertising, after all. Not all Internet users have the same influence. And even though there’s value in having as many people spread your content as viral, if someone with a large following shares your content, it’s going to greatly accelerate the entire viral process.

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