Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about an activity which involves people dumping ice cold water on their heads. Dubbed as the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” the fad has made many people wet and cold—all for a noble cause. Entrepreneur Magazine contributor Gabrielle Boko elaborates what the Ice Bucket Challenge is all about, and how expansive it has become:
Social feeds from across the country are chock-full of videos and photos of celebrities, inventors, CEOs, athletes, and politicians all taking part in the most recent viral sensation: the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Whether you’ve laughed at your friend’s reaction to the ice cold water or taken the challenge yourself, postings about it are everywhere. This initiative has achieve something that’s every marketer’s dream: going viral and capturing wide attention across the nation in a month or two.
Spearheaded by the non-profit organization ALS Association, the Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head in an attempt to promote awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a disease that affects the nervous system and gradually takes away an individual’s ability to control voluntary muscles, eventually leading to total paralysis.
Experienced Greenville, SC marketing pros recognize online viral marketing as the act of promoting information or products that people, especially customers, would feel compelled to forward to family, friends, or colleagues. In other words, the information spreads quickly to a wide area like a virus; hence the name.
To know why a campaign isn’t going viral is a crucial first step. One reason is the lack of emotional appeal. By making a campaign relatable, people are either made curious, amused, or amazed, inspiring them to share the content. In the case of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the reaction from someone dumping a bucket of ice water on someone is quite amusing, more so if the participant is a well-known personality.
Shareability is another important factor that comes into play. Simply put, people want something interesting. They also share things (i.e. funny videos or life-changing information) because such content make them feel involved and in the know. Word-of-mouth, be it online or offline, is considered 10 times more powerful than conventional advertising; and with the Ice Bucket Challenge’s success, it’s not hard to see why.
Online viral marketing may not be rocket science, but the pitfalls and risks associated with are still possible—which is why local Greenville, SC advertising agencies like Spark Local Marketing are around to help. The popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge may be monumental, but its success can be absolutely duplicated if one heeds the fundamentals of viral marketing.
(Source: 6 Viral Marketing Lessons to Learn from the Ice Bucket Challenge, Entrepreneur, August 27, 2014)