In a recent podcast I ask @ekaterina (Ekaterina Walter) about going viral. It may not be the answer you would expect from the author of The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand and Think Like Zuck..
Excerpt from the Podcast
Joe: Is that why I would think that most of the platforms that seem to go to that magic word viral seem to be more the YouTube or the Pinterest variety?
Ekaterina: There’s no such thing as viral. Viral doesn’t exist and I actually hate the fact that this word is actually part of our vocabulary. What we mean by viral is an overnight success. But if you look behind any overnight success, any business overnight success, any content strategy overnight success, anything, there’s always a lot of hard work, a lot of preparation, a lot of thought that got put into that viral aspect, and a lot of the times a lot of budget too. There’s no such thing as viral. There is such a thing as “How do I product content that really truly hits the nerve? How do I produce the content that emotionally connects with people? How do I produce the content that not just everybody under the sun, but people in my community can relate to?” That is the most critical piece that everybody is missing.
Please everybody; we want everybody to think this is funny. We want everybody to think this is cool. No it doesn’t matter. What matters is your brand, your product, your community, and reaching to that community in an important and sort of relevant way. That’s what we need to go after. When we say viral, all we mean is we created a cool piece of content that’s well thought out, that’s our own brand, and absolutely connects and resonates with our communities.
Joe: You make a great point there and the environmentalists make a great point. I see an analogy between the two because if you want to think global of how to help with these global problems and everything, you need to start local. You just told me if I want to spread the news is to start in my community and do well there first, right?
Ekaterina: Absolutely. That’s something we always forget – especially marketers forget – because the shiny object for them is the new social network that came out, the number of people that are not yet my advocates, they’re not yet my buyers or customers. And that is the wrong approach. You know people always ask me Joe, “How did you grow your personal brand? How do people or influencers in the communities really grow their brand?” That’s how they do it. Do you want a secret? Here you go. Are you ready? Here’s a secret. They take the 50 people, or 100 people, they follow them and they take care of those people.
They take care of their current communities first, of their current customers first. They engage with them first and that’s how that 100 grows into 100,000, into 1,000,000 etc., and the number goes on. That’s how everything starts. That’s what you need to do with your content, with your engagement strategy.
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