The Science behind Viral Marketing is a look at the key factors that drive growth in viral marketing. (Hint, the most important factor is not the one everyone expects.) It also looks at what is needed to get virality to work, and how to create and optimize viral marketing campaigns or viral products. One part of the presntation shows the key formulae behind viral marketing. Suitable for marketers or for product designers.
Text of The Science behind Viral marketing
The Science behindViral Marketing Lessons Learned
Explosive growth! YouTube Facebook Zynga Groupon Twitter Gilt Groupe All have set records for growth rates The key is Virality
The Power of Viral Marketing When it works it is Free!! Far more effective than paid promotions and advertising campaigns If done well can be self-sustaining + growth Unfortunately rarely achieved!
The Best Business Model Virally acquired customers are free Monetization(LTV) Cost ofCustomerAcquisition(CoCA)
Topics The Science behind Viral Marketing How to do Viral Marketing Optimizing for Virality Making this work for your business Examples
Where my experiences come from Tabblo Photosharing site Founded by Antonio Rodriguez, 2005 Acquired by HP within 18 months Great investment return All credit is owed to Antonio Rodriguez
The Viral Loop
The Math behind Virality Key variables: Custs(0)The initial set of customers iThe number of invites sent out conv%The percentage of invites thatconvert into customers
The Viral Coefficient KThe Viral Coefficient K = no of invites x The conversion % (i x conv%) Turns out to be a very important variable. It equals the number of new customers that each customer is able to successfully invite.
An Example Custs(0)= 5 i = 10 conv% = 20% K= 2
The Formula New custs added in this cycle = New custs added in the previous cycle x K Assumes that customers only send out invites once, and not continuously in every later cycle To calculate the number of customers at any particular cycle (c): Custs(c) = Custs(c-1) + NewCusts(c)
Sensitivity to K See Spreadsheet model
Sensitivity to K
What we learned Viral Coefficient must be > 1 to have viral growth Viral Growth is a compounding phenomenon Increasing the Viral Coefficient has a big impact on the rate of growth
YouTube versus Tabblo Both started around the same time YouTubes growth massively outstripped Tabblo What was happening here?
Tabblos Viral Loop User discovered Tabblo Wait till they take some photos Upload Share (i.e. invite others) Some portion of those think, this is great, I want to use this myself Wait till they take some photos Upload Etc.
YouTubes Viral Loop User discovers YouTube Sees some hilariously funny content Decides to share that with friends Friends see hilariously funny content Decide to share that with their friends The time to infect is far shorter!
A More Sophisticated Formula t = timect = cycle time Thanks to Stan Reissfor help with the forumula
What this tells us Raised to the Power of Multiplier Shortening the cycle time has a far bigger effect than changing Viral coefficient!
Some experiments See Spreadsheet model
Some Experiments Time - t No wonder YouTube was explosive!
Lesson Learned Reducing Viral Loop cycle time has by far and away the greatest effect on viral growth
How to do Viral Marketing
The Basics Figure out the Viral Hook What makes people want to share content? Content or Product/Service Initial Seeding Use communications networks to spread Email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. Refresh & Re-seed
Figure out the Viral Hook Something very compelling that the user wants to share
Viral Hook - What works: Something of Value: Applications Educational content Data Things of monetary value (Discounts and coupons) Something entertaining Humor Games News Inherently Viral Services Email, Skype, etc. Other?
Why do people share? A paper on that here: http://marketing.wharton.upenn.edu/documents/research/Virality.pdf http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/science/09tier.html (summary) Virality driven by physiological arousal High arousal, Postive (awe) most likely to be shared High arousal, Negative (anger or anxiety) less likely Low arousal, de-activating (sadness) unlikely
Content Types Blogs Videos eBooks Applications and Services Etc.
Using engineering for marketing
Inherently Viral Applications The most viral apps are those that are require sharing to work properly: HotMail Skype YouTube FaceBook Etc.
Initial Seeding The bigger your initial seeding the better Identify Influencers Reach / Influence Klout, SocMetrics and other services emerging to help Develop the right relationship Listen, Strategize, Engage, Measure Paid Seeding Paid search, Virool.com, etc.
Spread through Communications Networks Early days this was email Social Networks have turbo-charged sharing What you want: Low effort for the user doing the sharing
Refreshing and Re-Seeding Google Search (paid and organic) Creates new seeding New Blog posts Cause your existing readers to re-invite Farmville, etc. Continue to invite by regular posts to your wall
Lessons Learned Optimizing for Virality
Lessons Learned Apply my Unblock your Sales Funnel principles to the viral loop steps
GET INSIDE YOUR CUSTOMERS HEAD CONCERNS
Hate being sold to
Find it offensive to give name and email
Dont want to get spam sales emails
Worried that email address will be given to other marketers