“How do I go viral?” That’s the question most marketers hear most. First off, “viral” is just something that happens to you; it’s not something you can plan for. But what you can do is try and stack the deck in your favor as much as possible. Our community is filled with experts with experience to create a successful marketing campaign. We are always eager to learn and share.
As a marketing expert, Ann Marie Taepke knows a thing or two about creating innovative marketing campaigns. With over 10 years experience, she has led award-winning social media and digital campaigns for brands like Jeep, Fox Home Entertainment, UNC Rex Healthcare, and Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
According to Taepke, five main components make up the formula for creating these award winning campaigns: Anchor, S.M.A.S.H., Ecosystem, Timing Surprises and Trust.
The first question you must ask yourself…
…because it’s JUST as important as your launch plan: what are we going to launch? If you’re launching something crappy, it’s not gonna work. Once you have that answer, you’re ready to dive into the campaign formula.
This is what you’re going to build your whole campaign architecture around. Usually based around a Video show-piece or driving traffic to a Live or Virtual Event, these anchor-types provide a lot of value and urgency, especially if the video is timely.
Speed, Musicality, Asymmetry, Spontaneity, Humor
S.M.A.S.H. serves as a framework for creating entertaining and highly shareable video content.
A good analogy for creating an ecosystem is having a million browser windows open at one time. A lot of these windows intersect and can carry different ideas, networks and value. By creating extensions in ecosystem, we create more impact and longevity.
There’s a lot of moving parts to timing schedules. Eventually, something is going to go wrong. You have to be able to be calm in the chaos. Apply what-if scenarios in your head to come up with lots of different scenarios of what could go wrong. Then you won’t be surprised by anything.
No matter how dynamic your anchor is or how large your ecosystem, the amount of S.M.A.S.H. boxes you can check off will not matter if you do not have client trust.
With any big idea there is usually big risk. Instead of only putting paid media behind it and saying calling it a day, think bigger. How can we make this more creative? What can we say? What can we do? How can we make it more clever?
The thought of your campaign failing should give you cold sweats. By taking that ownership and feeling as invested in something as if it were your own product, that’s the only way it’s going to be a successful marketing campaign.
Note: This article originally appeared in 2018 and was modified and updated for 2020.