How to fail at going viral (and everything else)

Have you ever tried to create a “viral video”? Did it go like this?

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Sometimes our marketing instincts get in the way of what’s most likely to be shared. When putting together a creative brief, marketers often take a tick box or laundry list approach. We throw in everything including the kitchen sink. We’re then surprised when it doesn’t land with our audience.

Everyone wants to create the next Ice Bucket Challenge.

Almost everyone is doing it exactly the wrong way.

When you try to say all the things you want to say, the chance of capturing people’s imaginations drops to near zero.

Your message won’t go viral that way. You won’t even do well at normal fundraising.

The secret to motivating people to act (donate) is to make it about them, not you.


Comments

4 responses to “How to fail at going viral (and everything else)”

  1. Thanks Jeff! Great post!
    Here’s the thing about “social” media – it’s social! That means it’s supposed to be sorta fun.
    So anything that feels serious will never go viral. At least that’s what I’ve learned about it all!

  2. Thanks Jeff! Great post!
    Here’s the thing about “social” media – it’s social! That means it’s supposed to be sorta fun.
    So anything that feels serious will never go viral. At least that’s what I’ve learned about it all!

  3. Great post, it is always important to tailor the campaign message for the benefit of the target audience. It is difficult to make something go viral but campaign managers can certainly take steps to ensure that they deliver an effective message to their target audience. Here is a blog post that contains some helpful advise for reaching and communicating with the target audience for a campaign: https://www.thrinacia.com/blog/post/reaching-your-target-audience-for-a-crowdfunding-campaign-quick-tips/954

  4. Great post, it is always important to tailor the campaign message for the benefit of the target audience. It is difficult to make something go viral but campaign managers can certainly take steps to ensure that they deliver an effective message to their target audience. Here is a blog post that contains some helpful advise for reaching and communicating with the target audience for a campaign: https://www.thrinacia.com/blog/post/reaching-your-target-audience-for-a-crowdfunding-campaign-quick-tips/954

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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