Return to Viral Hall of Fame 2007 Home Page
Viral Hall of Fame 2007

Viral Hall of Fame 2007
#2. NetQoS' Netcosm

MarketingSherpa Summary:
Few efforts can drive a video campaign like elaborate seeding. For one business-to-business marketer, it really paid off. Netscom placed its video on YouTube and Google Video, as well as on more targeted sites/blogs, such as Digg, Techmeme, Brightcove, Grouper, Motionbox, DailyMotion, GoFish and Veoh. By day four, the video had 49,808 views, answering the question: can B-to-B videos go viral, too?

Agency: Porter Novelli
Client/company: NetQoS
Brand campaign was conducted for: Netcosm
Launch date of campaign: April 10, 2007
Target audience/demographic: Network managers and engineers

Campaign Goal:
In the not-so-sexy world of enterprise network performance management, NetQoS was focused on leveraging the broad array of Web 2.0 communications tools to increase exposure and brand awareness for the company as the leader in network performance management. This posed a significant challenge to the marketing organization as their creativity was limited by the nature of the product and their audience.

The primary goal of the campaign was to leverage the novelty value this new way of visualizing network data, now called Netcosm to increase brand awareness for NetQoS as a leader in the network performance management space. As a secondary benefit, the group hoped to generate downloads and interest in the company’s products.

To measure the success of the campaign, specific metrics were put in place from a business and communications. The metrics for the campaign were as follows:
* A minimum of 200 downloads of Netcosm and demo data by end of Q207.
* At least five mentions of Netcosm by key bloggers and possibly press.
* Generate at least 75 Tier 1 leads as a result of increased Web traffic from this program.

NetQoS and Porter Novelli developed a plan that resembled a wedding planner's hour-by-hour schedule of activities. With the visual nature of Netcosm and NetQoS' yearly customer Symposium, this provided the perfect venue for launching it to an established customer base. Focusing on the Netcosm video, the team developed a creative strategy that incorporated multiple video-sharing sites, the company's blogs, traditional media relations, photo-sharing sites and even newer communications tools, such as Twitter, Digg and Techmeme, to spread the word about the network performance management tool.

The campaign included a Netcosm microsite where downloads of the video demo could take place and people could read more about the new concept and sign up for more information. Additionally, several videos, screenshots, blog posts and tactics around Google SEM and SEO were developed and deployed for the campaign and ensure the video would spread virally and metrics for the campaign could be tracked.

Seed Strategy:
Working off the official unveiling by NetQoS CEO Joel Trammell at the customer Symposium at 10 a.m. Central time, we focused our efforts on everything going live at the same time starting with the YouTube video, followed by the Network Performance Daily blog post. The timing of these two activities was a critical aspect of getting the video and information to go viral. After the YouTube and blog posting went live, the team focused on distributing the link of the video and blog post to customers, prospects and key media and blogosphere targets. The team also used newer technologies, such as Twitter, to spread the word about the YouTube video.

Simultaneously, the team began posting the video to other video- and photo-sharing sites, including Google Video, Brightcove, VideoEgg, Grouper, Motionbox, Jumpcut, DailyMotion, GoFish, Veoh, Flickr and Photo Bucket. The biggest impact that led to the Netcosm video going viral was the blog posts on TechCrunch and Network World, which drew large amounts of attention to the video and the launch of Netcosm. This also started the trend of other bloggers embedding the video on their sites or linking to one of the other blog posts, specifically the TechCrunch post.

The video of Netcosm took on a life of its own once it started showing up on aggregation sites, such as Digg, Techmeme and Fark. A big part of the team's seed strategy was to ensure that the launch and video were rated high on these sites to drive additional traffic.

Buzz Generated:
In less than one week, Netcosm experienced rapid buzz and awareness among all of the key audiences targeted, including leading bloggers, forums, video-sharing sites and many other outlets. Specific highlights:
* Estimated views (day four): 49,808 (230% increase over day two)
* Top tier blog postings: 7 -- Wired, TechCrunch, Network World, Technology Evangelist (blog and podcast), Download Squad, (Italian tech news site), Kotaku (top-tier gaming site).
* Personal blogs: 68 personal mentions (based on Technorati results for blogs with any authority)
* Video site postings: 8
* Photo site postings: 2
* Interviews secured: 2 –- Will Greenwald, CNet, and Andrew Hickey,

Netcosm received media and blog coverage in Tier 1 media and blog outlets, including TechCrunch, Wired and Network World. Additionally, based on Technorati results with some authority, Netcosm information was linked to and posted to numerous blogs and aggregation sites.

Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
In less than a week, the Netcosm viral campaign generated results that had immediate business impact for NetQoS. Specific business results include:
* More than tripled its Web site traffic and increased reach (according to Alexa) by 195%
* More than 80% of that traffic was new (achieved broader exposure).
* More than 800 downloads within the first week.
* Inside Sales actively worked 14 qualified leads the first two days and one resulted in a meeting in less than 24 hours. Of the 14 qualified leads sales started to work, 75% were government leads -- a very hard to target group of prospects.

Biggest Learning:
We were surprised at how quickly buzz can start building and the momentum something like a viral video can have in today’s Internet-based world. Unlike most campaigns that build slowly, NetQoS' Inside Sales team needed to be prepared before the posting of the video so that they would be prepared to answer Sales calls and follow-up on leads. Also, follow-up materials needed to be very low-key and conversational in tone.

One of the biggest surprises was that it wasn't the NetQoS Netcosm post that made it to the front page of Digg. It was the TechCrunch article. In the future, NetQoS' marketing arm would spread the word about the most popular blog posting about the topic instead of our own blog posting. New media communications vehicles are very powerful but require a level of understanding to be used properly to successfully implement a campaign.