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Aug 12, 2009

B2B Viral Campaigns that Delivered: 6 Examples

SUMMARY: We want to put the best B2B viral marketing campaigns in the spotlight next month at our 2009 B2B Marketing Summit -- which means we’re still looking for nominations for this year’s Viral Marketing Hall of Fame. So we thought we’d give you some inspiration.

We’ve collected six B2B campaigns that were honored in our Viral Hall of Fame to demonstrate how the tactic can apply to your lead generation strategy. Each write-up includes a description of the campaign’s goals, seeding strategies, results, and tons of creative samples.
Viral marketing may be more common in the B2C marketing world -- where consumer-friendly videos, contests, and edgy content can appeal to a large audience. But viral marketing done right can be a big part of a B2B marketing strategy.

In fact, viral marketing was the top-rated social media marketing tactic cited by B2B marketers in MarketingSherpa’s latest B2B Marketing Benchmark report. Marketers have told us they’ve seen benefits from viral marketing that include:
o Reaching a new audience
o Cutting through clutter of email, whitepapers, and other online marketing efforts
o Generating highly qualified leads

See how B2B marketers generated a viral effect with these six campaigns that were inducted into MarketingSherpa’s Viral Hall of Fame in 2007 and 2008. Then, check the Useful Links section at the end of the article to nominate your own efforts for this year’s honors. Your campaign could be featured at our 2009 B2B Marketing Summit.

2008 B2B Honorees:

#1. Pazazz’s Printing’s Alive

MarketingSherpa Summary: Pazazz’s edgy video shows that viral success is possible without breaking the bank. Pazazz wanted to convey its love for printing by making people laugh, and this 3-1/2-minute video does just that on a shoestring budget. Seeding consisted of an email to Pazazz’s house list, a YouTube video, links on Facebook and LinkedIn and press releases to industry publications. The video has received 133,000 views and more than 20 requests for a high-resolution copy to show at conferences and corporate events, plus a speaking gig for the CEO at major conference.

Click here to see campaign details:

#2. VeriSign’s Liberty Fillmore, the Cart Whisperer

MarketingSherpa Summary: Ask any eretailer: abandoned shopping carts are a challenge. And nobody cares more about that challenge than Liberty Fillmore the Cart Whisperer. Internet infrastructure provider VeriSign created a series of fun videos featuring the fictitious Liberty Fillmore, who teaches that website shopping cart abandonment is preventable. The campaign included submissions to YouTube, a MySpace page, a Facebook page and a website for Fillmore’s poetry, videos and contest. The videos delivered a heap of blog coverage and more than three million views on YouTube.

Click here to see campaign details:

#3. McKinney’s Snowglobe Boy

MarketingSherpa Summary: Sometimes elaborate tactics aren’t required to stimulate a viral response; all it takes is one great idea. Ad agency McKinney’s idea was to take holiday ecards to a new level by putting an employee inside a giant inflatable snow globe for four days and broadcasting it on a microsite 24 hours a day. Visitors could receive "season’s greetings" from Snowglobe Boy and chat with him. In a week, a small seed of a Facebook page, a YouTube video and about 1,000 emails to McKinney’s friends attracted about 50,000 unique visitors, network press coverage and lots of search traffic.

Click here to see campaign details:

2007 B2B Honorees

#1. NetQoS' Netcosm

MarketingSherpa Summary: Few efforts can drive a video campaign as elaborate seeding does. For one B2B marketer, it really paid off. NetQoS 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 B2B videos go viral, too?

Click here to see campaign details:

#2. The Gobbledygook Manifesto

MarketingSherpa Summary: You know how PR folks like to use buzz-laden words in their press releases -- "next generation," "flexible," "robust," "turnkey," "best of breed." Ugh. Such gobbledygook was the topic of an article by consultant David Meerman Scott, a repeat Hall of Famer, who saw superb viral attention for his new book -- by simply seeding the piece on his blog, forwarding the article to a few friends and issuing a press release with the most-used offending words. Total cost: a few hundred dollars. ROI: $50,000 in new business. His cleverness certainly caught fire.

Click here to see campaign details:

#3. Exeros Inc.

MarketingSherpa Summary: What better way to engage a techie audience than to challenge them to a digital contest and dangle a $25,000 prize in front of their noses? Exeros intelligently synched a contest with an upcoming annual conference to create an online-offline bounce. Not only did they receive more attention than they thought they would get, but they also received an unusually high qualified lead rate and a big lift in website traffic.

Click here to see campaign details:

Useful links related to this article:

Now Seeking Nominations: MarketingSherpa’s 5th Annual Viral Marketing Hall of Fame

See Also:

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