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SES Chicago: Igniting Viral Campaigns

Posted on 12.02.2007
Website Magazine's Alma Garcia reported back on one of the first sessions from Search Engine Strategies. First up was the “Igniting Viral Campaigns” session.  The theme was ‘how mid-sized and smaller companies break through to generate online destinations that create buzz, encourage word of mouth and establish relationships with potential buyers.’  What a great question - let's find out the answers!

Highlights of the Igniting Viral Campaign session include:

Bill Hanekamp (CEO, The Well)
The key question being: Do people care about your site?
Four key  factors to generating a buzz and engaging visitors to care are:
•    Entertaining
•    Relevant
•    Timely
•    Exclusive

Ed Kim (Chief Executive Officer, Red Bricks Media)
Shared 4 buttons of buzz:
•    Remarkable
•    Outrageous
•    Hilarious
•    Value

Ed Kim also noted that in order to successfully generate a buzz you must:
•    Identify your target audience
•    Understand what tools and mediums your target audience are utilizing
•    Create content that is buzz worthy to your target audience

Fionn Downhill (CEO & President, Elixir Systems)
Fionn gave a great talk summing up methods to utilize free web 2.0 techniques to stand out and be talked about. Below are a few key points made that any company should be able to use for their benefit:
•    RSS
•    Articles
•    White Papers
•    Social Bookmarks
•    ‘Email this page to your friends’ inclusion

In conclusion all speakers were reiterating the importance of relevant content.  The new twist is that companies need to evaluate how they can repurpose content!  Figure out what your main objective is, who your target audience is and what would engage them.  Create quality content that would be beneficial and repurpose it for which ever medium you are targeting. Also,  if and when possible engage your audience, this makes them care about your content and want to tell others, which of course can turn into links back to your site or jump in readership depending on what the goal is.
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