Viral marketing can be very powerful but you need to get it right which is only possible by involving emotion. People on pass on viral messages, when they are connected emotionally.
Maki on DoshDosh.com references a study of 2007 by the Indiana University that defines 6 types of emotion that can work:
1 Surprise: the first emotion
2 Joy for life enhancement products
3 Sadness for immediate response
4 Anger for immediate reaction to perceived injustices
5 Fear for products or solutions that solve the fear-causing problem
6 Disgust for young males
Would viral marketing also work in B2B?
Is there emotion in B2B?
Probably as B2B Marketing is about people.
People buy, not companies.
The decision makers are people too, thus the same rule of emotion applies.
With the abundance of information and content, your viral campaign needs to be remarked in order to be passed on. There is nothing better than emotion.
Google Maps, Earth and Apps were all surprises as they came for free.
Although this seems to be aimed mainly at consumers, actually Google sells to business: their advertising.
The breakup is remarkable:
One wouldn’t expect this was from Microsoft, which was a part of the surprise of this “Sex in the City” type of video.
SAP started their tagline in 2000: “Enjoy SAP“.
However we don’t know if anyone ever enjoyed SAP, besides the consultants.
And it didn’t go viral.
Still joy will exist within B2B, like the joy of paying less for more with every purchase.
Or the joy of having your small business:
Probably less applicable, but could happen when a good product is no longer supported. This would work against the decision made by your company.
This one has a sad feeling (by the music) and is funny at the same time.
Smaller companies have used this in the role of the underdog
Like Apple against IBM:
This was long before videos could spread over the Internet. Still everybody spoke about the “Big Brother” video.
Fear is everywhere in B2B: from security to continuity
Fear is probably the most present in B2B
People are disgusted about spam, but that could also work against your viral campaign.
If you known one in this category please tell us about.
No emotion: but a strong message
This seems to work too, but less evident to pass on to others.
This sad sounding video, has a clear statement you will remember:
Form http://nomoreabandonedcarts.com/ by Verisign.
Just nice graphics, but compelling to their target:
What about your B2B campaign?
Would you be able to set up a viral campaign based upon surprise, joy, sadness, anger or disgust?