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Some think being viral is being lucky. Many individuals and companies put their best resources – money, time, thinking power, collaborations – everything, all in the purpose of creating viral traffic, while others endlessly pay for clicks and ads.
Many valuable initiatives could have been far more successful if they would just be better known to others – If they would crack the secret of going viral and generating high scale viral traffic.
The question is, can it be done and put to good usage, or is it just so much easier to gain viral traffic for some quiet cat video or someone falling in the weirdest way? And perhaps a far more important question is whether it can be done time and time again? Can we creak the secret of going viral? Can we generate well-planned predictable successes in that field? and if we can, will paying for clicks still take part in our world?
Time Economy’s short answer is:
To make a long story short, when we are exposed to new content if it easily “rings a bell” of who the key audience of this content might be and at the same time it easily feels like we will have a big enough win from sharing that content with them – we will.
Science suggests two types of studies – retrospective and prospective. Retrospective studies include research in which the researcher collects existing data based on a scientific thesis he has to back it up with evidence. In this form of research, we could speculate for example that content offering a combination of deep truth, sincerity, the clear visual original message and some type of thrill or surprise would become viral. We could then review 10, 100, or 1,000 best viral traffic campaigns randomly selected with proper statistical representation, show that they all have these elements, and conclude that should we combine those elements of deep truth, some type of thrill, etc. we will have a viral traffic campaign.
Challenge is that there is much room for speculation in those retrospective studies as they tend to justify the reality in the way the researcher sees it and ignore other parameters. It could be that once such a researcher will try to generate a viral traffic campaign, he will realize it does not go viral because it is not funny or sexy and a viral campaign must also be one of the two or include some other critical component – such as being topical or at least include a cat in it…
Hence, a higher level of research (especially when it concerns human behavior or medicine) would be the prospective study. In this study, the researcher will have to speculate in advance which campaign would go viral and in advance – before its launch. In other words, the researcher will have to predict which campaign will generate viral traffic.
To do that in a scientifically acceptable manner, the scientist’s prediction must be based on a high enough statistical accuracy and strength.
Just expecting that one specific campaign will go viral and being right will count as simply being lucky. A decent researcher will have to create what is called a “control group”. A concept similar to A/B testing.
Should we generate 100 campaigns, predict that 50 of them will go viral and 50 will not and will be right in 80 percent of our prediction, it may be counted as valid based on appropriate statistical calculations and if the control group is properly designed.
Despite the huge importance and the vast amounts of money invested in marketing, viral traffic, and the strong will of going viral – a will that people these days are almost born with, up-to-date such study had never been done and the “secret” of going viral and creating viral traffic was yet to be revealed.
Time Economy will pick up the gauntlet and take upon itself two challenges:
The results Time Economy wishes to achieve are:
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