[Measuring a successful viral marketing campaign can be difficult, especially for Challenger Brands, because viral marketing is a whole other breed of animal. When we analyze viral campaigns, we break them into three distinct phases:
Phase 1 – Start-up: This phase is all about measuring buzz and awareness. Is anyone talking about your campaign? Has the local media covered it? Is traffic on your website, blog or landing page growing? Are you seeing the right prospects coming to your site?
Phase 2 – Growth: This is where your viral campaign has hit critical mass and is growing. In this phase, you need to measure your campaign’s frequency, such as how many free demos were downloaded, how many people came to your location, the number of unique page views to your blog, etc. You want to know how many people have responded and how often they are coming back.
Phase 3 – Wind-up: This final phase is all about how long your viral campaign can last. Is your community as vibrant as it was two months ago? Some viral campaigns are designed to burn out quickly, while others can sustain themselves for many months. At this phase you need to measure the long-term impact of your relationships. How often do they buy? Who have they referred? Are they an influencer that drives direct sales?
Typically, the results in a viral campaign are slower and more difficult to measure than a traditional campaign, but the relationship formed with the customer is deeper. Relationships take time to mature and bear fruit. But in the long run, a loyal customer sure beats the price shopper or the “what have you done for me lately” type of customer.