Anatomy of a viral marketing campaign #1

No one knows more about using the new Real-Time tools and strategies to spread ideas, influence minds and build business than David Meerman Scott. He's a marketing strategist, speaker, advisor to emerging companies, and author of ten books including three international bestsellers.

Viral Marketing  |  Press Release Content  |  Public Relations  |  Case Studies  |  Best Practices

I've been talking about the power of Web content as viral marketing for ages. It's an obsession of mine and the subject of my latest dead tree book: Cashing in with Content.

But it is rare for me to have detailed insights into the specific metrics around a viral marketing effort using Web content. So I have been happily watching the wave of interest from publishing my new e-book The new rules of PR: How to create a press release strategy for reaching buyers directly, and would like to share the metrics with you.

On Monday January 16 I quietly released my new e-book via a post on this blog. Within hours, hundreds of people had downloaded the e-book. Then I emailed the link to the e-book to select friends and colleagues.

In the next several days, alert bloggers picked up on the availability of the e-book and posted links. Some of them include J.L. Reid, Jonathan Kranz, Ardath Albee, Dee Rambeau, Melanie Surplice, and The Switchboards. Over the next three days, the e-book generated just over 1,000 downloads per day.

Then on Thursday January 19, two heavy-hitters jumped in. Seth Godin wrote about the e-book in a post called What would David Do? Then Steve Rubell posted his deliciously controversial post Direct-to-Consumer Press Releases Suck. On January 19 there were 8,000 downloads and on January 20 there were 5,000. And more bloggers have picked up the thread in the past few days. Grand total on downloads since release (in only five days) is just under 20,000. Not bad for a little e-book that cost virtually no money to write, produce and promote.

I’ll post on this subject periodically as the longer-term aspects and metrics of this viral effort unfold.