B2B Marketers Beware: The Internet Kills With Viral

It’s been weeks since Edge of Tomorrow hit the big screen but despite all the good reviews, people still aren’t getting over the PR tragedy that is Tom Cruise.

Such tragedies serve as a grim reminder to B2B marketers who shun the idea of implementing viral tactics.

Underrating Edge of Tomorrow only gets more tragic when you read about how the internet killed Tom Cruise. This same internet is the one often championed as the next stage in marketing’s evolution.

But the truth? It’s simply a large propaganda machine with its users sharing more about what’s trending than whether or not the facts have truly been straightened out.

That’s what happens when you think viral is some sort of golden achievement for your B2B lead generation campaign. At best, all you’ve done is grab the world’s attention. At worst, you’re playing with the wildest artificial animal brought into existence: the internet.

Half the time, the diverse and abstract culture of the internet is a wonder but other times, it’s just abominable. When something goes viral, there is a tendency that it’s defamatory in either nature or intention (or both).

Still, not many marketers can resist the prospect of scoring all the likes, follows, shares, tweets and views. Thanks to the internet, even B2B brands are now all about playing the popularity game (or at least playing it harder than before). The goal of being the next online sensation has made its way to the dream lists of every marketer.

This has resulted in plenty of scandals in of itself. You have businesses ‘buying/selling’ their likes. Sites like LinkedIn and Twitter imposing stricter policies on registration, rate of posting etc.

Now this doesn’t mean you should shun the idea of creating great, shareable content that prompts your prospects further into your sales funnel. B2B marketers need to constantly find new ways to share stories about their business that touch on the needs of their target market. The problem with viral is that it often grows an audience to large to the point that it becomes difficult to measure, the message gets garbled, and you lose control of the entire campaign.

In order for you to survive, you need to have a very strong focus on both the message and the people meant to receive it. You shouldn’t be afraid to draw barricades between those who are merely watching the viral stunt as it plays out and those who got the message and might actually want an appointment with your sales reps.