ApprovedAt Pandemic Blog, we try to provide quality content to people looking to learn more about viral and social media marketing. To further this goal, we’re starting our ‘Reviews’ series of blog posts. In this series, we will review online marketing efforts from successful businesses, summarize their key features and assign scores in six categories. From these categories, we will arrive at a final Composite Score. This will result in a relatively standardized rating system that can then be used to accurately compare different online marketing efforts. The end goal, as always, is to further valuable discussion and to gain insight to viral and social media as they come into being, progress, succeed or fail.

The scores will be presented as follows:

  1. Value to Consumer: 1-100
  2. Engagement: 1-100
  3. Viralness: 1-100
  4. Ease of Use: 1-100
  5. Creativity: 1-100
  6. Forwards: 0-Infinite

Composite Score: Calculated by adding the scores of sections 1-6 and dividing by 5.

Category explanations:

Value to Consumer: This category represents our belief that a successful viral or social media marketing efforts should bring actual value to the consumers that experience them. This value, as I’m defining it, is pretty open and can be anything from entertainment and interesting discussions, to information and helpful resources. Since an online consumer is not captive to the marketer in any way, the marketing effort needs to bring real value to the consumer’s life if the marketing effort has any hope of being watched, engaged with or passed along. This category’s score ranges from 1-100 (100 being the best possible score).

Engagement: This category represents the ability of the marketing piece to engage the consumer with the brand. More than just “time spent on site”, this metric takes into account how much the consumer actually gets to “play” with the brand behind the marketing effort. A video can be very engaging, but destination sites, games, and blogs have even more potential for drawing the users into the “world” of the brand. Campaigns that combine multiple “new media” elements can be more engaging still. This category’s score ranges from 1-100.

Viralness: This category measures the ease by which someone can share the marketing effort with their network and any incentives that they have to do so. Are consumers prompted to share the marketing piece via social networks, email or embed tags? Is it even possible for them to do so? An important factor when discussing the ROI of an online marketing effort will be the ability of the effort to disperse easily on its own and reach a significant number of consumers. This category’s score ranges from 1-100.

Ease of Use: This category represents the ease of use or user-friendliness of the marketing piece. Can people see/play/download/upload/etc what is necessary to make this piece engaging in a quick and effortless way? Marketing efforts that are too involved and require much work on the part of the consumer will not spread optimally. The more time or tech savvy required to successfully experience the marketing message, the smaller the group of consumers using it will be. This category’s score ranges from 1-100.

Creativity: This category is relatively self explanatory. Something has to earn the consumer’s attention and the more interesting and different the marketing effort, the more easily that attention can be earned. This category’s score ranges from 1-100.

Forwards: This is a more concrete, “the proof is in the pudding”, category that simply reports the number of times I, personally, forwarded the marketing piece before sitting down to write a blog post about it. I figured, rather than trying to come up with a more subjective measure, why not simply record the number of times I ACTUALLY forward the piece and weight that number significantly less in the overall calculation. This category, barely affecting the Composite Score, almost amounts to a “bonus” category and can only shade the final score slightly in one direction or another. This category’s score range begins at zero and could theoretically be as large as the amount of connections I have in my network at any given time.

Composite Score: This number represents the overall assigned score to the marketing effort as a whole. With the first five categories equally weighted and the final category (Forwards) weighted significantly less, the composite score provides an easy way to compare otherwise disparate marketing campaigns. The range of the composite score is theoretically infinite, but the score of the campaign should be considered as if it were on a 1-100 scale.

Our Reviews series will hopefully provide a platform for discussion about actual viral and social media efforts that are currently online. Acting as a bare-bones case study, our readers will be able to see not only how each marketing effort stacks up against other efforts, but also what factors go into creating a successful viral and social media campaign. After reviewing multiple campaigns, important trends, strategies and techniques will be discussed.

As always, email us directly or comment if you have questions, improvements or social media marketing campaigns that you’d like to see reviewed.

Written by Brennan White