Viral Marketing processes will not be perceived by a broad audience unless they are seeded. Seeding describes an idea used in viral marketing campaigns to initiate the teaser of the campaign by planting a “seed” into a “breeding place” like blogs and portals of the desired target group.1) The goal is to attract opinion leader in the desired audience. The seed helps the campaign to become multiplied and also tries to accelerate the process of adaption of the focus group.2) Seeding is therefore only a part of viral marketing. It is assumed that if at least 15% of the target group is activated the campaign will take its way autonomous.
One can differentiate between simple and complex seeding:3)
Once a virus is placed it is really hard to pull back or get under control. Therefore it is very important to define exactly the target group. If the target group doesn't like the spot than it won't recommend it. But if the spot is designed precisely to target the right group than the advantage is that it will almost automatically expand to the rest of the target group.5)
It is most recommendable to do some pre-test before launching a viral campaign. Due to changing in behaviour and mind-sets target groups might change quickly. What is interesting and attracting today might not be tomorrow. Therefore, creative and independant tests are very important.6)
There exist many platforms on which seeds can be placed. The desired goal of the campaign and the target group determines which platforms are the right ones to use. There exist platforms that can be directly or indirectly influenced by the companies:
Based on seeding of viral marketing campaings a new business model was developed by some advertising companies. These companies are specialized in distributing branded video content to the relevant audience. With a huge network of publishers and a sophisticated seeding strategy, the customer's advertising content can be placed successfully within the social media in order to create buzz. In addition, the performance of the campaign is tracked, documented and analyzed.