Go viral is the dream, but most projects need a little push.
Mariusz Gąsiewski, mobile game leader at Google’s EEC, likens the virality to sightings of the mythical Yeti, the legendary snow creature that supposedly roams the Himalayas.
“A lot more people are talking about it than they’ve actually seen it,” he told Ploonge, noting that viral growth comes in two types: “real” and “supported.”
“Virals require defense,” said Gąsiewski, which means that most viral products arrive through various levels of acceptance. Products that gain “real” virality are often built from the bottom up, with smaller groups finding and sharing them until they eventually break the barrier.
Bored Apes, for example, started in the depths of the NFT subculture, eventually moving into the mainstream thanks in part to disbelief in the prices paid for art and promotion by celebrities like Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon.
Supported virality, said Gąsiewski, is bought and paid for.
“It’s more common, though still rare,” he said. “In this case, someone is trying to create a snowball effect through advertising, working with influencers, etc.” He said that variant has become more difficult to create as audiences become more media savvy.
“Even hypercasual games whose growth strategies were based on this idea[s] in the past they no longer work that way,” said Gąsiewski. “Its combined growth is with strong user acquisition (UA) activities.”
Formerly known as word of mouth, virality is the middle way, solidaria creator Andrew Yakovlev said via email.
“It’s the hardest, but least expensive, path between the paid media ‘push’ path on the one hand and the content-based ‘organic’ ‘pull’ path on the other. Each of the three paths has its black, white and gray practices, its vices and virtues,” he said.
Yakovlev pointed to the K factor Formula:
i = average number of invitations sent by each customer
c = % average conversion of each invitation sent
In other words, given the size of the audience contacted, how many individuals responded and potentially became involved? Through a mix of real and supported user acquisition, many marketers believe they can drive viral growth rates.