You brought some awesome examples. One of the best ways to get your campaign off the ground is by starting with the ideal audience. I find that I can use data to find my top customers and then make those into ambassadors, nurture those relationships, to create an epic viral campaign. Gilles de Clerck, founder of the Growth Revolution, talks about it here - https://sharesomefriends.com/blog/referral-marketing/
This can be a little easier said than done, but if you have a large social media following, you can definitely earn money promoting a product or advertising for a company. You can even combine this with different marketing campaigns if you are an influencer and have your own blog (advertisement + affiliate income). This is how many bloggers make money! Again, it is not 100% passive but once set up correctly and then scaled, can be surprisingly lucrative.
But that didn’t stop Rovio from switching up their strategy. They decided to build a fanbase in smaller European markets. Three months later, Angry Birds hit the top spot in the Finnish app store after only a few hundred downloads. And from Finland, it snowballed to hit number one across Sweden, Greece, and Denmark. In the process, the app gained 40,000 downloads.
Passive income differs from earned income and portfolio income in a variety of ways. Passive income is generally defined as a stream of income earned with little effort, and it is referred to as progressive passive income when there is little effort needed from the individual receiving the passive income in order to grow the stream of income. Examples of passive income include rental income and any business activities in which the earner does not materially participate during the year.
In YouTube’s case the Viral Cycle Time was extremely short: a user would come to the site, see a funny video, and immediately send the link on to their friends. Tabblo, on the other hand, had a much longer cycle time. A customer would post some photos on the site and invite their friends. The friends might see the photos on Tabblo, and like the experience and decide that they would use the site the next time they took photos they wanted to share. However, that is where the problem came in: it could take months before they next took photos, and decided to share them.
Beta Testing: Identify top influencers who can try your new product in beta and motivate them to review and talk about it before it goes to market. Their followers will be privy to ‘classified’ information that makes them feel great and they will want to know more about the product. Make sure that any bugs or confusion that are identified in this phase are solved before the product goes live. It could turn into a lessons learned blog!
In 2013, Oreo jumped on the infamous moment when a power outage caused lights to go out during the Superbowl. In the 34th minute the Superdome experienced a slight blackout which Oreo’s social media team quickly jumped on. Posting a solitary Oreo on a black background with text reading “You can still dunk in the dark” on Twitter and Facebook, it quickly received over 10,000 retweets on Twitter and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook.
I enjoy how you lay out real numbers. A lot of people wouldn’t do that. While you admit that you are somewhat conservative, I think the $1M in CD’s is just too conservative. Assuming you don’t need the cash flow now (which you say you just save anyways) then all that could be invested for potentially higher returns. For example, what if you bought San Francisco real estate along the way instead of CD’s. Or, an SP500 Index fund. I bet your average return would have been higher than 3.75%. Sure you could lose it, but the point is if you don’t need the cash flow now, you should try to increase that nut as high as possible until the day you actually need it. Your nut could be $5M right now if you had invested in asset classes other than CD’s for the last 14 years. Don’t get me wrong, you have done far better than me, but I guess I would take a little more risk if you don’t rely on that cash flow.
I'm going to add in something that has yet to be said. You CANNOT plan to create a viral piece of content or viral marketing effort. The virality of information and messaging is subject DIRECTLY to the audience and how it sees, understands, shares and promotes this content. The major failing of any and all marketing departments and C-suite executives is that they request a viral video or viral image or viral tweet to help build the brand or promote an event. It. DOESN'T. WORK. YOU. CAN'T. DO. IT. If there were a true formula for creating viral content, it would be worth BILLIONS and only the most successful companies would own the patent on the strategy and methodology. Viral just happens and you thank your stars if it happens for your content or message. Now move along. Real marketing takes hard work and thoughtfulness.
There is debate on the origination and the popularization of the specific term viral marketing, though some of the earliest uses of the current term are attributed to the Harvard Business School graduate Tim Draper and faculty member Jeffrey Rayport. The term was later popularized by Rayport in the 1996 Fast Company article "The Virus of Marketing", and Tim Draper and Steve Jurvetson of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson in 1997 to describe Hotmail's practice of appending advertising to outgoing mail from their users. An earlier attestation of the term is found in PC User magazine in 1989, but with a somewhat differing meaning.