As B2B marketers extend their reach into social media, here's some time-tested sage advice on viral marketing that's worth a second look. In an archived article at MarketingProfs, social-media guru David Meerman Scott offers a step-by-step formula for B2B viral-marketing success.

Here are just three of Scott's proven tips:

Basic formula for viral success: "The formula for success includes a combination of some great—and free—Web content (a video, blog entry, interactive tool, or e-book) that provides valuable information (or is groundbreaking or amazing or hilarious), plus a network of people to light the fire and links that make your content very easy to share," he says.

Basic plan of action: "Viral-marketing success means thinking like a venture capitalist (VC) or film producer," Scott explains. Emulate the way VCs invest in startups and studios create films. "A typical VC follows a maxim stating that most ventures will fail, a few might do OK, and—hopefully—one will take off and become a large enterprise that will repay investors," he notes. "Record companies and movie studios follow the same principles, expecting that ... the one hit will more than repay the cost of a bunch of flops." First steps: Think of hundreds of ideas, then choose a handful to actually create.

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