Viral marketing is when a business’s content catches user interest to such a high degree that it is widely spread by the general public.
Just as memes or videos sometimes take off and go viral, certain ad campaigns catch the public interest and spread like wildfire.
It can be difficult to predict exactly what will grab the audience’s attention, but there are a few tricks you can use to increase your chances.
When you share ads or posts on social media, you want to connect with as many potential customers as possible.
But for small or medium-sized businesses with lower numbers of followers, increasing their reach can be difficult.
How do you get your brand in front of all potential users?
The answer is viral marketing.
What Is Viral Marketing?
Viral marketing is when a business’s content or ads catch user interest to such a high degree that they are spread by the general public, not just the business’s target audience.
The content spreads rapidly and organically as people send images or videos to their friends and share it on their own social media networks.
Even though viral marketing campaigns may start as paid content, the keyway they gain traction is organic, using shared videos.
Social media is the main medium for viral campaigns, but the spread can be enhanced through news and media sites as well as email.
So when designing your campaigns, keep in mind that the content needs to be posted in an easily shareable format.
Keep producing content, and adjust as you go, base yourself on what resonates and what falls flat.
Viral Marketing Example
The #IceBucketChallenge: Call for Action
Going viral is just as beneficial for nonprofits as for traditional brands.
The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Association proved this with their Ice Bucket Challenge video ad campaign.
Participants were encouraged to videotape themselves pouring ice water over their heads and challenge three people to do the same and make a donation.
As a result, the nonprofit raised $115 million. Over 2.5 million people participated in the US alone, including celebrities such as Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey.
Key Take Away from the Campaign
Encourage user-generated content (UGC).
The ALS association gave people a specific, fun challenge to do and share—asking participants to tag three other people—so the campaign naturally spread across the internet.
Tips for Viral Marketings from Unokha
- Viral marketing is unpredictable.
- You can’t always tell what will spark interest, and sometimes ads go viral for the wrong reasons (like with Pepsi’s ad featuring Kendall Jenner).
- But with patience and careful planning, you can boost your chances of success.
- Create ad campaigns that tap into positive emotions and that aim to inspire or address social issues.
- Above all, keep trying.
Regularly publish high-quality ads and content, and adjust as you go to see what resonates with your audience and the general public
For a more detailed discussion on this topic, feel free to book a session with me and we can have a meaningful conversation.