A viral marketing campaign is one that spreads like a rash.
It involves a great idea or piece of content that everyone wants to share far and wide. The hope is that as the message spreads more and more people will see it, until it takes on a life of its own and creates exponential growth in the number of people reached.
Fancy giving it a go at your business? There are a few things you might need to know to create a successful campaign.
How does viral marketing work?
It’s all about social media and leveraging those networks to spread a message. If someone sends you a funny gif, you share it, right? And then your pal shares it again.
The goal is to get as many people as possible to see the content and then share it with their social networks. The more people who see it and share it, the more exponential the growth becomes.
Can viral marketing be effective?
The simple answer is yes! Because it costs relatively little and taps into existing social networks that enable content to spread quickly and easily.
Why else should I consider viral marketing?
- A successful viral marketing campaign can lead to a significant increase in brand awareness and reach.
- Reach a wider audience than you would with other marketing techniques.
- Engage the brand and consumer
- Once content has been created, there’s no more costs to continue spreading the word.
The Ice Bucket Challenge started by ALS Association in an effort to raise awareness for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) was a fantastic example of a successful viral campaign.
Participants would pour a bucket of ice water over their head and then nominate others to do the same within 24 hours. If they didn’t complete the challenge, they had to donate money to ALS research. The campaign raised over 100 million dollars.
Creating your own viral marketing campaign
You’ll need to include the following if you want half a chance of a viral campaign!
- Eye-catching headline – it’s got to make people click on it to read or view more
- Pull on heartstrings: Want people to share it? Then it needs to elicit emption whether that’s sadness, happiness or something else.
- Call to action: What do you want people to do next? Do the same? Donate? Buy something? Let them know at the end of your content!
Create urgency: There’s no better motivator than urgency – make the campaign like this and people will take part
- Competition: Who doesn’t like winning stuff? Give them an incentive to share your content.
- Strong visuals: This is the difference between a great campaign and a feeble one. Images are everything.
Viral marketing can be a great way to spread the word about your product or service and build a community around it. By including a few key ingredients, you can create a campaign that’s designed to be shared and that has the potential to reach a large number of people.