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How to create & run a Viral Marketing Campaign

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We do come across the word “viral” on a regular basis. Whether it is a video, an audio, a joke, a photograph or content, anything can go viral, if it meets the need. Viral Marketing is actually based upon engaging, entertaining, unique and relevant content that can be an instant hit on the web.

You must have heard about a number of video and audio content getting viral within a short span of time; it is because they had something unique for which audience was compelled to share it with their friends. A meme, which has some content related to a burning current event, will go viral if the user finds it unique and interesting.

Viral marketing works on creating an engaging and entertaining content that can tap into the emotions of the users. We will delve into those emotions later; first, let us understand the Viral Marketing definition-

What is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing is a marketing technique in which the marketing content is framed in such a way that it generates huge interest among the people and spreads like a virus. The message of the business content in viral marketing spreads very rapidly from one person to other.

The best thing about this marketing technique is that this one is cost-effective at the same time.

Users on their own work to market your brand by sharing contents. The user themselves share the content hence the marketing expense is minimal.

Nowadays with the vast expansion of the social network, it has become easy to enhance your marketing. With the use of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. the advertiser share their content in the form of video/audio, photo or blogs. It is due to these platforms that viral marketing is possible otherwise, with the use traditional marketing means like radio/TV it was next to impossible to make your contents go viral.

Viral marketing meaning is straight and simple- To make the users market your brand without even realizing it.

As said above, developing an emotional connection plays the important role in making a campaign be viral. So, let us now go through different emotions and their roles in making content viral-

Percentage Role of Emotions to make Online Content Viral (A BuzzSumo & Statista Study)

Viral Marketing

Percentage role of Emotions in Viral Marketing (Source- BuzzSumo, Statista)

  • Awe- 25%
  • Laughter- 17%
  • Amusement- 15%
  • Joy- 14%
  • Anger- 6%
  • Empathy- 6%
  • Surprise, Sadness & Others- 17%

Now, we are ready to dive deep in the working of viral marketing campaigns-

How does Viral Marketing work?

Viral marketing is a very simple process just as other marketing methods; you have to create content, publish it on the internet and then wait to get a response.

You can never predict that which content will go viral and which will not, it totally depends upon the user. Sometimes unexpected contents can go viral and sometime when you are damn sure about content, it will fail to fulfill the purpose.

The gist is that you need to create a unique and interesting content that audience will like to share.

Sometime Virality can be totally unintentional, you may share a video accidentally and it can go viral if it contains interesting content.

When brands create an advertising video, they can either highlight their brand name or conceal it. In a video content, that shows brand name, the user knows the brand name at the start of the video but in a concealed video there remains suspense throughout the content and the name is revealed in the end.

The second type of video content can go viral a lot but there are few critical things that advertiser must keep in mind; the video content should be framed in such a way that it doesn’t look suspicious and the user should not feel getting tricked otherwise the campaign can go against you.

  • Few things that must be kept in mind are that never show too much desperation.
  • Never become a spammer while sharing the content as it may upset the audience.
  • Content goes viral on its own, so you have to publish it at the right place and wait for it to fuse.

Advantages of Viral Marketing

There are a number of considerable advantages of viral marketing.

If you are not using it for your business then you are definitely missing out a very big factor that can enhance your marketing on a great scale. Following are the major advantages of viral marketing that can be beneficial for any business;

  • Nowadays marketing is expensive and if you want to do it in a better way, then it can cost you heavily. However, if you are using a viral marketing technique then you need not worry about the expense, as it is probably the most cost-effective marketing method. Since the users are doing most of your job, the cost of viral marketing is really low.
  • One of the most vital advantages of viral marketing is that it can reach out to a huge number of audiences without a much investment. The range of this type of marketing is infinite. You never know who can share the content with whom. Even small businesses can reach out to a wide range of customers.
  • Whenever the content goes viral, the decision that users make is not invasive hence the interaction is better and not similar to traditional advertising methods.
  • If you successfully create creative content then you can best market your brand with the help of viral marketing. There is no doubt that this method can be extremely powerful in order to reach a wide number of customers.

Tips to run a Viral Marketing Campaign

Making effective content that can hit the mark is never easy and you need to make a perfect strategy before creating the content for your marketing campaigns.

There is a huge competition in the market and if you want to stand out of them then only a unique and interesting content can lead you through that. Following are the certain tips that you must consider while creating content to run a viral marketing campaign-

Target the right audience and channel

Before creating content, the most important thing to consider is to find out the targeted audience. You need to figure out the platform where your targeted audience spends most of their time.

  • The message does not go viral on its own hence you need to trigger the right spot.
  • Targeting the right channel is equally important because if you are not using the right channel things will not go in your way.

Use Videos

Nothing is more effective than video marketing content to make a campaign viral. We get influenced to video contents very easily than to others. Hence, a video content can easily go viral.

  • It will engage the users. As you are adding videos on Daily Motion and YouTube, your friends and your audience can watch and if they find it interesting, they will share it.
  • This will lead the video to go viral, different websites, Social Media and blogs will also feature that, and this will build a trust among those who will watch it.

Offer valuable things free

People like to get things for free and who doesn’t? There is probably none who would hate to get things for free of cost. “Free” word can attract a number of customers to your brand hence this is one of the most effective strategies to attract traffic.

  • A number of successful marketing campaigns use the word “free” in their vocabulary. You will not be getting profit then but sooner or later, if you will build a market, you will definitely earn huge profits.
  • You would have to give some things for free if you want the users to pay attention to your key products and where your business will reach the sky heights.

Make emotional appeal

This is the key technique of “viral marketing”. Almost all of the contents go viral because they have some emotional appeal in them. Things will not get viral if there is no emotional appeal. Actually, viral marketing is all about emotions. But here a common question might strike your mind that how you create such contents? In order to create an emotional content you will have to;

  • Fill it with love, passion, commotion or with something thought-provoking.
  • The main element of the content can either be a genius of dumb.
  • Make a content that will make the people go either extremely happy or passionate about something.
  • If you successfully attack the right area with an emotional content then your content has high chances of going viral.
  • The people will only share content if it is unique and has something creative in that. People will watch it and share it if there is something that resonates with their lifestyle or thinking process.

Integrate sharing, embedding and downloading

Make sure the process to share, embed or download your content is easy. With the help this, the chances of your content to go viral are huge.

You need to create a content and allow the following features-

  • Easily share
  • Easily embed on their site
  • Download the content in an easy way

There is one simple rule of marketing – the more simplified your content is, the more attraction you will get from the audience. If you alleviate sharing and downloading and your content is compelling enough, for sure your audiences will share them. This will also improve your social outreach. In the end, it is all about increasing your reach to a wide range of customer network. You need to help your content to reach out a number of people.

  • In order to do so, you must also have a social network of your own where you can share the content.
  • Develop a social account in such a way that you can provide the content to a number of people when you first publish it, as it will be more beneficial.

Let us now understand the dynamics of Viral Marketing via some of the best Viral Marketing Examples-

Viral Marketing Examples

1. Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” Campaign

Old Spice came up with some out-of-the-box and highly engaging ad campaigns that also depicted the brand character of Old Spice. This campaign came out in 2010 and it is still contemporary when it comes to the case studies of some best viral marketing examples.

“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign of Old Spice received a highly positive response from the prospects and generated more than 55 Million Views on YouTube. After the ad was launched starring Isaiah Mustafa, ad agency came up with 200 short videos for answering queries on Twitter and Facebook Sorts of Social Media Platforms. The unique part of this was featuring of Isaiah Mustafa in all the short videos. This increases the Social Media Following of Old Spice by 1000 percent.

  • This ensured better engagement
  • Integration of social media and television was top notch
  • Real-time response from Old Spice Man (Isaiah Mustafa) was fantastic in boosting conversions

2. Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” Campaign

Unilever’s Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign in the year 2013 is again one of the best Viral Marketing Examples. The campaign was designed to empower females about their appearance. This unique and highly creative campaign involved an FBI-trained sketch artist Gil Zamora who sketched two portraits of one woman-

  1. The first portrait as per the description given by the woman herself
  2. The second portrait as per the description given by strangers

In the result, depictions given by strangers helped the sketch be more attractive than the self-description given by that woman. The motive behind this campaign was to provoke the thought that you are more beautiful than you think.

  • This video campaign got more than 114 Million Views just in the first month
  • It was consumed by the audiences in more than 110 countries and it was most watched internet video of 2013
  • A Brand that references its culture will for sure have the potential to go viral is one of the important takeaways of this campaign
  • Involving customers in a discussion where they can put forward their perspectives or can feel motivated is another important factor to make a campaign viral and you can learn this from Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” Campaign

Final Note

Offering value to your audiences and developing an emotional connection is one of the most important factors that can make a campaign viral. This will jump up the exposure of your brand and hence will increase the reach, lead generation and sales potential of your business as well.

Joining a Digital Marketing Course can enable you to learn and master the best online marketing practices important to run a result driven Viral Marketing Campaign.

In case of any doubts, feel free to write to us in comments.

Garima is a data-driven marketing manager who is buff of Big Data, Digital Marketing & Social Media. Conceiving and executing Digital Marketing Strategies that focus on the audience engagement and acquisition/growth are her strong suits. Writing blogs is something that she holds high for sharing her expertise of which you can get the dividends here, through Digital Vidya blogs.

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