Is viral marketing worth it today? The short answer is yes. Viral marketing can enhance brand awareness and boost sales—two ingredients for a successful business.
However, going viral is not easy. No set of guidelines guarantees that a business or its product will trend. Brands and content often go viral for bizarre reasons, so there’s still a lot of uncertainty around the topic.
Despite this, though, developing a viral marketing strategy still makes sense—and we prove it below. But first, let’s understand the concept of viral marketing.
Viral marketing happens when a brand publishes content that its audience resonates with and shares organically. The success or failure of a viral marketing campaign hinges on how the audience shares content. The more eyes on your content, the more viral it goes—giving you more visibility (and, potentially, sales).
Here’s how it works:
When viral marketing is implemented correctly, customers become advocates online and offline.
Increased brand visibility is the most significant benefit of viral marketing but isn’t, by all means, the only one.
Viral marketing is usually less expensive than traditional campaigns because the audience spreads a message in an organic way. Of course, you may need to make an initial investment to spread the word, often through paid ads or influencers.
But in the long term, viral marketing can reduce advertising costs. This also includes future campaigns because of the brand awareness you will get from a single viral campaign.
Just make sure you are prepared for growth because a successful campaign means more traffic, which can sometimes be overwhelming. However, having solid customer self-service functions in place, like FAQ pages and chatbots, can help.
The main idea of viral marketing is to inspire people to share a marketing message with family and friends—and those family and friends will do the same until that message goes viral.
That’s exactly what Coca-Cola did during the Share A Coke campaign. The brand wanted an idea to get people together to have a good time while sharing a Coca-Cola.
Saying that this campaign was a success would be an understatement, because the company welcomed 25 million new Facebook followers.
A viral marketing campaign can attract the attention of the mainstream media—and once these giants talk about it, the smaller ones follow suit. This, though, also comes with its fair share of challenges: namely, a huge, rapid spike in customer demand.
A successful campaign, then, requires excellent customer support. Provide your team with the training and resources to handle inquiries efficiently—for instance, quality CRM software and Vonage business VoIP phone systems.
It’s not easy to gain market share when you are a new brand. However, with a successful viral market campaign, people trust you—like they trusted Mint.
The budgeting offered perks to users who put “I Want Mint” badges on their blogs or social media pages.
Mint made customers who had that badge feel special without spending money. And through this badge, Mint got free advertising from over 600 blogs, including influencers.
One thing that worked for Mint was being unconventional and authentic—crucial points to remember so you have no regrets during the project review process.
Viral content puts your brand in front of new audiences. However, not all of them will be ready to engage, so this is the perfect time to craft a solid lead generation strategy. As part of it, you should also implement the right tools—for instance, an auto dialer system to reach out to potential leads.
Going viral has no hard and fast rule. Sometimes, things just catch on for no reason. Other times, it’s about great timing. However, some of the best viral marketing campaigns have similarities, which include the following.
If you want a successful campaign, create content your target audience likes. It needs to speak to them and feel personal enough that they want to share it. For instance, Coca-Cola’s Share-A-Coke campaign was personal and resonated with people.
By having their names on a bottle, consumers felt valued. This is why you need to identify your target audience early. Before creating content, consider who you want to appeal to, as well as their values and dreams.
Sharing content with a specific audience can also mean using a platform with a localized domain name, as this can feel closer and more personal to that audience. For example, if you’re targeting consumers in Saudi Arabia, your marketing campaigns might be more effective if created using a website with a Saudi domain name.
For your content to go viral, it has to be shareable literally with a click. That means people should be able to repost it quickly or tag their friends on any given social platform. If possible, make it downloadable—the more accessible, the better.
Additionally, consider using a localized domain name when appropriate, as this can feel closer and more personal to your target audience. For example, if you’re targeting gamers in regions with restricted access to certain online games, such as those playing Warzone, using a specialized Warzone VPN could enhance your campaign’s effectiveness.
Storytelling in viral marketing makes your brand more relatable. Plus, using solid visuals ensures your content is engaging.
Hashtags and going viral go hand-in-hand. By using the right hashtags, even people who aren’t yet following can see your content. Hashtags have other benefits, too. For instance, they can allow you to track metrics like mentions and shares, helping you uncover valuable insights into how your campaign is performing.
Every marketing campaign must have a call to action. These short, punchy, and compelling pieces of content tell the audience the next step to take, whether it be to subscribe to your email list or purchase a product. The power of a CTA is such that you seriously risk missing out on potential sales without one.
If executed correctly, viral marketing can bring your brand to the limelight. Having customers willingly share your content until it goes viral is a recipe for success.
But this is easier said than done. There is no guideline for making a post go viral. Most times, content goes viral for the strangest reasons, or because it was very well-timed.
The best way to approach viral marketing is to be creative—not reinvent the wheel.
Follow in the footsteps of thriving brands, but be authentic. Modern customers will appreciate that, and the chances of your content going viral will skyrocket.