What is viral marketing

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Viral marketing is a sales technique that involves organic or word-of-mouth information about a product or service to spread at an ever-increasing rate. The internet and the advent of social media have greatly increased the number of viral messages in the form of memes, shares, likes, and forwards.

Viral marketing has grown in popularity for consumers seeking entertainment and content creators finding new ways to reach their customers. Chances are that every CEO out there would like to have a viral marketing campaign for their company. … Because it is one of the most effective types of marketing

Benifits of viral marketing

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How a Viral Campaign Works

In theory, a viral marketing campaign is very simple to carry out. You create a video or another type of content which is attractive to your target audience, put it on the internet, and promote it. Form there, all you can do is wait for the fuse to light and for users to start sharing like crazy.

In some cases, virality happens by accident. For example, when a video is uploaded by a private user that all of a sudden becomes popular and begins to circulate all around the internet. 

As for the dispersion strategy for brand videos, there are two types: the shown or the concealed. In the former, the user is aware from the first moment that they are viewing advertising or branded content, while in the latter the participation of the brand is only revealed later. 

If you apply concealed marketing techniques, it is important to be very careful that the user does not feel tricked, cheated, or deceived since this could turn the viral campaign against you. 

No matter what strategy you choose, remember to never ever become “spammy” or go overboard while sharing the content. Instead of repeating your message over and over again, the best strategy is to find a good place and time and let the “viral fuse” light itself.

Advantages of Viral Marketing

  • Low cost. What characterizes viral campaigns is that the users do a significant part of the work for the brand, which drastically cuts down the costs of distribution. It is unnecessary to buy advertising or media space. 
  • Potential of great reach. A viral video on the Internet has the ability to reach a huge international audience without having to invest a ton of money or make an extra effort. Due to this, a small company or even a private individual can go viral. 
  • It is not invasive. In viral marketing, the social media user is the one making the decision to participate and share content, so it lessens the possibility of the brand coming across as invasive. Because of this, the perception of the brand and the interaction are significantly better, compared to more typical forms of advertising. 
  • It helps build up your brand. If you really hit the bull’s-eye in terms of creativity, you create content so incredible that users share it and develop a personal connection with your brand. It is without a doubt an extremely powerful tool when it comes to branding

Elements of viral marketing

Elements of viral marketing

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The Five Elements of Viral Marketing

  1. It Must Be Current

Viral Marketing has to be tied to current happenings, trends, emotions, political landscape, hot topics, etc. Tapping into current news and topics gives background to the content promoted. It also draws upon the topics relevancy with the audience.

For brands, this current content may be tied to the introduction of a new product (Poo~Pourri), a shift in the market, a political position (#lovewins), or current viral topics (the dress/straight outta). No matter what is used to help influence the content, keeping it current is the first step in developing a viral campaign.

  1. It Must Be Relevant

So, you’ve found a current topic that you think you can contribute to. The next step is ensuring that content is relevant to the audience. All content must be relevant, but in order for something to go viral, it needs to be relevant to a broader audience. This doesn’t mean it needs to appeal to a specific side, but instead, it should be something that draws conversation from both sides.

  1. It Must Be Creative

The most successful viral campaigns are created by thinking outside-of-the-box – either using creative formats like videos, slideshows, GIFs, etc. It’s not just about the format though. The content must be creative. In the case of the biased strangers who took a DNA test and found serious similarities, the “viralness” of the content stemmed from our own biases against others even though we know it’s wrong. Content like this discusses topics that are taboo or not easily discussed. Ensuring content is current, relevant, and creative in topic and presentation is the turning point from static to almost viral.

  1. It Must Be Purposeful

We have a current topic, that is relevant to the general public, and it’s formatted in a creative way. Next, we need to develop its purpose. The purpose is one of the most important elements, especially for brands. Why are we creating this viral campaign and what do we hope to get out of it? These are two questions that should be asked prior, during, and after a campaign to assess what exactly is happening.

For brands like Poo~Pourri, the purpose of their first viral campaign was to increase brand awareness. Since they were a new company, the viral content helped get their name out there while also introducing their main product.  When you identify the purpose of your campaign, you can decide how it should be introduced to the audience.

  1. It Must Be Shareable

Lastly, and most importantly, viral content must be easily shareable. Viral content has to act like a virus. It finds a host, is spread to those they come in contact with, and so on and so on. If the “virus” isn’t easy to “spread” then it reaches fewer people – reducing its efficacy. Making content shareable is about all of the previous four elements and introducing tools that help prompt people to engage.