Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing – What Is It and How Can We Benefit From It

Viral marketing is the digital version of ‘by word of mouth’ marketing. It is the target audience that spreads the message across by sharing a post or a video. Viral marketing can generate interest regarding a product or a brand among the end-user through a message which spreads like a virus. The users choose to share the content and don’t need to be specifically requested to do so.

This form of marketing is perfectly suited for social media where sharing of content can be done in a matter of seconds. You must have come across these funny or emotional YouTube videos on Facebook, Twitter or other channels. These are great examples of viral marketing. 

Just like any other form of marketing, there is a risk that the message might be diluted by some users, and the campaign might not achieve the intended results. If the message does reach the target audience in the right way, it is a very profitable marketing strategy. 

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What Makes a Successful Viral Marketing Campaign

You might wonder what makes a viral marketing strategy work. As a concept, viral marketing is simple. You start with a really interesting video or content, post it on social media and spread the message around. You wait for some time for the message to catch the attention of the target user, and the message or video goes viral.

Here are some of the basics of a successful viral marketing strategy:

1. Focus on Emotions:

Viral marketing needs emotions to succeed. When creating the content or video, you need to keep in mind that it should trigger an emotional response for the end-user. It could be love or hatred, anger or happiness. This should be the intention behind this type of marketing. Opinions should be formed – emotions should be stirred for the message to be shared. 

2. Make an Unexpected Move

When people see a great ad, they know what the ad expects them to do. It won’t get their attention. If the video engages the end-users with something unexpected, they are interested!

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3. People Love Stories:

Shift the focus from you and your goals to creating an impacting story. Don’t be direct, be subtle in your message. 

4. Take the Story Forward:

When you create a great story and grab the undivided attention of the audience, they want more. So after the initial campaign, you need sequels to your story. The brand is introduced right at the end. 

5. Make Sharing Easy

The ability to share content is the central idea of viral marketing. People should easily be able to download and embed content. Sharing through email or publishing on social media should not be a hassle. 

6. Get the Audience Involved

You need to connect with the audience. Let them give their views regarding the ad and present the ad accordingly. When the audience feels they are part of the ad, the viewership will shoot up. 

7. Provide Unrestricted Access

Just like a virus, your viral marketing campaign should spread at its own pace. Don’t try to restrict the ad by restricting access by making people register or become a member. Don’t limit the audience; let everyone be a part of it.

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Types of Viral Marketing

There are various types of viral marketing which we will discuss here. 

1. Pass-Along:

Have you come across emails with a message promising a miracle if it is passed on to a certain number of people? Well, this is the basic form of viral marketing. 

The message is so motivating and believable that you tend to share it with people you know. People are more likely to share emails with funny video clips on an impulse. This viral marketing strategy creates a chain by sending emails with these impacting messages at the bottom. This is primarily used by religious organizations. 

2. Incentivized Viral:

This viral marketing strategy uses incentives to like a gift or reward to encourage the end-user to share the message or provide addresses of their friends. Since the customer needs to take action to get the reward, this method leads to faster referrals and more business for the advertiser. 

3. Edgy Gossip/Buzz Marketing:

Nothing sells like gossip, so if you can create controversy through your viral marketing strategy, you have the attention of the customer. The message goes viral globally in a very short span. 

Buzz marketing is about getting public attention. When a popular actor shares some confidential or controversial information about an upcoming movie, it becomes a hot topic for debate!

4. Undercover Marketing:

This is a subtle viral marketing strategy where you don’t ask the user to do anything. It might be just an unusual page or an exciting bit of news. The user does not feel that anything is being marketed and shares the message without being forced. 

5. User-Managed Database:

The users in this method of viral marketing invite others to be part of their communities. The user is in charge of and creates his or her database. This leads to a viral chain being created with others joining the database.

Examples of Viral Marketing:

Here are some great viral marketing examples:

iPhone X: 

The Apple iPhone mastered the art of viral marketing by focusing on the simple ‘selfie!’ The focus was shifted from the product to just taking selfies, which people love. The ad was captioned ‘the iPhone X selfies film’. Apple was able to highlight features like portrait lighting effects in a subtle way. 

Fidget Spinner:

This product went viral as it focused on attention deficit disorder, a major outcome of the digital age. The fidget spinner won the hearts of children and adults alike, and everybody had to have one! From the local supermarket to social media, fidget spinners could be found everywhere. The fidget spinner took viral marketing to the next level. 

Master Viral Marketing with Shaw Academy

Viral marketing has taken the world by storm, and if you want to succeed in business, you need it. Don’t take any chances, learn from a trusted institution like Shaw Academy

You will learn how to tell stories that sell and ensure that your content goes viral. This course will help you identify your target audience and create customer engagement through vlogging. The entire process of attracting potential customers and converting them into a paid customer will be taught to you.  

Master the art of viral marketing today!

Shaw Academy

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

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