Viral marketing is a method of influencing the target audience and brand promotion with the help of the target audience itself, which does it both consciously and unconsciously. This is word-of-mouth advertising, which means spreading a word about your company to reach a wider audience.
Advantages of Viral Marketing
Expenditures for viral marketing are lower than on other types of marketing, especially traditional ones. Starting a business, one is to spend much money on advertising, while viral marketing does not require such expenses. Your target audience will share information instead of you.
Guess who people trust more: businesses or other customers? The answer is evident. Businesses carry little credibility since they aim to sell. If your business grows, more hype is around — the more people will trust you as they have the proof why you are a reliable company.
A fast method of lead generation
Viral marketing is an excellent example of quick lead generation as it can use all digital marketing types and channels altogether. So, a broad reach is guaranteed. Besides, people are always interested in trendy topics. They are eager to share interesting, entertaining, and original pieces of information with their friends. Probably the most famous example is a significant number of memes and videos with cats.
Facilitates brand awareness
Brand awareness can't be built quickly; a lot of time is needed for your brand to be discussed. If you understand your audience and succeed in viral marketing, you will get long-lasting results.
How does Viral Marketing work?
Creating content is not a challenge, but creating viral content IS. Why? The content becomes viral, not by chance. To make your piece of information viral, it should appeal to the emotions and feelings of the audience. Recall the last post you shared with your friends. What kind of emotions did you feel? Joy, awe, happiness? Were you moved? It may not be an easy task to correlate your product with some feelings. To get a better idea, think of some original and unusual problems it helps to solve. The modern audience is sophisticated, and you should make efforts to surprise it. Once your customers smile while watching your video, be sure that their friends will do the same.
Make sure that your content is easy to share. Otherwise, people won't spend the time to find ways. The best digital marketing type for viral marketing is Social Media Marketing. Besides, there won't be any difficulties with monitoring the results of your work.
While thinking over the strategy, remember that the audience should easily understand your piece of viral content.
"Do us a Flavor" is an example of viral marketing created by an American brand Lay's. They had promised $1 million for a person who offered the best idea of a new taste for their chips. This way, they not only got a great many new ideas but increased brand awareness.
Viral Marketing Techniques
Appeal to feelings and emotions
We have already mentioned that appealing to emotions is a must in viral marketing. Forget that you are a seller; think about what makes people buy. They should perceive your advertisement, unconsciously. Joy, awe, happiness, sadness, sympathy — everything that helps to unleash emotions, and deep feelings attract people's attention, make them think about it.
Avoid direct advertising
Would you share just an ad video containing an ordinary "Buy our product"? We do not think so. Avoid direct advertising, as it's already clear that you aim to sell. Surprise the audience, bring something unexpected and original.
Give something for free
Freebies always attract people. Give your client something valuable for free. The most popular method is a giveaway. Thus, you will increase brand awareness and encourage lead generation.
Connect viral marketing with your brand
It may happen that after watching the viral video, your clients will feel anger because it has nothing to do with your brand, so what's the point in wasting your time on it? Some people may share it, but there's no guarantee that somebody will mention your brand name. Make the reason for your viral ad clear for the audience.
Outreach partners and experts in your industry
Your brand will be talked about more if reliable companies recommend it. Connect with such companies, ask them to try your product, and leave their feedback, but do not ask them about direct advertising. If your product is useful for them, they will surely advise it to the audience.
Celebrities are taking part in your marketing help to raise its chances to become viral significantly. Such people can make accessible everything they use: trainers they wear for a morning run, their car, the coffee machine they use daily. Any ordinary thing used by a famous person does not seem to be so casual. People believe that stars use only the best goods in their category.
Nike actively involves celebrities in creating viral videos.
For example, in their ad "The Black Mamba," 2 famous actors were shot — Bruce Willis and Danny Trejo, basketball player Kobe Bryant and a rapper Kanye West. This is a real work of art in advertising. It gathered 800 thousand views on YouTube.
Viral Marketing Strategies
Place social sharing buttons near your call to action
If you are in eCommerce, you can place buttons for social sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. near "Buy." Add the text "If you like this product — share it with your friends."
Motivate to buy
Add the motivating text to your social buttons, for example, "Ask your friends whether this bag will suit your shoes!"
Give a chance to recommend a product
After clients buy something, ask them, "Will you recommend this product to your friends?" and give two variants — Yes/No. If they do not recommend, ask for the reason and provide some variants with, then ask for contact information. It will be useful when the reason why they do not recommend will be eliminated.
Tempt with a discount
You can place two calls to action buttons on different sides of the product. The text of the 1st one will be "Buy headphones" and of the 2nd one "Buy three pairs of headphones with a big discount" and state the percent of a discount. But it will be available only if the clients share this product with their friends. If they choose three pairs, a pop-up window with sharing buttons will appear.
Give a value for sharing
When ordering a product, you can offer free shipping in case a client shares it with the friends. You can also offer a discount for the next purchase under the same terms and conditions.
This way, you will not only facilitate viral marketing but encourage the next purchases.
So, we have dwelt on the most critical issues of viral marketing: its advantages, the way it works, techniques, and strategies. You will indeed find something suitable for your business.
Last Updated: 2020-01-06