By now most of us have heard the term “gone viral.” It usually pertains to a video or other visual asset that’s been shared by millions of viewers across the world. However, going “viral” is not only a pop culture phrase—it’s a strategic marketing method.
What is viral marketing?
Viral marketing is a marketing technique that leverages social media and other online technologies to increase brand awareness and influence. Companies and brands use this type of marketing to get viewers and visitors to organically like and share their content repetitively. Viral marketing causes targeted content to spread throughout the internet and exponentially increase viewership (much like a virus does with an infected population).
Because the popularity of a piece of viral content grows organically, people are more likely to trust it as a source over traditional methods of marketing (such as advertising). And, using existing social media and mobile platforms allows you to easily reach a wider audience than your own existing customers. Users are already familiar with the platform technology and more likely to share via channels they already use (for example, 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others).
How does viral marketing work?
While viral marketing is not an exact science, specific ingredients can increase the odds of success in a viral marketing campaign. The most successful viral marketing campaigns have been surprisingly simple, like Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign or the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014. Common aspects of viral marketing include:
- Giving away products or services
- Including a human interest value
- Providing for easy sharing to others
- Leveraging motivations and behaviors
- Using existing social networks
When done correctly, viral marketing can catapult a company to fame, boost sales or increase customer engagement. If you’re struggling on how to start your next viral marketing campaign, contact Skyfall Blue today!
Interested in learning more about other kinds of marketing? Take a look at our previous blog to learn all about the power of content marketing!