10 Ways to Make Your Viral Marketing Campaign Succeed

Dotcom giant, author and social media influencer Seth Godin has seen it all in the world of product marketing, advertising and promotion. One thing he’s seen evolve is viral marketing.

From being a simple marketing message that just got lucky on social media to targeted creative ads that were designed to be shared by millions, viral marketing has come a long way today. Yet, this is one type of marketing that many marketers struggle with.

Viral content strategies often fail, and they do so for multiple reasons:

  • The content resembles a commercial ad too much.
  • Improper metadata is used.
  • You’re promoting the content on the wrong social media channels.
  • The video execution has been sloppy.

But with care, you can make sure that your team creates viral-worthy content every time.

Set the stage for viral success

Do you want the recipe to amazing content that’ll go viral in hours? Take a look at our ten tips below:

Image Credits: Pixabay

1) Stay real

Most viral videos go viral because they involve real, flesh & blood people doing what they really love. This feeling of the video being “real” and not fabricated in a studio is what appeals to the masses.

So, while quality always takes centre stage, try to make your videos as real as you can, with all its imperfections. Have someone record the video live and post it with minimum editing. Let the bloopers remain as is. It will add great value to your video and make it realistic.

2) Take a stand

People LOVE to read or see something opinionated and if this opinion is contrary to the majority’s belief, even better. When you take a stand, your viral content gets noticed in a sea of content.

Take the example of P&Gs winning “Like a Girl” advertising campaign which highlighted issues related to gender equality. By challenging the preconceived notions of what constitutes ladylike behaviour and aspirations, P&G took all the misogynists in the world head-on. The campaign’s videos that debuted during the 2015 Superbowl went viral within hours of posting, being viewed over 90 million times and shared 1 million times.

3) Make use of the right images, memes and videos

The winning combination in any viral content marketing campaign is the relevant media. When you choose your images, memes and videos, make sure you select the ones that will spark debate about what’s currently happening in the world. This way, you’ll be creating a timely piece of content that is also engaging.

For example, when Psy’s Gangnam Style became an internet rager, many brands created hilarious memes based on the Korean rapper to promote their brands. These were an instant hit.

Image Credits: Pixabay

4) Shock and enthral

Shock factor is the greatest enabler of social media sharing. Research by Omnicore shows that 25% of all blogs that go viral evoke shock, astonishment or awe in readers.

You don’t need to create terrifying content; you only need to create content that is different enough to warrant a second look. You could also go the click-bait way and give a shocking title to a video that doesn’t truly live up to its name, but is equally hilarious; like this ad by Smartwater that was not-so-aptly-named “Jennifer Aniston Sex Tape.”

5) Be contextual

Why does anything go viral? Because it’s relevant to the time it was released in, making it understandable and something that viewers can connect to.

Kuwaiti mobile operator Zain Group released their heart-rending video of a little boy inviting leaders Trump, Putin, Jong-un, Merkel, Trudeau and Guterres to break the fast with him on the holy day of Ramadan in his war-ravaged home as a sign of peace; it became an internet sensation.

The video which throws light on the war and political concerns in Palestine, re-introduced the concept of “togetherness” to a world divided by the misguided zeal of its leaders.

You can see the video here.

6) Use your products/services in the most novel ways

When it comes to taking product marketing to the extreme, no one has ever topped what was done by blender manufacturing company Blendtec.

In a series of YouTube videos entitled “Will It Blend?”, Blendtec proved just how sturdy and effective their blenders really were by blending the most outlandish things, which included everything from iPhones to Star Wars collectables to skulls(?!).

Sounds intriguing? Go ahead and watch the videos now. You’ll soon see why they went viral so quickly.

Image Credits: Pixabay

7) Partner with people you wouldn’t normally partner with

A partnership between a cosmetics brand and a beverages company? Sounds weird? Well, that’s exactly what happened when Bonne Belle teamed up with Dr Pepper to create a cola-flavoured lip balm.

Another partnership that raised eyebrows was the auto giant BMW pairing-up with the Louis Vuitton atelier to cross-market their new products – the BMW i8 and the four-piece set of handcrafted leather luggage.

To market their new products, both sets of companies created creative content which went viral almost instantaneously and helped the brands gain great traction in the world. The primary reason for the content’s success was the unique partnership between the companies that had nothing in common.

So, if you want your content to go viral, start by teaming up with someone who you otherwise traditionally wouldn’t work with.

8) Stay mysterious

Content doesn’t just go viral because it’s funny. In some cases, it’s the overdose of mystery that gets people talking (and sharing) your content. Take the example of HBO’s hit series True Blood.

The show’s marketing team mailed vials of deep-red liquid labelled “True Blood” to a few of the most famous bloggers just before the release of the pilot episode, with a small write-up about how drinking the liquid could help vampires handle their thirst for human blood better.

This marketing manoeuvre was certainly quirky enough to get all the bigwig writers and bloggers talking about the upcoming show online; effectively launching it into the media stratosphere.

9) Include social media sharing

Your content may be clever and engaging, but if enough people don’t see it, chances are it won’t go viral. That’s why you need to share it on the right social media channel (where your audience is most active) and provide them with the social sharing tools with which they can push your content. Use the right tags and SEO-optimised metadata to make sure your content is easily searchable.

You can also allow other bloggers and social media influencers to share your content with full-credits by providing them with the relevant links. This will launch your content into the farthest corners of social media and increase its chances of going viral.

According to YouTube sensation Kevin Nalty, for content to be considered viral, it needs to get at least “5 million views in a 3–7 day period.

Image Credits: Pixabay

10) Re-enforce the message in a new way

Finally, once your content has gone viral, it’s time to step back and wait for miracles to happen.

Wait, that’s not right!

Not supplementing your viral marketing efforts is the best way to pour cold water over all of your hard work. When your content does go viral, you need to step up and start creating other content that leads back to the viral content. Blog posts, infographics, memes, videos – anything works.

Not only will the new content help viewers find your viral one, but it will keep your brand alive in their memories and improve your website visits and conversion rates.

Feature Image Credits: Pixabay