Viral Marketing involves any form of content, visual or written, that generates an instant buzz. It receives an extraordinary number of views, shares, and likes, striking up rapid conversations on one or more social media platforms within a short time. In terms of ROI, it is the ultimate fantasy of every digital marketer because you reach out to thousands of users (way beyond your typical social media outreach) without any sizable investment.
But what is truly intriguing is that you can never fully predict that the series of content pieces you are about to post will get viral for sure. As business owners and marketers, all we can do is closely analyse different viral marketing case studies of similar businesses and try to piece together the elements that constitute a viral marketing campaign.
Here’s a look at the top five elements of a viral marketing campaign:
Strikes an Emotional Chord with Your Target Audience
There is an avalanche of content for every niche on the internet. Every content marketer tries to make their pieces unique, informative, engaging, and of real value for the targeted market segments. But according to the top digital marketing company and the best SEO service providers in India, only a minuscule percentage of these end up being viral.
The reason is simple. When a video or blog invokes a strong emotional response in your target audience, the audience becomes overwhelmed and compelled to share it with like-minded users on social media. Be it the ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign launched by Dove or the humorous punch lines of Old Spice, each of these struck an instant emotional chord with end-users across the world.
Viral Content is Always Platform-Centric
The probability of your content going viral is much higher if what you are sharing is in sync with the targeted social media platform. At the same time, certain common factors, the user demographics, content styles, and sharing patterns, are unique for each platform.
For instance, if you have a funny video to share that subtly promotes your new product, Facebook and Instagram would be ideal for sharing it. On the contrary, if you have a formal or intellectual write-up or infographic, sharing it on LinkedIn and Twitter will be ideal. For strong visual content, Instagram and YouTube are the go-to platforms, while for social messages and concise marketing punchlines, Twitter is the preferred medium.
Out-of-the-Box Thinking can be Highly Rewarding
To create something exceptional, exciting, and share-worthy, out-of-the-box thinking is a must. As a marketer or content creator, you must let go of conventional notions and tread towards unconventional areas. Most marketing campaigns that went viral were always different from the mainstay.
Unconventional, eye-catching, and shareable content can resonate with your target audience instantly. For instance, even before the advent of digital marketing, the Hutch Pug Ad Campaign was a massive hit because it was unconventional. In recent times, Airbnb experiences hashtags and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge are two superb examples of out-of-the-box viral marketing campaigns.
Authenticity is a significant factor not just for creating viral content but for all your digital marketing endeavours. If you entrust any reputed digital marketing company or an SEO service provider with your social media marketing requirements, the first advice that they will give you is to maintain brand uniformity, information clarity, and authenticity.
Social media users are highly well-informed and discerning nowadays, and they will scrutinise any piece of content they come across. If you are inauthentic, manipulative, or unclear in your messaging, it will yield a negative outcome.
Get Your Timing right
You might have the most unique, potentially viral content pieces, but it will all turn out to be a damp squib if you don’t share it at an appropriate time. Now there are two aspects with regards to the relevance of timing. First is the socio-economic and political status at the moment. If a majority of social media users are engrossed in a significant event, news, or current issue at the moment, your brilliant content might go unnoticed.
The second factor involves the actual timing- morning, afternoon, or night. Before sharing any painstakingly created content, make sure you check your target audience’s usual social media activity. For every demographic, there is a particular trend and timing as to when users are most active. Incorporating such insights will yield better results.
At a given time, social media is always abuzz with some viral content or other. With the above elements and guidelines, your chances of making your content go viral will be much higher. In addition, when it does go viral, make sure you have a solid plan in place to capitalise on all the attention and get valuable leads. After all, the shelf-life of any viral content is limited, and you need to be proactive enough to cash in on it immediately.