Viral Marketing Essentials for Success
There is no doubt viral marketing is appealing to most businesses. When executed successfully, it’s the equivalent of mass word of mouth… but online… and everyone’s had copious amounts of coffee.
Essentially viral marketing is the online sharing of entertainment (usually videos), passing on a marketing message with the potential for MAMMOTH growth. Instead of spending copious amounts of money on traditional advertising spreading your message – your viewers have done all the work for you. In theory, it’s the pinnacle of advertising.
For your brand to fully reap the benefits of viral marketing, your video must:
- Be entertaining
- Be memorable
- Motivate viewers to share
It must express an opinion or idea and additionally make the viewer feel something (e.g. happiness, anger). It is this trigger of emotion that motivates the viewer to share.
2012 has been another big year in the viral world, with Kony 2012 (#stopkony and #kony2012 ) gaining mass international exposure. The campaign by US activists Invisible Children, aimed to bring attention to Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony’s use of child soldiers. And did it… with over 100 million views it has become one of the most successful viral video of all time.
The marketing strategy employed by Invisible Children demonstrates how a passionate, strong opinioned and unexpected video can be such a triumph. They used the power of viral to their advantage through:
- A clear and consistent message
- Using the most effective online platforms
- Identifying a clear target market and ruthlessly pinpointing them
Another factor that is constant throughout successful viral videos is the use of subtle branding.
Statistically it has shown that the use of excessive branding turns viewers off. Therefore it is important to subtly incorporate your brand into your video. The benefits of a successful viral campaign for your brand can be astronomical, creating mass awareness and helping build equity.
Viral Marketing has come a long way since its inception, and due to its popularity it has become hypercompetitive. This reiterates the fact that viral videos must follow the necessary steps to give themselves the best chance of ‘going viral’.