Viral marketing is an ambition that most marketers share, and for good reason. There is no better way so spread your message far and wide. Not only does your message get disseminated via social networks and blogs and email and popular online message boards, but when you create a viral marketing campaign you essentially recruit your target market to do your marketing for you. Consider one of the latest viral marketing videos: Gangnam Style by Korean hip-hop artist Psy. If you saw that video, it’s probably because one of your friends or acquaintances told you about it, mailed it to you or shared it with you on a social network. How many people did you tell about the video? That’s the power of viral marketing. To make any future campaign viral, include the following ingredients which are shared by most if not all viral marketing campaigns.
Must Offer Value
For a person to want to share your viral marketing campaign with others, you must offer a reason for the person to do so. People share Gangnam Style because it’s hip, cool, different, edgy, short, funny and everyone is talking about it. The value offered by that video is inclusion in the social meme and to brighten the person’s day. Value can also be knowledge.
For example, you might offer unique ideas and thought-provoking information in the form of white papers or infographics. The latter are especially popular viral marketing campaigns because they share the next point in our viral marketing campaign ingredient list: The campaigns must be easily shareable.
Easy to Share = More Likely to Go Viral
Gangnam Style not only became popular because of its quirkiness, though that played a big part in it. The video also became famous because it was hosted on YouTube, the most popular video sharing site in the world. People were able to share that video with a click of a button in most cases, and that contributed to the millions upon millions of views.
The lesson is to make your viral marketing campaigns easy to spread amongst your friends, followers, prospects, customers and fans. Make use of social networks, like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and any others that fit with your viral marketing objectives.
Keep in mind that the more platforms you employ (as long as you don’t spread yourself too thin), the further your message will spread, and to more audiences. You may reach target prospects on Tumblr that you never would have reached if you’d only used YouTube, and vice versa. Reach out, repackage your materials for various platforms and keep everything consistent in look and design so that there’s no question that it came from you, a single source.
The best viral marketing campaigns are those that are unique in every way. For example, instead of publishing a boring how-to list on your blog, you could sing the tips into the camera while playing the guitar. If you’re good, your viral marketing video might go, well, viral and you might get your message across in a whole new way and to an entirely new subculture of your target market.
Polished Is The Only Way
Speaking of being good enough, never release a viral marketing campaign unless it looks and feels professional. No matter if you’re publishing a video, ereport, or an infographic, make sure it’s done right. It’s tempting to want to release your viral marketing campaign as soon as possible. You’re excited and anxious for the great results that you know are going to come. Yet if you rush viral marketing, your campaigns aren’t going to become viral at all. Impatience is the vaccine to the marketing virus. Release a half-finished project and your viral marketing campaign will fail before it begins. Take your time and you’ll get much better results every time.
Don’t Forget About Scale
As a final note, the goal of your viral marketing campaign is to spread your message to as many people as possible, and to get those people to spread your message for you. I know, we covered this; but if you want that massive of a reaction, you must be able to handle it.
Make sure you have enough bandwidth to cover any downloads you may need to accommodate from visitors to your landing page, for instance. Make sure you have enough prizes for any viral marketing contests; and make sure you have enough support on hand to handle the influx of leads that are bound to result if and when your viral marketing campaign is successful.
With the right ingredients, a polished effort and the desire to succeed, any marketing campaign can become a viral marketing campaign. Think about the viral marketing campaigns you yourself have shared with others – maybe your friends and family. Include those elements in your own viral marketing efforts and maybe, just maybe, you’ll strike lightning like all the other lucky (and hard-working) viral marketers before you.