If there is one thing that all marketers have in common, it is that they dream of their marketing campaign going viral. To do so would be like striking gold in a gold mine or winning the lottery. However, is there a secret recipe that can ensure such a campaign does go viral?
Unfortunately not, if it were that easy, you would have marketers that could reel off viral marketing campaigns each and every time. The truth is that there is no way to predict just how a campaign will go and more often than not, it comes as a complete surprise if one went viral.
Although there is no winning template to follow, there are a few steps that you can follow to give your marketing campaign a better chance.
If there is one thing in common with most viral campaigns, it is that they are visually appealing. Video content or at the very least, images are used heavily during the campaigns. Humor is a good direction to take or you could go down the ‘shock factor’ route. Either way, just be careful that it does not compromise your brand in any way.
Carefully Plan Your Campaign
Although many viral campaigns are accidental, most will have been planned in the hope of going viral. You need to give your campaign as much chance of success as possible, so ensure the material and message is clear, well executed, and will be well received by your target audience.
Play to Emotions
Almost all viral campaigns will tug on the emotions of their target audience. The message has to grip people whether through humour, fear, or sentiment. A strong message sent in an emotional way could lead to people sharing the content and thus allowing it to go viral. For example, you need these gadgets because (and then add an incentivizing reason).
Know Your Audience
Obviously, your audience is going to be different than the audience for other brands. So knowing what makes them tick and developing a campaign that resonates with them, is going to be key. Sure, you could get celebrities to post selfies while not wearing makeup if you run a beauty care company but this will not work if you run a law firm.
Don't Overdo It
If you look back at many of the viral marketing campaigns over the years, all are quite simple. There is little need to overcomplicate things. Short messages in small bursts are going to perform a lot better than one long novel. People will not tap into your message if it will wake them too long to read.
Time it Right
Again, this comes down to knowing your target audience. When are they likely to be online and what social media platforms do they use? If you launch your campaign when everyone is asleep, who is going to see it?
Launch it at the right time and encourage your followers to share your content and you might just find that your campaign starts to go viral.
Don't Force It
Never try too hard when launching a potential viral campaign. You do not need to shove your message down the throats of your audience. Take it slow and you will quickly learn if it has a chance of going viral. If yes, then great but if not, there is always next time.
Your ultimate aim is to gain good brand exposure while also giving your existing followers some content that is of value. With the perfect balance you might just have a viral campaign yet.
Creating a viral campaign often comes down to luck but using the above tips should give any marketing campaign a better chance of success. There is no magic formula to creating viral content, it is just being in the right place at the right time with the right campaign.