Every day we hear about viral marketing, whether it’s a new video making a buzz or content spreading across social media at the speed of light. But what is it exactly? And how does content go viral?

The content that you put online for your business must be supported by a good marketing strategy from its conception. But sometimes virality is due to luck. To better understand what viral marketing is, you need to understand its definition, the mechanisms of a marketing campaign and the benefits that this type of campaign can bring.

What is viral marketing?

The term “viral marketing”, also known as “buzz marketing”, was coined by Tim Draper, an American venture capitalist and graduate of the famous Harvard Business School. The phrase refers to how marketing campaigns can be so relevant and engaging that people can only share or talk about them. So, in viral Liberia Email List marketing, the people who received the message in turn become transmitters and so on, hence the virality of the content.

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According to this definition, in order to set up a viral marketing campaign for a company, it is necessary to find or create convincing content so that it is massively shared by its targets. Once the right content is in place, providing subscribers with the tools they need to spread the message like a virus is imperative. These tools can be, in particular, sharing buttons for social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) or links to blogs or websites.

Depending on the brand identity and the different promotional channels, viral marketing techniques can include: videos, images, podcasts, e-books, an article on your site or even viral marketing emails.

While the idea of ​​creating ‘contagious’ content might seem simple enough when you watch the videos that make the buzz (a dog on a skateboard or cats eating ice cream), those who have tried a marketing campaign viral in the past know how complicated, if not nearly impossible, a business it is. Even with a very elaborate marketing plan, it is found that most campaigns that go viral often go viral, making it difficult to plan for success. However, successful marketing campaigns all have several things in common.

What are the ingredients to create a viral campaign?

While it’s not an exact science, in order for content to go viral, it must have several basic elements such as:


Viral content must be original and stand out from other content that Internet users are used to viewing. This is because the volume of videos, photos, articles or other content shared online is so huge that the likelihood of an ordinary video going viral is remote. For example, 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute to YouTube. So a video will have to be really special to stand out and be able to garner a lot of views. But the more original it is, the more chances you have of getting shares on social networks.

The message sent

It is important to deliver a clear and concise message during a viral marketing campaign. This principle is even more important when it comes to viral marketing. Indeed, all good marketing strategies start with a well-defined goal. The goal of buzz marketing techniques shouldn’t just end with trying to attract as many people as possible. They should also be used to share information with the target audience, share values, reach a new market or even generate brand or product commitments.

Thinking carefully about what message to disseminate is critical, as viral marketing on social media and other media can be a double-edged sword. Indeed, it can propel your brand to the fore positively, but also negatively, and in a very virulent way. For example, one post might generate hundreds of comments, but half of them might be negative reactions. Which will be very bad for the brand. The way to spread the message must therefore be chosen carefully.

Likewise, during a marketing campaign, whether viral or not, it is mandatory to specify to Internet users that it is an advertisement, otherwise, the company risks breaking the law on the protection of personal data. So avoid collecting personal data such as a phone number or email, let Internet users come to you.

The emotion that a campaign can arouse

According to behavioral psychologists, content is shared for a variety of reasons. Emotional impact is the most powerful reason for people to share a video or picture on the internet. Effectively, content that goes viral elicits an emotional response in people. This causes them to share the content and therefore it spreads quickly. When people develop strong feelings around a message, the urge to share becomes overwhelming. Therefore, marketers need to convey a powerful message that makes people want to share, almost without thinking about it. So, it may be possible to use types of emotion such as fear, laughter, anger, or empathy.

When people are surprised by content, they are more likely to share it. Showing them a surprising fact, making a bold statement, or letting them discover a new way to do something can trigger viral reactions. If an image can spontaneously make people laugh, the first thing they’ll want to do is share it.

In order to reach an audience emotionally, you have to identify the social issues that affect that target audience, so you have a better idea of ​​how to create an emotional response. So, for the content creator, it is crucial to know the expectations of their audience, otherwise the campaign is doomed from the start. Knowing the interests of your audience is the essence of marketing.

The last element is sharing

A lot of people love the content they see on the internet, but they don’t feel the need to share it. The best examples of viral marketing work through a powerful combination of emotional arousal and an external trigger, like a call to action in an email that invites someone to share.

It’s crucial to remind your audience that they can instantly share what they like with their network. For this, several techniques are effective. For example, on a website, one way to encourage sharing is to put buttons for sharing on social networks or to automatically generate an email ready to be sent.

On social networks like Twitter and Instagram, the best technique is to share with the use of a popular hashtag.

Getting people to start talking to each other about your campaign is the easiest way to increase your chances of successful viral marketing.

The benefits viral marketing can bring to a business

The undeniable advantage that this type of campaign can bring to a business is above all the low cost of production. What characterizes viral campaigns is that users do a large part of the work for the brand, which drastically reduces distribution costs. Indeed, viral marketing is based on the fact that the acquisition of new subscribers must be done organically. The fact that content is shared voluntarily by Internet users prevents a brand from adding additional costs for the purchase of advertising space. While viral marketing may not be a medium that sells straight away, the potential for brand awareness spillovers is just enormous.

A viral post also has great potential. A viral video on a new website has the ability to reach a huge audience without having to invest a lot. So a small business or even an individual can go extremely viral.

In addition, this type of campaign is not invasive. In viral marketing, it is the social media or website user who makes the decision to share content with others, reducing the possibility of the business being seen as intrusive. Thus, brand perception and interactions with Internet users will be better compared to traditional advertising.

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