What is the best way to promote your product? This question has been debated for years, and now with social media, it’s become even more difficult. There are so many things that need to be considered when marketing a product or business online. One thing that can help you out in this area is viral marketing.
Viral Marketing: What Is It?
Viral marketing means creating something so compelling–either informative or entertaining–that people want to share it with their friends and family members on social networks like Instagram Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. And they do so by forwarding links or posting about it on their own accounts and via email. When someone shares content from you with someone else who hasn’t seen it before (or hadn’t seen it before they shared it), that’s known as viral distribution.
Viral marketing is one of the most effective ways to get your product out there, though no method guarantees success. Some companies have succeeded with viral campaigns but failed in actually selling their products or services. Viral is a good way to generate interest and buzz about your product, but it will not directly translate into sales. It takes a different kind of marketing to actually get people to buy something. That said, if you have an engaging viral campaign which provides useful information or entertains people, it can certainly benefit your brand in more indirect ways.
Examples of Viral Marketing
One example of a company that did an excellent job of viral marketing is Blendtec, which makes high-tech blenders. The company’s CEO Tom Dickson took the joke “Will it blend?” and turned into a hugely successful YouTube series in which he demonstrates that yes, pretty much everything will blend (including iPhones). This tongue-in-cheek humour made the videos entertaining to watch and now has over 200 million views. Another example is the Old Spice campaign, which used humour to make their videos go viral.
Viral marketing is about creating something that’s worth sharing, rather than just pushing your product or service at people without adding any value to it. This article will take you through the steps of putting together a viral marketing campaign and how to make sure it will succeed.
Know Your Audience
Before you come up with a viral marketing idea, you need to know your target audience. You can’t just create an ad that might be great but doesn’t appeal to anyone–you won’t get the result you want that way. Your content needs to be interesting to the people you want to reach and in line with their interests and values.
One of the most important things in creating a successful viral marketing campaign is to know your audience: who they are, what they like, how old they are, etc. This will help you decide on an idea that will work for them; if you want to make an ad about how clean your product is, for example, you’ll need to know who makes up your primary audience.
Learn the Types of Viral Marketing Campaigns
There are several different types of viral marketing campaigns out there. You can go with a more fun and simply entertaining type or try and create something thought-provoking and influential.
Entertaining Viral Marketing Campaigns: You can create a piece of content that’s just for fun, which you hope your audience will enjoy enough to want to share with their friends. People want to have a laugh when they’re online, so if you can provide them with something amusing or adorable, it’ll be a hit.
Thought-Provoking Viral Marketing Campaigns: You can also try to create something that’s informative or thought-provoking, which people will want to share with others so the information gets out there and helps you accomplish your goals. People tend to be more likely to share memorable bits of content than just your average ad.
Identify Goals and Outcomes For Your Viral Marketing Campaign
Before you launch your viral marketing campaign, you need to identify the goal of this campaign. Is your aim to make people aware of a new product? Is it to get more people on your email list? Or is it something else entirely? Once you know what you want your campaign to achieve, you can start thinking about the various ways you can accomplish this.
Once you know what your goal is, identify how it will measure success. Having a direct monetary value on the outcomes of your campaign isn’t always possible, but you should have some kind of criteria that tells you whether or not the campaign was successful. For example, if your campaign was intended to get more people on your email list, you could set a certain number of sign-ups as the threshold for success.
Identify Outlets that Will Reach Your Audience
One thing that’s very important with viral marketing is getting attention from the outlets where your target audience hangs out. For example, if you’re marketing to people who are obsessed with their cats, hanging out in a cat-related forum might yield great results. A great tip is the specific subreddit on Reddit.com for your niche. Reddit has a very large userbase and is a great place to publish content relevant to your niche that can go viral easily. It’s a great way of getting massive exposure for free by having the right image, title and description on an article or link you want to share with everyone else on r/cats.
Produce Quality Content
It’s not enough to simply have a viral marketing idea and publish it–you need to produce something of a high quality, too. Just put out any old thing and your audience won’t be impressed or interested in sharing with their friends. The content you create needs to be interesting and eye-catching from the get-go. Also, make sure your accounts have a high quality. Here is a guide on how to create quality accounts.
Look for Trends and Hooks Into What’s Popular
When you’re coming up with a viral marketing campaign, it can benefit you to look at what’s popular in the media right now. Look at what talking points your competitors are using and see if there’s a hook that might help make your own content go viral. It could be a current news story, a celebrity scandal or something else entirely.
Getting Attention and Getting Creative
If you want your content to go viral, it’s important that you get as much attention as possible right from the start. This means that you need to be creative with the message and how you represent it–make an otherwise boring topic as exciting as possible. For example, if you’re trying to sell new technology, think of ways that it can be used for purposes other than just its intended use.
Be Consistent and Creative With Your Outreach
Once you’ve got your marketing campaign off the ground, you need to keep at it in order to get the most exposure as possible. You can keep it going with consistent outreach, both by email and through social media.
Try Out Different Campaigns Over Time
While you want to have a campaign that will go viral, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Instead of just having one viral marketing attempt at launching your business or product, try out different approaches that have different goals. This way, you can measure the success of each campaign and see what works best for you. Also, keep in mind the success rate depends on your niche. Here are the most profitable niches.
Be Patient With Your Results
It might take a little while to get the results of your viral marketing campaign. While you could send out an email or post on social media expecting instant results, it might take a bit of time for people to catch on. Take the long-term view–don’t give up right away if things aren’t working out immediately.
Build Up for Bigger Opportunities Over Time
While getting something like 100 likes or signups is great, it’s definitely not enough to launch your business or product successfully. Instead, look at what you can do with that audience over time. If you’ve got 100 people who are interested in what you’re selling, create an email course or something similar for them to help improve their knowledge of the topic and keep them updated on it.
Keep Learning And Be Open to New Ideas
While you might think that viral marketing is something for big business, keep in mind that it’s really about taking a good idea and doing whatever it takes to make the most of it. You can use many of the same concepts and ideas in your own business without much effort. Keep learning and stay open to new ideas and you’ll be able to bring your small business a long way.