5 Things About Viral Marketing You Ought to Know

January 9, 2017 · 3 min read

In the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, going “viral” has become a necessity for companies and individuals who want to make some noise in their industry. Here are 5 things you simply have to know about viral marketing.

Kim Kardashian broke the internet, Deadpool took over Tinder, and the Old Spice guy still has our full attention. Every day it seems a new product, service or internet sensation is going viral. With social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and, of course, YouTube using video to engage with their audiences, there is no doubt that businesses need to take heed and input it in their marketing strategy. After all, when it comes to content users consume the most, video tops the list, and that is not a fact that businesses can afford to ignore.

So how do you get your business’ message to as many people as possible? We’ve compiled 5 things you simply have to know about viral marketing.

What does Viral Marketing actually mean?

The number one thing you need to know about viral marketing is that it doesn’t only mean that your videos scored millions of views. Viral marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on spreading information and opinions about a product or service from person to person, especially by using unconventional means such as the internet or email. In other words, this strategy relies on online users who share your post or video, which eventually accumulates millions of views.

No Money? No problem!

You don’t have to be a big spender to create a great viral marketing campaign, but you have to be creative with the campaign you’re putting together. Remember, audiences value originality so while your video doesn’t necessarily need to cost an absurd amount of money, it needs to be unique, and make people want to tell others about it.

You can use your contacts to influence

A big part of viral marketing is actually using your contacts. If the whole concept behind the strategy is word of mouth, then why not start with the people you know? In fact, the more we understand influence, the more we can harness its power,so use your contacts to influence others and get a buzz going around your product.

You can and should play on people’s emotions

People tend to react and share videos when they feel emotionally stirred by them. Research shows that you need to engage a viewer’s emotions, and one emotion isn’t enough. Viewers are more likely to be engaged if they’re taken on an emotional roller coaster throughout the video or post. And while you’re trying to use a viewer’s rainbow of emotions, research shows that negative emotions are less commonly found in viral content, while emotions conveying surprise are featured, so better focus on those instead.

viral marketing
Image courtesy of Research: The Emotions that Make Marketing Campaigns Go Viral, Harvard Business Review

It’s not science

There isn’t any scientific method to the madness that is viral marketing. Yes, playing on emotions and being creative helps, but that doesn’t mean your videos will go viral. On the flip side, you can make the simplest video and it can hit millions of views in a matter of days.

All in all, viral marketing, or viral content as a whole, has taken over. Without even noticing, audiences are sharing what they’ve viewed online, and the cycle just keeps rolling. While businesses have yet to discover the precise formula that’ll enable them to create viral videos, there is no doubt that knowing more about what people are searching for online will help. So go ahead, take a chance on your next campaign and with a bit of luck, it too will go viral and generate a buzz.

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Community and Content Marketing Manager at Slidely with experience in creating, curating, and using awesome dynamic content, anything from blogs to gifs to videos, to engage large active communities across all socials.

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