How to Build a Viral Campaign

Monday 01st, August 2016

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Of late, it has become fashionable for companies to force marketers to come up with the ‘next big thing’.

‘Let’s go viral’ is the battle cry heard in the boardrooms.

But of course, things don’t work that way – do they?

What began as a humble word of mouth campaign, viral marketing has taken the center stage in the digital marketing world today.

Every individual wants to be a part of it and every digital marketing team wants the massive buzz generated from viral campaigns.

Viral marketing was kick started by e-mails. But the concept reached a crescendo of exponential reach with the advent of social media. Innovation in technology led to a radical shift in the way people consumed media enabling the concept of viral marketing to spread like wildfire.

In fact, when comparing viral marketing to traditional methods of advertising, it is quite obvious where the former scores over the latter.

  • Owing to its exponential reach, it can gain more attention compared to traditional advertising
  • Viral marketing is cost effective which means you can bypass the rising cost of media buy
  • It has the inherent potential to be spread rapidly since its free to share

Viral marketing videos or campaigns more often than not play on the ability to trigger strong emotion – love or hate but definitely not indifference. The focus is on telling an engaging story rather than blatantly advertising the product or service. Access is unrestricted so that interested people can share with the click of a button.

Every viral campaign is unique. That being said, they also have certain common elements that skyrocket them to fame and popularity.

Easy Sharing

The most crucial element is the fact that they facilitate easy sharing. A great message can be completely wasted if it isn’t easy to share.

Commonality Trumps All

Successful viral marketing campaigns also seek to exploit similar behavior or motivating factors. For instance, Red Bull chose to make use of the fact that everyone loves a good thrill from the comfort of their own couches. So they conceptualized the Stratos jump, built enough hype around it to the point where it started rapidly spreading by itself. They enabled live streaming of the jump and, needless to say, when the time came the video went viral.

Optimum Use of Communication Networks

This one’s a no-brainer. Depending on what communication networks are available at any given point, successful viral marketing campaigns leverage all platforms to spread the good word.

Vast Bandwidth

Once people start noticing the campaign, the flow of visitors/viewers tends to increase almost overnight. One needs to prepare the infrastructure for vast volumes of traffic. Realizing at the penultimate moment that the infrastructure cannot withstand large volumes of traffic would be ensuring immediate death of the campaign.

When it comes to building viral marketing campaigns, the process can seem fairly straightforward yet extremely tricky. Find pointers to consider while building a viral campaign here.

At the surface, it may seem like viral marketing is all about some good ideas and experimentation. But rest assured that careful thought and skillful execution goes into every viral marketing campaign. Here are some of the details of what went behind some of the most successful viral marketing campaigns. For a viral campaign to be successful, a framework that binds elements together, deploys the message in the right channels and monitors the progress is vital.

So whether your viral marketing campaign is cute, cool or clever, your audiences will spread the word and your brand will enjoy –

  • greater awareness levels
  • the reputation of generating cool ideas
  • better recall

Have any other techniques to share? Post them in the comments section below.

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