Viral marketing isn’t just good for name recognition and Youtube video views, is also bears some solid business importance. Here is the what, why, when, and how of viral marketing techniques.
Have you ever woken up to a sudden spike in your web traffic, adding hundreds of thousands of followers to your social handles, and thousands of messages and emails that need addressing?
This is the result of a viral marketing strategy.
As the name suggests, ‘viral marketing’ refers to a marketing endeavor that spreads like a virus. Any marketing strategy that gets people talking and spreading the word would be tagged as a viral marketing strategy. A common notion these days in regards to viral marketing is that it would something that goes viral online. While content does spread faster online, there are many ways offline marketing strategies could go viral too. More often than not, when something goes extremely viral, there is a lot of luck involved.
With that said, it is possible to ‘engineer’ a viral marketing strategy. Two common and essential elements of a viral marketing strategy are:
- Design-driven content
- Contains information about something that is of high value to the target audiences
Viral Marketing Techniques
Broadly classified, there are 6 different techniques that can help your brand go viral. These are:
1. PR coverage
This is when your PR teams work to get you coverage by a big media organization. The coverage could be for an event or for a new campaign. The goal here is to reach both your and their audiences.
2. Paid advertising across social
All social media platforms now offer paid advertisement options. This is the easiest way to get discovered by thousands of viewers.
3. Features on other blogs
Post on other blogger’s networks as a guest blogger in order to be able to reach their audiences as well. The corollary holds true too – having features of other bloggers on your platforms will also increase your reach.
4. Social outreach programs
Social outreach, also known as ‘pro bono work’ is a great form of reaching out to your communities and audiences. As an added advantage, you could invite volunteers from your community so that they would also post about the event.
5. Promotion through AMAs
Inviting a category or industry leader for an AMA session either on your site or a social media platform is a great way to engage your audiences.
6. Social Media CTAs
CTAs, or Calls-To-Action, are great tool for increasing reach, acquiring leads and monitoring campaign performance and conversion rates.
Benefits of Viral Marketing Techniques
“Going viral” is no longer a thing of fate and fortune, but something that you can create if you get the mix just right. As a marketer or business owner, having a viral marketing strategy is something that could benefit you in many ways, such as:
1. Lower advertising and marketing costs
While at the onset, your marketing expenses may be high, once you do actually ‘go viral’, you will definitely witness a stark drop in your advertising and marketing costs.
This is mainly because once you’ve managed t go viral, the audiences and viewers will promote your content, thus causing you to pull back your costs. Also, since you start developing a following, you’ll be able to target your future campaigns to a larger audience.
2. Exponential growth
It is often said that overnight success is a façade. But, with viral marketing, you could, quite literally, become an overnight success. This is the biggest pull factor of viral marketing. However, it can also have the potential to completely drive you out of business. If you see a massive hike in your demand overnight, but don’t possess the means or resources to meet the demand, it will be a very ugly situation. If orchestrated properly, viral marketing can help you stay ahead of the game on a consistent basis.
3. Media exposure
If you hit bulls-eye with the mix, viral marketing gives major players in the filed of media a reason to cover your brand without you paying or petitioning for it. This would by itself generate virality, as smaller media houses would post about you as well.
4. Increased brand value
With recognition, comes trust and acceptance. Once you are viral, you grab the attention of a new audience, and thus more people are willing to give it a chance. Take for instance, the case of Dollar Shave Club, and how it increased the razor sales.
5. Rapid lead generation
Although we usually focus on the sales that result from viral marketing, we can’t ignore the fact that going viral has a tremendous impact on inbound marketing efforts, lead generation in particular.
Apart from the short term benefit of likes, shares, and “15-minutes of fame,” viral marketing can benefit your brand in the long run as well. It helps you to develop a massive and loyal following and could turn you and your company into a household name, thus creating massive brand value.
While drafting your viral marketing strategy, make sure that you keep it simple and relevant to your mission. Once you’ve executed your strategy be sure to optimize along the way. Be as creative as you can and make sure you keep tracking the right metrics.