What is Viral Marketing? – A Complete Guide

By Techfunnel Author - Published on May 13, 2021
Viral marketing

Every day we hear about a new viral video or another content format that spreads at lightning speed.

The kind of content that inspires genuine intrigue, curiosity, and enthusiasm. The kind of content that turns an internet user into a customer and then into loyal brand advocates, eventually. The kind of content that can make people talking about your business, brand, product, or service and spread the good word about it.

It is the real essence of viral marketing.

According to statistics, about 80% of online businesses use viral marketing techniques.

However still, some people want to know more about it. So, let’s indulge in the details of what it is and their other aspects.

What is Viral Marketing?

So, how do we define viral marketing? However, to kick things off, here we have a quick definition below:

“Viral marketing is a promotional strategy that generally relies on an audience to generate the product or service’s message”.

The major goal of is to spread key information about your service or product and inspire an individual to share your marketing message with others. It can help you to create dramatic growth in its number of recipients.

Overall, it can generate interest in a product or brand via messages that can spread quickly from individual to individual. However, the basic idea behind that is the users choose to share your content themselves.

How does a viral marketing campaign work?

Theoretically, it is simple to carry. You just have to create a viral video or another content type that’s attractive for your audience, publish that and then promote it to different platforms. From here, you just have to wait to start the fuse and let your users share the content piece like crazy.

However, in some cases, content goes viral accidentally. While in the case of brand videos, there are two main viral marketing strategies to consider. The one in which your users know that they are watching content about your brand. However, the viewer doesn’t know the fact that a brand is behind the content. It is called concealed content.

Amazingly, both types can work for a brand effectively. However, either way, you have to ensure that your content isn’t becoming spammy. It must not repeat the same message again and again. Even more, your message must be perfectly timed and well-worded to spark enough interest.

Advantages of viral marketing

Effective strategies can be advantageous for you in multiple ways. Let’s have a look at the advantages that you can experience with its effective strategies below:

  • Viral campaigns are lucrative for businesses that don’t have a huge marketing budget. It is because, in most of the techniques, the viewers do much of your work of getting the word out about your services and products.
  • Timely viral marketing ideas can let you experience high potential reach. It is because viral content can reach more audiences. It means the ideas can let you reach a lot more people than paid advertising.
  • Most amazingly, it is more often non-invasive. As it neither pops up on the screen when you visit a site nor interrupts the user’s TV shows. Instead, it is something that people love watching and sharing with others.
  • If you have created something creative enough to get viral, it can help you build your brand amazingly. Even more, it can let more people connect with your values, products, services, or business.

Disadvantages of viral marketing

Just like with anything else, it has some cons as well. Undoubtedly, good viral marketing techniques can bring dramatic awareness about your brand cost-effectively. However, it also comes up with the capability of diluting your brand.

Even in the worst-case scenario, it can also create a negative buzz around your brand. Therefore, you must ensure to stay practical and creative while designing viral marketing strategies.

Overall, the benefits of viral marketing overweight its disadvantages.

Types of viral marketing

There are multiple types:

  • Emotional Marketing: Such marketing campaigns inspire strong emotions which your users can’t ignore. Such viral marketing ads can create nostalgia, joy, or pride.
  • Incentive Marketing: Such type of strategy comes up with rewards for people who share your content with others.
  • Lucky / Chance viral marketing: Even though the technique comes up with multiple planning behind, still there is a luck element. As sometimes, things can get folded a way that marketers can’t predict.
  • Buzz marketing: Viral ads which have the potential to create a buzz to engage customers. Such messages can become a hot topic among the individuals who have seen them.
  • Engineered viral marketing: Viral marketing campaigns that elaborate months of planning and strategies behind them are usually engineered campaigns.

Examples of viral marketing

Here are some of the most amazing examples you must know:

  • Oreo

    It is an amazing example that comes from seizing the moment. However, the most popular Oreo’s viral marketing example is Dunk in The Dark, tweet during the Super Bowl in 2013.

  • Ice Bucket Challenge

    It is one of the most amazing examples, which was started to raise funds and awareness of the condition. However, millions of people worldwide participated in the challenge, including Donatella Versace, Bill Gates, and more.

  • Dumb Ways to Die

    It is another creative example in which Australia’s Metro train encouraged people to act safer by adding a creative ad. This ad was shared globally and received above $60 million in 2013’s media impressions. Most amazingly, it helped in increasing awareness among people that resulted in a 20% rail-related accidents reduction.

Viral Marketing techniques

If you want to run a successful campaign, then here are some of the most important viral marketing techniques for you to consider:

  • Make sure you are using the right channel to target the right audience for your products or services.
  • Making a creative video with a message is the best way to go viral. It is because videos can engage more people than any other content form.
  • If possible, then offer something valuable for free. It is because everyone loves to get free goodies.
  • Even more, creating an emotional appeal can also work in your favor.
  • Keep in mind that people usually get tired of seeing the same stuff over and over again. So, it is always better to try something new that can engage more audiences effectively.
  • To reach more people, you can invest in social media promotion. You can also reinforce the campaign here by creating a series of the campaign with the same characters.

Where viral marketing techniques are useful?

Here are the times when considering viral marketing techniques can be more useful:

  • When you have a unique and engaging message to spread
  • When you will keep things such as trends, current events, and timing in mind
  • If you have people who trust your services and business already and are ready to spread your message

Final Thoughts

So, that’s all about viral marketing. However, here you get to know what it is and how you can use it more effectively. So, now it’s time to start creating your viral marketing strategies.

Techfunnel Author | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicated to sharing unbiased information, research, and expert commentary that helps executives and professionals stay on top of the rapidly evolving marketplace, leverage technology for productivity, and add value to their knowledge base.

Techfunnel Author | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicate...

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