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Viral Marketing 101: Five Steps to Create a Viral Marketing Campaign

viral marketing

Having a video, picture, or article go viral is every marketer and advertiser’s dream. That is, so long as it’s for positive reasons. However, getting something to go viral is not an easy task. Most often, it happens by accident, unless there is an especially strong campaign behind it. Here are five steps to help cultivate a viral marketing campaign.

Be Emotional

Finding the right thing to say to appeal to an audience is not easy when it comes to marketing and advertising. As always, consumers do not care what is being offered unless it is going to affect or improve their lives in some way, shape, or form. That’s why using emotion to appeal to them can sometimes provide some relief in trying to attract viewers. Using emotion, whether that be humor, sadness, happiness or even anger within a campaign is a surefire way to draw audiences in.

However, it can be difficult to achieve emotional appeal without being seen as corny or overdone. That’s why in-depth research of your target audience, before all else, is key to effectively reaching people emotionally.

Be Controversial

No one ever got anywhere without taking risks. And, even more pertinent, no video or picture ever went viral for being mellow, normal, and rule-abiding. All of the most famous viral videos and content consist of people doing outrageous tricks, saying outlandish things, or being rebellious in some way. In short, risks are necessary to gain the kind of attention needed to go viral.

If you are trying to tiptoe around something or be as careful as possible to avoid offending anyone or anything, then your viral marketing campaign will fail. It must stir up ideas, opinions, or society in a way that is simultaneously tasteful and sensitive to everyone involved. In order to go viral, your campaign must be BOLD.

Use Celebrities

Although so many do not want to admit it, influencer marketing works. People invest in the lives of influencers and celebrities like never before. This is due to the rise of social media and the ability to document every aspect of people’s lives.

Celebrity endorsements truly do work, if done correctly. The key is to conduct extensive research on your brand ambassador candidates to determine the public opinion of them. From there, make sure the celebrity fits well with your brand or product. Consumers are smart, and they can tell when something is nothing more than a paid promotion. In order for influencer marketing to work and go viral, audiences have to really believe the influencer is genuine and truly believes in the product. Otherwise, the consumer will dismiss it altogether.

Use Platforms Correctly

Just as you must make sure to know your audience and the platforms they use; you need to also know the platforms themselves. Each social media is different, and each one will require a different format and style of content. If your social media campaign is going to go viral, it needs to be widespread across as many platforms as possible. But, done in a way that remains cohesive and sticks with the main idea of the campaign.

In order to do this, research on the style of posts, captions, and interactions for every platform you are using is important for your videos to go viral. For example, if you are posting a casual, humorous quick video, it would be wasted on a platform like LinkedIn, a site that is primarily used for professional growth and development.

Keep the Campaign Simple

All the content that has ever gone viral has one thing in common—they pertain to simple, short concepts, and ideas. If your campaign is too complex and multi-faceted, people will become confused and lose interest. Using short slogans and repetitive, catchy phrases in your viral campaign helps when trying to get noticed.

There is no guarantee for anyone, of course, that your content will go viral. It takes hard work and determination, and sometimes, just a lot of luck. However, by following these five tips, your chances of going viral are likely to be much higher.

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