How to Create a Viral Marketing Campaign in 5 Steps
Companies across the web dream of going viral. They plan their viral campaigns for months on end and go to great pains to get noticed. Unfortunately, these efforts can easily get overshadowed by breaking news or the latest meme of the week (like the “distracted boyfriend” meme or the moth that is taking over social media right now).
You can’t predict these internet distractions, but you can take steps to create an outstanding campaign that has the power to go viral — and do everything in your power to promote it. Check out these steps to boost your viral marketing campaign.
1. Include An Emotional Hook
As you develop your viral campaign, look for ways to incorporate emotions into your brand messaging. Emotional hooks can be incredibly powerful and can make people spread your message.
There’s a reason so many companies try to make people laugh, or cry, or include soft puppies and babies in their ads. They want to form deep emotional connections with their audiences. Plus, if you are moved by a campaign, you’re much more likely to share it with all of your friends and followers.
Two popular methods that companies use to create viral campaigns are “ego-baiting,” and tapping into “FOMO” or Fear of Missing Out. Ego-bait involves encouraging people to share so they can show they care, are involved, or reached a goal. Think of all the viral “challenges,” that spread across the web. FOMO taps into our desire not to be left out. It makes people share so they can be a part of something. Keep both of these tactics in mind during your creative process.
2. Make Sure Your Message is Genuine
If there’s one thing that internet users can spot immediately and will call out, it’s a fake campaign or an effort to play on sensational news for attention. While using topical themes and news is great for getting noticed, it can backfire when not done well.
There are a couple of great examples out there of campaigns gone wrong. Pepsi created an ad with Kendall Jenner that was pulled almost immediately after a mixture of outcry and internet derision. Both Jenner and the company were accused of “co-opting protest movements” to make a profit.
Additionally, YouTube stars Savannah and Cole LaBrant had to apologize earlier this year for making it seem like their lives were at stake because of California wildfires when really the fires were miles away from them. They ended up apologizing for trying to sensationalize news for their own gain.
Yes, people will talk about your brand if you create a disingenuous campaign, but not for the reasons you want.
3. Keep Your Campaign Easily Shareable
We understand that you want to track the metrics of your campaign and make a profit from your efforts, but adding too much baggage can actually hinder your viral marketing campaign. For example, some companies host contests where they require contestants to sign up, complete a whole contact form, and share the link with a dozen friends. That is a lot of work to ask of an internet user. Other failed viral campaigns require fans to download unique apps to jump through excessive hoops to access content.
Successful viral campaigns are easy. They are easy to access, easy to engage with, and easy to share.
Think about your upcoming viral campaign. Are you setting up barriers to fans to keep them from sharing? Keep it simple and come up with content that people can easily spread around the web.
4. Don’t Try to Break the Internet With Every Post
Viral content takes time and effort to create. You can’t take over the web each time you post something on Facebook. Instead, look for content that will really resonate with people and try to share and promote it.
A good place to start is to look at your social content that has worked in the past. It’s likely that what your fans liked before, they will like again. You can use this as a base to develop your viral campaign, instead of constantly trying to create new material in hopes that it goes viral.
5. Increase the Chances That Your Campaign Takes Off
You can’t guarantee that your campaign goes viral, but you can take steps to increase its chances of success. Intellifluence makes it easy to create campaigns to target specific influencers and spread your message across the web. You can find people who are most likely to appreciate your viral message and help it grow organically among their followers.
Don’t leave your viral campaign up to chance, use Intellifluence to give it a nudge to help it take off.
A viral campaign done well has the power to stick in the minds of internet users for years to come. Set your viral marketing campaigns up for success by following these steps and making an effort to really connect with fans, followers, and web users.