Viral Marketing, involves a marketing campaign focused on a product or service that spreads rapidly over a small period. The effect of the advertising campaign is so drastic that it is compared to the spread of a virus. Still living, in 2021, no one needs to reiterate the effect of a viral spread.
The only difference in the case of this viral spread is that you want it for your products or services. One of the examples of viral marketing is the ‘Fidget Spinner’. This recreational device or toy helps people cope with anxiety and stress. This device was all the rage and all over the place within a very small period thanks to the power of Social Media.
There are several other examples of viral marketing and it is a phenomenon that has existed for quite some time now. The main question that needs to be answered is whether viral marketing is a fluke or a strategized marketing campaign. Can a company carefully strategize its marketing campaigns to go viral?
Let’s find out
What are The Main Principles of Viral Marketing?
Who does not want to go viral? Andy Warhol’s quote, “In the future, everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.” finds new meaning in today’s era of viral marketing.
As mentioned above, Viral Marketing is nothing more than immensely popular marketing or advertising campaigns. Now let’s take a peek behind the curtain to find out how to go about a viral campaign.
A Viral Campaign generally takes the help of affiliate programs, other websites, etc. To be very simple about it, a viral marketing campaign uses available resources. For example, any piece of content picked up by news websites has the potential of going viral or in the case of the fidget spinner, it is the social media influencers that made it so popular.
While a viral campaign does capitalize on human interests. ̣Any content won’t go popular unless it is unique and spurs a lot of interests. So it is very important to create content that is unique and simple if you are intending to execute a viral campaign.
There are certain situations where Virality does happen by accident in the case of stand-alone videos which are massively circulated. These may involve someone singing a song or doing something else.
There are two different types of viral campaigns when it comes to brands,
The first is referred to as the shown type, which involves the viewer being aware of the fact that they are viewing branded or advertising content from the get-go.
Concealed marketing is when the viewer is unaware of the fact that whether what they are viewing is branded content or not. Concealed marketing in certain situations can make the viewer feel cheated or even turn against the brand.
We at ATOP Digital would always recommend not keeping your audience in the dark. Successful branded campaigns have gone viral time and again.
While you can have the best content and all the right networks in place, it is impossible to precisely predict whether a marketing campaign will go viral or not. The main reason behind this is the fact that a major part of a viral campaign is dependent on human behavior.
The extent of the success of any marketing campaign cannot be predicted because of this aspect. However, marketing campaigns are not a fluke. Based on the points already mentioned, we can be certain that conglomerates and brands are capable of creating consistent popular content which has the potential of going viral.
Viral Marketing Campaigns Gone Wrong
The downside of viral marketing is that you can get attention for all the wrong reasons. Viral marketing is dependent on three things, the message you are trying to promote, your audience, and the environment in which the message is being promoted.
Not having synergy between these three things, has resulted in devastating outcomes for brands. Not only has it tarnished the reputation of brands but also created a massive fall-out with their core audience.
It’s very important to discuss brands that went viral for all the wrong reasons.
For example, Dove ran a Facebook campaign in 2017, which was meant to empower women. What followed was a disaster. The ad featured a black woman taking off her shirt to reveal a white woman.
Needless to say, no one took it well. The brand tried to explain the ad but it remained an absolute disaster.
The New York Times compared the ad to a Fairy soap ad from the early 20th century in which a white parent asks a black child “Why doesn’t your mamma wash you with Fairy Soap?”.
In the same year, Pepsi featured reality tv star Kendall Jenner in an ad, joining and eventually leading the ‘Black Lives Matter protest. Somehow, the clear problem with this ad did not strike Pepsi and what followed was outrage.
The ad got so much negative publicity that even Bernice King, youngest living granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr commented,
“If only Daddy would have known about the power of Pepsi”.
Her statement was accompanied by her father being manhandled by the police in protest.
Benefits Of Viral Marketing
By 2022, video traffic is expected to go up by 15% as compared to 2017. So if you are not using video content to promote your brand, you have a much lesser chance of going viral.
Let’s look at the benefits involved with viral marketing.
With viral marketing, the user generally does the distribution on behalf of the brand. This cuts down the crazy costs that are generally involved with brand promotions.
More reach than expected
Viral campaigns generate tremendous reach. In most cases, it’s the kind of reach and publicity you could never have expected for your brand.
It’s not invasive
Your audience shares your content of their own volition. This leads to the construction of a better brand image and increases audience interaction. You don’t have to worry about your brand getting invasive or spammy.
Increases brand awareness
If used effectively, viral marketing is the best tool and strategy to build brand awareness. Brands figure out the strategy of creating the right content and develop an amazing relationship with their audience.
Examples Of Viral Campaigns
The right strategies coupled with the right content have helped create immensely successful viral campaigns. For example,
- Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ sketches campaign.
- Selfie on iPhone X campaign
- Fidget Spinner
- ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
There are several more examples of viral campaigns.
Everything You Need For Your Viral Campaign
Carefully curated content along with the right marketing channels are just the places to start your campaign. It is obvious by now that creating a viral campaign is not a one-person job. While there are examples of individuals going viral, those are mostly based on luck.
As a business, you cannot base your advertising campaigns on luck. With ATOP Digital on board, we will have in-depth knowledge of your brand, your competitors, and the current market leaders. Our excellent and talented team will deliver unique content using the right tools and strategies that can help your marketing campaigns go viral.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today and get to know all about how we can help you create your viral campaign.