In attempting to answer the million dollar question, “how do you make a marketing campaign go viral”, let’s first look at what is meant by ‘going viral’.
To go viral is to be likened to a contagious epidemic in the world of biology. Just as the medical profession would want to contain an epidemic, so marketers are ecstatic when their campaigns go viral.
Sadly, there is no specific theory or put-into-play tactics that can be used to make your campaign go viral. Going viral is more an art than a science. This means that you never really know if it will go viral, but you do everything that you can in terms of the visual emotive content to ensure that it does.
Make People Look Good
People are more likely to share your content if it makes them look good. For instance, no doubt everyone remembers the Ice Bucket Challenge that everyone was doing a number of years back. People were asked to share their videos whilst participating in the challenge and to nominate someone that they know to do it as well. The premise was that you were doing it in support of creating awareness for a charity that you support. The perception that was created is that if you did the challenge you were someone who also gave to charity.
When creating your marketing campaign, try to come up with something similar. The object is to engage people and to get them to share. The more people you can engage with and the more sharing you can get them to do, the more your campaign stands a chance of going viral. Simple!
Keep Content Current
Always focus on content that is current. Plan your campaign so that your message is timely, relevant and in tune with current events. World sports events such as Football World Cup or the Olympics, open up great opportunity for marketers. Whether you are part of the hosting country or not, there is a lot that you can do around events such as these. If you’re clever and your messages are on the mark, chances are, your campaign can go viral.
Make Content Shareable
You want to make your content shareable with the click of one button. Whilst this seems obvious, for a campaign to go viral, it has to be shareable. Shareable content is the key to success. Make sure that your campaign is social media friendly and include social links so people can share instantly and make sure the heading of your campaign (whether, email, facebook etc) is short and sweet.
Keep it Simple
For the most part, viral campaigns are simple and straight-forward. Don’t overthink your campaign creating difficult to follow instructions that can discourage consumption. Remember that the idea behind viral marketing is to create messaging that will be appealing to a broad spectrum of people, be seen by a large number of different people with a message that is simple to understand. Most important, your reader must be able to relate to your message through the evoking of a strategically targeted message.
Almost all messaging evokes some kind of emotion. Just think about how many posts one sees about things that have offended. Ratings are done for venues and companies, brought about by a perfect or not so perfect experience. Everything that we do, brings about a particular emotion.
For your campaign to go viral, you want to develop messaging / content that plays to positive emotions in the end-user. Through that emotion, make sure that you have a call to action. Drive people to your website and/or facebook page thus creating an opportunity for further content consumption. To be successful, you need to ensure that your facebook page has up to date and regular posts and that your website content remains current at all times.