Unless you’ve been avoiding the internet for the past decade, you’ll definitely have been exposed to a selection of viral marketing campaigns in your day-to-day digital dealings – you’ve probably even participated in their spread through a retweet, Facebook share or even just a comment on a thread.

There’s no doubt that viral marketing campaigns work – they increase brand awareness and visibility, attract new customers and improve your reach. But how do you create a campaign that connects with and engages your audience?

Our top ten viral marketing tips

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula when it comes to viral campaigns, and it’s not really possible to anticipate effectiveness – but by laying the right groundwork and spending time planning and organising your campaign, you’ll certainly be giving yourself a much better chance of success.

We’ve put together our top viral marketing tips to help ensure that you’ve got everything covered ready for your campaign’s creation and roll-out…

  1. Research – look at competitors and other types of businesses to see what’s worked before. There are loads of examples online, so look for common themes and elements that seem to run through previously successful campaigns.
  2. Ideas – gather all your creative resources and best business minds and have a big brainstorming session. Think about intent and emotion, identify a relatable problem and offer a solution. Be original, be brave and give every idea consideration.
  3. Audience – understand your market. Look at demographics, user engagement, buyer behaviours and even new audiences that you’ve not yet broken into to identify opportunities.
  4. Format – most viral campaigns rely a great deal on aesthetic appeal, and a sharp and snappy tag line or hashtag. Decide whether video, infographics, animation or strong and evocative images with some short but sweet text will work best.
  5. Objective/CTA – what are you actually trying to achieve? What do you want people to do as a result of the campaign? Do you want to encourage people to share your message or participate directly by uploading content? Sign up for something? Be crystal clear and make sure you include a relevant and enticing call to action – and remember that in essence, viral campaigns are NOT adverts, they’re a visibility exercise.
  6. Emotion/intent – most effective viral marketing campaigns have an element of humour or connect on a deep, emotional level, so focus your ideas around one (or both) of these. You can be sentimental, surprising, provocative, play on people’s hope or fears, or offer something inspirational or aspirational. Understanding your audience is key to deciding your emotional intent.
  7. Platforms – what platform(s) are you going to use? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube… or a combination of these?
  8. Seed – building up a sense of anticipation can be a great way to get traction when you release your campaign, so make sure you sow some seeds with a few ‘teasers’ before you launch.
  9. Launch – do your research on the best engagement times for your chosen platform(s). Launching at the right time on the right day can make a huge difference.
  10. Follow-up – you can often ride a second wave of success off the back of a strong viral campaign, so have a sequel ready – keep the same theme but find a different angle or message to keep your audience engaged.

On top of these tips, also make sure your campaign is shareable, and don’t forget to send it to key influencers who can help spread the campaign to broader audience.

We hope you found our viral marketing tips helpful, but if you need any advice or assistance with creating a viral marketing campaign, please drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help.