Creating a marketing campaign that “goes viral” is every marketer’s goal. What’s the secret to creating a campaign that will “go viral”?
The answer is complicated.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to predict which campaigns will go viral and which will fail. That said, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of your campaign going viral.
If you’re struggling to set up a viral marketing campaign, here’s how you can give your campaign the best chance.
1. Make it visible
The things that go viral are the ones that are visually appealing, in almost all cases. Adding videos or images to your campaign is one of the first things you need to do to create a viral marketing campaign.
Even if the majority of your post is text-based, find an image or create an engaging video to go along with it.
When choosing your visual, first make sure it matches your brand. Never make a video or include an image that compromises your brand in any way.
However, you also need to make sure the visuals are virus worthy. Make them funny, informative or surprising. The more surprising they are, the more likely they are to be shared.
2. Plan the message
While some viral campaigns are accidental, most are carefully planned. You can’t plan enough to promise that your material will go viral, but you must plan to ensure your message is clear.
Write a neat script for your video or a neat outline for your infographic so that your final message is clearly received by your audience.
Then, if the campaign goes viral as you hope, you will be able to share your message with more and more people.
3. Work on emotions
Viral campaigns are those that pull on people’s emotions. They are often humorous, but they can also be sentimental. When planning the campaign, make sure there is an emotional hook.
That’s not to say that informative posts or videos can’t go viral, but unfortunately, information alone is often not enough. You have to grab the person with something emotional. Play on their fears, hopes, dreams or sense of humor and your campaign will have a much better chance of going viral.
4. Know your audience
When thinking about what emotional triggers to tap into, make sure you know the triggers that resonate with your audience.
- What do they expect from you?
- Are they hoping to get super secret information?
- Do they want to be entertained?
- Do they want to appear informed and intelligent?
If you can identify these triggers and incorporate them into your content, it will be much more effective.
Remember that your audience is not the same as another. A campaign with celebrities removing makeup and taking selfies might work for a beauty company, but it won’t reach high-profile bankers. To be successful, you need to know your audience and their triggers.
5. Keep the campaign simple
Your campaign doesn’t have to be complicated. If you send a novel to your target audience, they’re not going to pass it on.
A short video, a simple infographic, or a concise article are the most likely targets for something going viral. Stick to two or three main marketing messages, and nothing more, in your campaign.
Once you’ve grown your audience through your viral marketing campaign, you can give them additional information when they speak directly to you.
6. Launch the campaign
Planning your viral marketing campaign is just the first step. Once it’s planned, you need to launch it properly to see it go viral.
To launch your viral marketing campaign, start by knowing your audience. When are they most likely to be online, visiting social media sites?
This is the best time to launch your campaign. Post it on your social marketing sites and encourage your followers to share it. If the video, article, or image piques your audience’s interest, you can sit back and watch the campaign go viral.
7. Don’t try to force things
But don’t hit your audience too hard with your new campaign. If it’s going to go viral, it will. If not, no explosion will change much. Launch your campaign at a strategic time, casually remind your audience of it, and see what happens.
Remember that the objective of a viral marketing campaign is twofold. First, it’s about increasing your brand visibility.
Next, it’s about improving your relationship with your existing audience by offering them something of value. If you keep these two goals in mind, you can create a successful campaign that has a high chance of going viral.