11 Jan 2016

Viral Marketing – The Ins and Outs

It’s the New Year so being the kind and altruistic office we are we thought we’d treat you to a little insider knowledge into the world of viral marketing to help kick off your new year campaign.

Viral marketing by its nature is unpredictable and often associated with a sizable budget, but it doesn’t need to be.

If you are a business looking to raise your profile a clever stunt that captures your audience’s attention could be the answer.

To make it easy for you all we’ve broken it down to key categories you should think about when going about your viral marketing campaign.

  1. Stay on top of social media and focus your attention:

A perfect example of successful viral marketing is Lee Thompson’s selfie at the top of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue for his company, Flash Pack. He suggests that reading the news daily and monitoring social trends so that you can piggyback off pre-existing trends will make your life much easier.

But monitoring social trends is not enough, while social media is a great way to reach your audience you can’t predict who is going to share it and where they’re going to share it, which means it’s hard to tell if you are engaging with your desired audience. A way to deal with this is to target particular news outlets with a large readership including your target audience. For example no one took any interest in Thompson’s selfie until it was covered on The Daily Mail.

2. Make sure it fits with your brand:

It’s important that the content you create is authentic to your brand, in other words using shock value works well for a brand like Paddy Power because they have made an effort to project that as a brand image.

Our very own, MD Joe Wade suggests that it’s worth being a little bolder, push yourself out of your comfort zone because the results can speak for themselves. He notes you have to keep in mind that at the end of the day your content is intended to earn more sales or change audience opinion for your brand so however crazy you make the content it still needs to work commercially.

3. Keep cost and effort to a minimum:

Big corporations will have big budgets but for the rest of us we’ll be counting every penny. Another word of advice from our MD; be cost effective and look to use GIF or image format, you content doesn’t have to be a video to be viral. Keep Thompson’s selfie in mind.

A big budget isn’t what makes successful viral content but rather it is the dea and execution of the content that determine whether or not something will be viral.

4. Don’t waste an opportunity:

Your idea may take a while to plan and execute but for all that hard work your idea can be forgotten so you need to capitalize on every opportunity possible. For example Thompson only agreed to the use of his picture on news platforms if they agreed to include a link to his website. In some instances many news outlets just used the content anyway so his partner pestered each one until they included a link. This made a huge impact on SEO and sales. In this case Thompson used the success of his selfie to direct his target audience on to his website.  

5. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket:

Finally, no matter how good your content is there is no guarantee of success. If your attempts to go viral pay off that’s great but it’s so hit and miss that it would be foolish to only focus on viral marketing.

Viral marketing won’t work for everyone and it is not always the best approach especially if you have a specific target audience you want to make sure you engage with. Therefore it’s worth considering other marketing techniques  especially on social media such as paying for targeted ads which will be a lot less risky and time consuming.

But at the end of the day the results of successful viral content can far surpasses any alternative, so keep these words of advice in mind and get going on your own viral content. Or if it seems like too much to take on we are always here to provide your brand with some possible viral content.

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