Success in Viral Marketing is the ambition of thousands of companies: after all, reaching a massive audience in a matter of a short time is the desire of almost all brands. But, contrary to what it seems, this success does not happen overnight — at least not for organizations.
Internet And Memes: A Space For Companies Too
The popularization of the internet has transformed the lives of billions of people: what would our daily lives be without social networks? Without being able to access near real-time news and a plethora of varied information in a matter of seconds? In this explosion of stimuli, viral content emerged – that which spreads quickly to an immense number of users.
From baby and animal videos to elaborate productions, memes pop up daily. They are sent from contact to contact (among friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and so on) until they reach a potential audience. Many become famous from the exposure — for better or worse — and are given opportunities they would not have had without this event.
And, of course, several companies realized that this phenomenon is also a business opportunity, incorporating this idea into their list of other communication and sales strategies, such as digital marketing, inbound sales and marketing, among others.
What Is Viral Marketing?
Viral Marketing is a strategy that takes advantage of people’s natural tendency to share content that they find interesting, funny or relevant in general with their networks of contacts to publicize a product, service or the brand itself.
In short, it means creating content with great popular appeal that awakens people’s engagement, boosting the company’s image — and, consequently, sales. This work can be done with video, images, audio, infographics, gamification and other forms of communication that are possible thanks to the internet.
These messages can either contain fictional or real stories, memes or other content, associating them with the organization’s products, services, brand or topics of interest.
Many businesses invest in viral marketing expecting overnight results without any tactic behind it and waste time, money and effort for nothing. Or, worse, they end up damaging their image by sending the wrong message or ignoring the importance of online communication and the power of social media.
Therefore, investing in strategy and planning is essential before creating any content and posting it on social networks.
7 Techniques To Boost Your Business With Viral Marketing
Creating viral content is not simple or easy; otherwise, almost all companies publish content daily on social networks. However, there are some tips and techniques that can help guide you in the right direction to achieve this long-awaited goal:
1- Know The Target Audience
The first step of any strategy is always to research and know in depth the profile of the action’s target audience: their age; genre; socioeconomic condition; likes; wishes; pains; expectations; behaviors, and other issues that influence your routine.
There is no point in preparing elaborate content but using images and references that are not to the taste of the customers that the company wants to reach. Knowing the public is paramount to setting up an accurate communication and marketing campaign.
This question goes from the use of images and the tone of the language to the channels used and other variables. Generally, the public and the content they expect vary between social networks: compare Facebook to understand this situation better.
2- Betting On Essential Topics
Many contents go viral because they deal with topics important to the target audience. An example is the campaign #LikeaGirl (#TipoMenina, in Portuguese) by the company Always: videos and other actions were made to discuss how negative stereotypes impact women’s lives and their clientele.
Touching on relevant and sensitive issues, it was possible to disseminate the brand through emotion and the identification of its target audience. Therefore, it is essential to understand what moves the hearts and values of customers to create engaging content that goes viral.
3- Awaken Emotions
Emotion plays a significant role in human decisions and behavior. It is common for people to share content that arouses feelings such as joy, sadness, anger, nostalgia or emotion.
Using these stimuli is excellent for creating messages and running marketing campaigns. However, it is necessary to have a specific dose of sensitivity in order not to weigh the hand or make mistakes that will damage the brand image.
4- Bet Not Humor
People often turn to social media to relax and have a good laugh. No wonder many memes, personalities and companies thrive on the internet by approaching their messages with humor.
In this case, it is also necessary to avoid offending the target audience, dosing and reflecting on how to use humor positively and not negatively.
5- Bet Not Unusual
Do you still remember the Cursed Ponies advertisement? It was surprising to see a car brand playing with stereotypes and references of the time: its image stuck in the minds of thousands and the music in the commercial.
Investing in the unusual is to surprise the public. But it’s also essential to think about how to do this positively.
6- Betting On Partnership
Something that can help boost content is partnering with influencers, people who have gone viral in their materials and famous people in general.
However, it is optional to bring big names: taking advantage of a person with credibility and fame in an exciting niche for the target audience, even if it does not have astronomical numbers, is already an excellent marketing action.
7- Understand That It Is About The Content, Not About The Product/Service/Brand
Many companies make a mistake when dealing with viral marketing and other strategies — such as branded content — to think more about publicizing and enhancing the product, service and brand and forget that content is the essential part of the action.
These strategies have a different approach than advertising: content is the flagship, and everything else is a consequence of sound creation.