Viral marketing has been described as the holy grail of social media as it is both highly powerful in generating brand awareness and traffic, and at the same time extremely challenging to do effectively.
So, what is a viral marketing? Well let us put it this way, it is an online word of mouth buzz, sometimes it’s called a marketing buzz. It works just like an interesting news story or gossip, where the story passes from person to person. With viral marketing some information, a video, a photograph or something else of interest is passed from person to person through a range of media. It could be emailed, shared on facebook, messaged on twitter, shared on a social bookmarking site and so on.
It works because people are naturally social. If you find something interesting, you tend to share it with your close friends and they share it on with their friends. With the speed of the internet, word of mouth has become lightening fast, with a variety of social networking sites you are not only connected to your city but to the whole world.
To have a successful viral marketing campaign you need to have two things: The right message and the right connections.
A message can be anything that creates an emotional response that is a simple idea. Why simple and plain? Because simple is indeed better and it is easier to understand. It can be anything that is likely to spark interest, whether a worrying trend that creates outrage or an amusing photo or video. Providing it generates a strong desire in the person receiving it to pass it on to others, then it is likely to go viral.
Second, utilise the right connections. It is important to ensure that the message gets seen in a way that can be easily shared. For example, posting the video in youtube allows it to be easily shared via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email and embedded in a blog. It may be necessary to give it a boost by making the video a featured video or by posting it to a number of social networks yourself, but if it is genuinely of interest, then it will go viral.
As you can see, the mechanism of viral marketing is pretty easy, as long as you provide something creative, entertaining and simple that engages people it can go viral and generate significant traffic.
One thing is important with anything that you plan to send viral – make sure there is a way for people to come back to your business. This can be a link in the article, photo or video, plus if you have a video make sure you put a clickable link into the description as well.