What is it?
Viral marketing, also known as viral advertising, refers to marketing that seeks to exploit online trends and social behaviour to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, content sharing, rapid sales and other marketing objectives.
The “viral” part of the name is attributed to the ways in which viral marketing techniques achieve promotional goals, often mimicking the spread of computer viruses through methods that trigger self-replicating behaviours, such as word of mouth. Viral spread of data online is usually attributed to the social nature of the transmission of data on the planet Wide Web.
Viral marketing differs from other advertising methods, because it’s not paid advertisement. Although viral content are often shared by corporate sponsors, it doesn’t mean that the particular campaigns are purchased , nor do they have to be.
Instead, viral marketing relies on the standard of content being shared and therefore the social outreach of the people sharing it.
The ultimate goal of viral marketing is to succeed in individuals with high social networking potential which will help spread information on a really rapid basis to a really broad audience, meeting the objectives set forth for the viral marketing campaign, regardless of if it leaves a brief or an extended standing impression.
What defines viral marketing as “viral”?
Viral marketing that works must meet three specific criteria to rework a standard message into a viral one.
Having the right Messengers
Three sorts of messengers intervene within the process of causing information to travel viral, all like a special stage within the process. The first sort of messenger is that the market expert. This is the primary individual, or group of people , to be exposed to the message before it goes viral.
This is because market experts are “in the know” and up so far with trends. These experts, often referred to as authorities or influencers, then pass the message to their different social connections. These social connections are spread among many online subcultures that function a bridge for the message to be spread beyond the initial connection.
The last messenger involved is that the salesperson or marketer, who then amplifies the message by making it more persuasive and relevant, spreading it further to satisfy the initial marketing goal.
Providing the right message
To go viral, a message is required to possess a “must see” ring thereto . It must be memorable and interesting enough to become a truly infectious phenomenon. In simpler words, the message needs to be something that people will want to show to their connections.
Being in the right environment
Although it’s true that the recognition of a message can’t be predicted, changes within the environment and context during which the message is meant to be spread can lead to great results. Timing and context surrounding the launch of a message are crucial to form it go viral.
How does it work?
The viral process starts when information reaches a “susceptible” user and that user becomes “infected”, which means that the user accepts the idea, shares the idea with others and “infects” them with it. From that point forward, the process becomes self-replicating behaviour.
An example would be a user that shares a video with 100 other users through a given social media channel. Each one of those users share the same video with 100 other users, and so on. Due to this, the message gets spread across many platforms and reaches many, many people. Once the message gets spread through repeating behaviour like email forwarding, social media sharing and instant messaging, it’s considered viral.
Pros and Cons
The advantages of a viral marketing service are high credibility, low costs, great reach, high efficiency and the opportunity of continuous promotional adjustments.
Reasons for the wild popularity of viral marketing include, but are not limited to:
Socializing and networking, which have gotten people closer than ever before.
A seemingly endless amount of potential methods and vehicles to deliver the message, with mobile devices as a major example of the physical means facilitating the spread of content online.
Viral marketing is one of the most cost effective methods for promoting business related activities.
And resources are readily available online, and are easy to use and implement in any type of campaign.
In spite of the risks involved, viral marketing has the ability to draw in the greatest potential audience at a convincingly low cost, dramatically increasing the outreach of your business.
The main disadvantages of using viral marketing for driving marketing goals include:
Association with unknown individuals and groups: The strength of viral marketing heavily depends on how a message is transmitted from one person to another. People and audiences that you simply would rather not interact with can easily be reached this manner
Spam threats: Viral marketing can cause two sorts of spam issues when not correctly planned. Your campaign will either come up as a Spamming campaign, or you might become the target of spammers and unsolicited contacts.
And it’s going to not work to market financial-based offers counting on the sort of audience that you simply find yourself reaching.
Usual Strategies that make things go viral
Publishing content supported proven frameworks by finding old content that did well when it went viral, and crush it with something even better. The key is to identify gaps in that content and fill those gaps with something that is relevant for the time of the planned release. Then, start promoting like there is no tomorrow!
Delivering content by Word of mouth. Social, functional, and emotional factors attached to an item can get people talking about it. This is especially useful when promoting products.
Viral promotions may take the shape of video clips, interactive Flash games, advertising games, eBooks, software, images or maybe text messages. Choose accordingly.
Customer participation and polling services.
Plain classic email forwarding.
Using Buzzwords to invoke a word or phrase that becomes very popular for a period of time.
And Online advertising.