Viral marketing is a technique to use pre-existing social networking sites to increase brand awareness. It is a technique where a company cleverly induces users to pass on their advertising in forms of jokes, memes, videos and games. This type of marketing simply relies on users sharing the content. It can be categorized into intensive based, pass along based, trend based and undercover based.
A viral message too therefore, needs to be captivating, interesting, sufficiently attractive and social to be passed along on various sites. The content is the king.
What are the basics to be followed for successful viral marketing?
For successful viral marketing, three basic criteria must be met. They are:
- Messenger: market maven, social hub and salesperson are required to make a message viral. Market mavens are the persons who identify a message and turn it to their immediate social networks. Social hubs are network builders who know a thousand people and connect different sub cultures. Salesperson is the mediator who transforms the message from the maven to a more persuasive one and then forwards it to the social hub. These three messengers play the most crucial part by transforming an ordinary message to a viral one.
- Message: a message should be interesting, captivating and memorable to be passed along. It should be engaging and unique and at the same time, it should compel users to share it. It must earn the “must-see” tag.
- Environment: it refers to the correct time and occasion for a certain message. A message on the wrong time can prove to be disastrous.
What are the mediums for viral marketing?
Viral marketing utilizes the following:
- Customer participation
- Polling services
- Web search engines
- Smartphone integration
- Social media optimization
- Target marketing web services
- Industry specific organization contribution
- Direct marketing
What guidelines are to be maintained?
A message goes viral not just by the use of social media; social media is just a platform for sharing the content extensively. Therefore, it is crucial to follow a guideline before starting an advertising campaign.
- The campaign must have universal content, i.e. it can be shared with friends and family.
- It should be appealing.
- Content should be of good quality and in good taste.
- A big platform must be used for reaching maximum people.
- An initial boost to grab attention must be used, e.g. seeding, sharing to fans, buying views, etc.