What Is Viral Marketing?

What Is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing is the idea of being so effective that people show other people your advertisements. It is a form of digital marketing commonly used on social media platforms. Viral marketing campaigns often encourage you to share them with other people to reach a larger audience. Most people have access to the Internet and social media platforms via a mobile device. It is, therefore, more present than ever before. It is potentially more effective than any other kind of marketing due to the size of the audience.

Is Viral Marketing Effective?

It is highly effective, creating vast amounts of traffic and leads. It is a marketing strategy designed to spread like wildfire across the internet. The goal of campaigns is to convince as many people as possible to share content with other people. Case studies show that when videos actively encourage this, they are more likely to become viral. The key to many successful viral videos is their simplicity. 

the importance of viral marketing

The Importance of Viral Marketing

It has increasing importance as a marketing strategy. Due to the fact, there is the largest ever audience all connected and waiting to share content. It is a relatively new marketing technique that started due to the rise of technology. With more and more people having access to social media, the audience for it keeps growing. 

When Is Content Considered Viral?

Your content becomes viral at ever-increasing milestones. Initially, it would be called viral after reaching 1,000,000 views. However, as more content hit a million, the mark for becoming viral increased first to two million and then five. I expect the number of views to become viral will continue to increase in the future.

Examples of Viral Marketing

There are many examples of successful viral marketing campaigns such as;

  • The ALS ice bucket challenge.
  • The Old Spice “the man your man could smell like” campaign.
  • The Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign

These campaigns were all very positive and showed the strength of the marketing strategies behind them. 

On the other hand, many viral marketing campaigns fail. Some failures include;

  • Uber tried to show they weren’t just trying to make quick money when the New York Taxi Workers Alliance called a strike. However, they accidentally ended up supporting a travel ban #DeleteUber began trending.
  • United Airlines accidentally went viral when they overbooked a flight. The airline asked people to volunteer to change flights so that staff could fly. There weren’t enough volunteers, United Airlines employees then started forcibly removing some passengers. The whole incident was recorded and posted online.
benefits of viral marketing

Benefits of Viral Marketing

The benefits of marketing campaigns going viral are vast. I mentioned the ALS ice bucket challenge, which raised over $100 million in 8 weeks. So the financial benefit after a viral marketing campaign is massive. Another positive use of viral marketing is spreading awareness of issues that many people face but are less well known to the general public. Brand awareness increases if the content becomes viral. The potential benefits for charity and other social endeavors are high, helping with fundraising and general awareness.

Disadvantages of Viral Marketing

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As with all marketing, there are downsides involved. The more obvious problems with viral marketing include going viral for the wrong reasons. As an example, Adidas wanted to congratulate runners of the Boston Marathon with an Email. However, they used a phrase that only a couple of years after the Boston Marathon bombings was disrespectful. They congratulated their customers with this message “congratulations on surviving the Boston Marathon.” The Email quickly went viral, with Adidas making a public apology. Companies must be careful with the marketing as going viral for the wrong reasons is incredibly damaging for their image.

tips to create viral content

Tips to Create Viral Content

There are a few things to help when striving for viral content. Firstly you should always try to be completely original. Then you should craft the right message for your target audience. Take time to choose the best social media platform for your product, brand, or service.

Conclusion on Viral Marketing

We have discussed viral marketing throughout this article. Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading this and learned something new. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If this post interested you, then you can have some more by reading these best sales promotion examples.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several ways to go viral now, thanks to new social media apps available. You can go viral on Twitter by Tweeting something that resonates with a large percentage of the general public. Another method of going viral is to create a Meme that appeals to many people. The most sought after way to go viral is through YouTube, which involves creating a video that the masses enjoy and share.

Most viral content contains a mix of the following feelings;
Joy, awe, laughter, amusement, anger, surprise.

There isn’t any known formula to going viral quickly. People are aware of what is needed to go viral but achieving it is much more difficult.

Content goes viral most often by social media. Because of the size of the user bases of the different social media platforms. There is a larger audience available to view and then share the content to make it viral. The many platforms of social media make it easy to share content across social networks. Not everybody is on Instagram, Reddit, or Facebook. However, everyone can access the content through a web browser link sent via SMS or WhatsApp.

Most companies dream of having their marketing campaigns become viral. Since going viral would mean reaching a large audience and potentially converting those views into sales. Old Spice is one company that has had a string of successful viral marketing campaigns. 


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Since his early years, Harold has been studying the inner workings of different digital environments.


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