What is viral marketing and how to get most out of it?

What is viral marketing and how to get most out of it?
What is viral marketing and how to get most out of it?

In recent years, viral marketing has become a fundamental piece for the digital strategies of companies and influencers. Throughout this article we will discover what viral marketing is. Here we go!

What is viral marketing?

Viral marketing is a strategy that aims to spread an advertising message quickly among thousands of people thanks to the fact that a large number of users share this message.

These types of campaigns are a great advertising formula for companies with little financial muscle, since they usually do not require much investment and their results are very good, offering in some cases a higher return on investment than in traditional advertising campaigns or in digital ads.

In most cases, viral marketing is related to digital marketing.  Although it is true that the digital channel is very important and vital for the viralization of this type of campaign, as we will see later, many of these campaigns also play with the offline channel to maximize the virality of their campaign.

Viral marketing definition

Explaing in the previous section, the definition of viral marketing can be summarized as: “an action or set of actions that seek the rapid and exponential dissemination of a message or product”

Advantages of viral marketing

The main advantages of viral marketing are:

  • High number of views: the fundamental function of the viral marketing is its ability to reach a large number of people. This allows any content creator to have the ability to reach a large audience without requiring a large investment.
  • Low cost: If you manage to viralize content, you will be able to impact thousands of people with a very low cost. If you wanted to reach the same number of people through ads in Google Ads, the cost would be much higher.
  • “Organic” advertising: If you are a brand, you create an action on a social network in order to be viral and you succeed, you will be advertising organically. This will allow users to interact more and better with your content, so your campaign will achieve better results than a paid one.
  • Reputation improvement: If you create a campaign in order to go viral and you succeed, your reputation will grow exponentially and very quickly. If you are a small brand, this will allow you to be known in your sector and form a brand identity and reputation in a much shorter time than the average.
  • Increase in followers: In 99% of cases, getting content to go viral on the internet has the direct consequence of an exponential increase in the number of followers of your social networks.
Advantages of viral marketing
Advantages of viral marketing

Viral Marketing on Linkedin

If you are self-employed or have a service company, Linkedin is a great social network for you to create a viral marketing campaign. My recommendation to be able to viralize content on this social network is the following:

  1. Connect with many professionals of your target. If you are a freelance advertising designer, you are interested in connecting with marketing professionals. I recommend you to have a minimum of 500 contacts. You can use a bot like linkedhelper to connect with other users.
  2. Create a lead magnet or guide to something relevant to your audience. It has to be an info product that solves a need or offers great value for your main target.
  3. Write a post offering your lead magnet to the first 10 users who react to the publication and write in comments: «Interested»
  4. The first minutes of a publication are important to viralize content on this social network. If you can, I recommend you that friends and acquaintances comment and react to your post during these first minutes.
  5. As your post is filled with comments, it is important that you change the number of users who can get the product in the post.
  6. Send the winners a link by private message explaining where to download the lead magnet. In order to download it, you will ask for contact information and marketing consents.
  7. Now you will have a larger database, so you can create an email marketing campaign in the future offering a product/service.

Viral Marketing on Instagram

Instagram is an ideal social network to viralize content since users of this network are very likely to participate in all kinds of giveaways. With this in mind, I propose the following:

  1. Create a giveaway on Instagram. I recommend you to give away a technological product or an attractive experience for your potential clients.
  2. In the post, you will ask users to create an Instagram Reels or Instagram Stories by making a challenge that involves your brand. It is important that you ask users to follow you, tag in that post and use a hashtag.
  3. It is important that the challenge is fun, is associated with your brand and facilitates viralization (that is why I recommend that you exploit the potential of Reels ). Example: If you are a makeup company, you can ask that users record a video to participate in the challenge creating a make-up with your products. Be creative!
  4. Lean on influencers to make the challenge go viral. I recommend that you speak with 3 influencers in your sector so that they participate in your challenge. This will help you to viralize this giveaway and that your followers also participate.
Advantages of viral marketing
Advantages of viral marketing

Viral Marketing on Twitter

Twitter is a very good option to create viral campaigns. My recommendation for this social network is that you create a raffle under a hashtag in order to participate, the user has to participate in a kind of game. It is important that to be very creative and find your own formula.

So that you can get inspired, we explain the campaign that Burger King Argentina carried out in 2017:

  1. Launch a post explaining to users that today anyone could win a free burger at their closest Burger King. Nothing else about the giveaway was explained, but the campaign hasthag was included: #StackeRTweet
  2. One hour before the draw. It was explained how to win the hamburger. The process was easy. Burger King tweeted different parts of his burger and the first 500 users who retweeted the parts in the correct order, would receive a voucher to be able to buy the burger for free
  3. The draw had a time and winner limit.
  4. The expectation generated among Argentine users made this Burger King campaign the most retweeted tweet of the year in Argentina. Without a doubt, the campaign was a success.

Growth hacking and viral marketing

Growth hacking is a methodology that seeks to maximize profits and increase company sales with the least possible investment.

Despite not being the same, to a certain extent viral marketing and growth hacking methodology have the same purpose: to grow exponentially. For this reason, I strongly recommend that you use growth hacking when creating viral marketing campaigns.

How to achieve success with growth hacking and viral marketing?

  1. Do brainstorming and raise your team various options for viral marketing campaigns
  2. Have each team member put a score on each of the ideas from 1 to 10. Create a ranking with all the ideas from highest to lowest score.
  3. Work on the idea ranked first and launch the campaign.
  4. Day by day (or hour by hour) modify aspects of the campaign
  5. Analyzes the changes you’ve entered in your campaign
  6. If the campaign has been a success, congratulations! If not, don’t worry. Launch the next most voted campaign idea and continue with the same process.