Viral Marketing — Examples, Techniques & Strategies

 

Viral Marketing Definition

Viral marketing is simply a marketing strategy that focuses on spreading information and opinions about a product or service from person to person, especially by using unconventional means such as the Internet or email. Read more…

Viral Marketing Examples

When Facebook paid around $16 billion for mobile messaging service WhatsApp, people were stunned by the sky-high valuation. But what’s even more remarkable about WhatsApp is that it reached 450 million monthly users “without investing a penny in marketing”.

It’s a great example of a truly viral product, one that spreads by providing a valuable service not only to the initial user but also to their friends, family and colleagues. In the digital world, virality is part science and part luck. Read more…

Honda Pintermission

Pinterest is a great platform to find new crafts, exercise routines, life hacks, and general inspiration to do something really fun and different with your life. Unfortunately, some people spend so much time on Pinterest, they never realize any of their pinned aspirations.

Honda set out to change that by offering Pinterest users $500 to pursue their goals. This campaign stood out to me because in addition to being a great piece of marketing, it also produced a fantastic content series. And in a place like the Internet, where good content is king, adding that aspect to any marketing is a big win.  More…

Honda Pintermission

Tipp Ex: Hunter and Bear’s 2012 Birthday Party

Back in 2010, Tipp-Ex, a European whiteout manufacturer, launched a choose-your-own-adventure YouTube channel involving a hunter and a bear. By typing in a command, you could instruct how the hunter should handle the situation. It was a viral success, and two years later, they made another one. More…

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

What may go down as the viral campaign of 2013, Dove once again challenged our perceptions of beauty. With Dove Real Beauty Sketches, the brand invited a group of women to sit down with a sketch artist and describe themselves to him. The brand then asked strangers to describe the same women. The artist then showed the pictures side by side showing the negative perception many women have about their own looks.

The brand wasn’t pushing a specific product. It was making a statement and a powerful one at that. What I most love about this campaign is that it shows if you make a fantastic piece of content, people will do the viral marketing for you. If there’s one thing you can take away from reading this blog post, please let it be that. More…

 

Viral Marketing Techniques

Think outside of traditional marketing

Images of your product in a supermodel’s hand as she sits looking bored and passive are not going to work in a viral marketing context. To advertise their new LED TVs, Samsung strapped some LED lights onto sheep and ‘created’ works of art. The jump from LED TVs to LED sheep is a big one, you have to make that jump to get to the 19 million views of this video. Read more

Bring your marketing into the real world

This is where my previous mention of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” becomes relevant. A large number of successful viral marketing campaigns involve real people reacting to imagined situations. Think about TNT’s ‘Drama Button’ campaign. It brought the drama of an intense show onto the streets of Belgium, shocking the real people on the streets. People loved it because they could see themselves in those reactions. Read more

Use Videos. Upload an interesting, educational and/or entertaining video to YouTube, Metacafe and other video-share sites that captures the imagination of viewers, and anything is possible. Case in Point: Ted Williams. Need I say more? Speaking of videos, I’m currently in the process of converting some of my “How to” titles into videos…more on that later. Read more…

To learn how you can use videos to market your business even if you don’t have a camera, I highly recommend you Google and read Tracy Matthewman’s excellent tutorial, “How To Make Videos Even If You Don’t Have A Camera And Are Terribly Shy”.

Social Media. Although Hotmail achieved viral marketing success before the advent of social media, it’s hard to imagine a business having that same level of success today without participating in social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Simply put, social media marketing, if executed properly, can put your viral marketing efforts on steroids! Read more…

Viral Marketing Strategies

Keep it simple

In nature, viruses depend on fast, easy replication to spread, and it’s exactly the same with a viral marketing strategy. Your project — whether it’s a video or website launch — is essentially just a container for your message. That’s why it’s important to keep your idea simple and unique. People innately share things that they perceive to have value; make your project worthy of being shared. Read more…

Scale your Viral Content

Always think of your content’s future and on how you can benefit more from it once its viral effect and your feast in traffic has ended.

It’s important that you sustain the traffic that you have generated through that campaign (or a portion of it) to be able to sell your products/services and build your brand as a leader in your industry. There are many ways that you can do to nourish these relationships to your business and to have long term advantage from your content such as:

Optimize for Search and Social Sharing

Use keywords that get enough search volume from your target market (for your content’s title, permalink and within the body of the content), so you can have better chances of ranking for those keywords on search results. You can also augment and modify your content to be evergreen (after launching it) to still obtain social shares from future visitors to that page. Read more…

Second Wave Coverage for Links

Try to get coverage and links from smaller blogs to improve your viral content’s search rankings as well as to own the SERP for particular keywords (especially on events and tools that is associated with your brand). Read more…

Optimize the content’s Call to Action

Try to contain the visitors that you’ll be generating by attracting them to avail for your “middle of the funnel” offerings, such as signing up to your newsletter, subscribing to your blog’s RSS feed, following you on social networks and/or signing up for your product/services’ free trials.

You can choose to update this part of your content after its successful launch, or you can also include this right away to capture leads along the process of gaining new visitors to your site. Read more…