It’s highly unlikely you’ve never happened across the term viral marketing before, but there’s a good chance you don’t fully understand what it means, or the full extent of its meaning.
More popular now than ever, viral marketing is a guerrilla marketing technique that sees a marketer seed a campaign online with the aim of having it shared organically, creating a potentially exponential growth in expansion with literally no additional effort on behalf of the originator (at least after the initial stages).
It’s seen most commonly on social media, where a YouTube video or news story, for example, suddenly explodes into popularity, cluttering up the timelines of millions of people across the globe. Sometimes it’s a good thing, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and sometimes it’s absurdly annoying, see the art of “Rick-Rolling”, but one thing it all has in common is the manner in which it spreads.
The name “viral marketing” is actually pretty appropriate. Just like a regular virus, it all starts at a single point – in this case, the original upload/shares. From there, it’s a case of doing everything possible to give the campaign a chance of catching the attention of even a single person so that they can share it with their friends, so that they can share it with theirs, so that they can share it with theirs, and so on until it reaches its peak before disappearing from memory again.
With each generation, or wave of shares, the campaign will gain exponential growth, and that makes viral marketing an incredibly effective and cost efficient tool in any marketer’s book.
EASIER SAID THAN DONE
However, it’s not quite that easy. Firstly, you’ve got to have an idea that has the potential for virality. Nobody is going to be interested in sharing something that amounts to little more than a promotional campaign for your company; instead you need to do something different, something that’s worthy not only of people’s attention, but also deserving of their seal of approval in the shape of a social media share, like or comment.
It’s an incredibly difficult thing to get right, but when it works a campaign can literally go from zero to light speed in a matter of days, if not hours, and that’s what makes them so desirable, not just for marketers, but also for their clients.
Although you’re likely most familiar with viral campaigns taking the form of video, they don’t necessarily need to be in that medium. Heck, they don’t even have to be online if you want to be super old school about it (although that’s an approach that’s going to be pretty difficult to accomplish global domination with)! Everything is fair game in viral marketing, and Monitoring Trends everything from videos, to emails, to fabricated stories, to images, to special offers has been used as part of viral campaigns.
VIRAL MARKETING MAY NOT BE FOR EVERYONE
Arguably one of the most creative modern day marketing solutions, viral marketing isn’t going to be for everyone. It carries potential risk due to its unpredictability, but the low cost (and the ever growing list of successful campaigns) continues to make it appealing for many companies.
Boundless Productions offers a range of solutions to help build and manage a successful viral campaign, and boasts a record of success with viral video, and we’re standing by waiting for your call. To speak to one of our viral experts, call us at 1877.617.2811 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.