“Viral Marketing: How to Create a Viral Social Media Campaign” is a guest post written by Hanson Cheng.
You might have found that global events have disrupted your plans for the year but 2021 promises a fresh start.
You’ll see your marketing budget up for review once again and the best way to get effective results with minimum expenditure is to have a viral social media marketing campaign. The goals should be simple – evaluating the successes of strategies used the last year and modifying them accordingly for this year.
Most surveys show that two of the biggest challenges faced by companies in such cases are formulating a proper strategy and then tracking the results.
Brands usually attempt to reach as many people as possible within a short span of time. Social media fame is one of the best ways to do so but driving a viral campaign is rather complicated. That’s where we step in with our guide to help you achieve the success you need.
What is Viral Marketing?
Let us define what viral marketing is. Basically it includes organic techniques where word-of-mouth information is spread about a product or even a service.
It gets labeled as viral at a time it hits a level where a wider population than just the target market for the brand or product engages. You’ll find the product being posted on almost everybody’s social media feeds.
At any time, there are quite a few reasons why one would want a product to go viral. Usually, it is meant to increase popularity among people, so they talk about how great it is. Of course, making it worth talking about is essential, for people to actually want to share it with friends.
Going viral takes luck and skill, but most entrepreneurs also rely on additional resources like sales funnels to improve the overall sales and marketing experience.
How Viral Marketing Works?
A lot of virality in social media marketing is tied to the meme culture. Although they might not be related to a product directly, propagation of memes goes hand in hand with viral concepts and helps to create a buzz
Engagement on popular posts by brands has helped them market their products as well, leeching off the virality of a trend. For example, when the entire world was in the throes of a controversy over whether a dress was white and gold or blue and black, Dunkin Donuts capitalized on it smartly.
Burger King has also been known to engage actively on social media including taking digs at McDonald’s to maintain their reach and popularity.
Why Choose Viral Marketing?
You’ll find viral marketing to be a more popular and successful strategy when compared to paid promotions. In the long term, there aren’t many advertising costs either. The idea is to make the product so appealing that people talk about it on their own. There are several freelance social media managers who track the virality of products and ensure posts reach target audiences and beyond.
Not only does it create an image for the brand but also improves brand awareness and attracts potential customers. It serves to create a unique memory about the product in the mind of the customer ensuring better sales. The next time a customer thinks of buying a specific product your brand comes to mind.
Viral marketing helps build an international reputation for your brand and puts you across as trustworthy. It is one of the most powerful tools eCommerce platforms can use to stand out.
Strategies For Viral Social Media Marketing
1. Context of Social Media Strategy
Setting up social media strategy includes providing context for challenges a business might face and coming up with an established brand strategy accordingly. This is executable through having an agenda and summary in place, setting strategic goals, chalking down business and communication problems and creating an overview for brand strategy.
2. Evaluating Audience for Social Media
Strategies are influenced once you define target audiences. It is best to use examples and research to make such cases. Compare this with the audience breakdown where social media channels are concerned. Basically, the idea is to create an ideal audience overview and their current analysis snapshot.
3. Tactical Execution and Planning
Specific recommendations can bring social media strategies to life. These include a summary of the strategy, roles, and practices in various channels. Also important are inclusion of themes and pillars for the content framework, and a publishing plan for content.
Other aspects include management practices for the community, guidelines for tone and voice, campaign breakdown via paid media etc. You can also use influencer programs, utilize proposal software to maximize sales, and make use of campaign or editorial calendars.
There are also plans for different stages of the business divided into crawling, walking, and running. Finally, the implementation of these steps is also crucial.
Strategies To Become Viral
1. Pick The Right Time
If you’re using social media, it is important to keep time and dates in mind. Most marketers choose to take advantage of holidays since engagement on social media is higher during these times.
Scheduling posts and optimizing them helps ensure that you can reach more followers while garnering greater engagement. See which time zone most followers belong to. Then try and improve engagements on posts; greater engagement guarantees better visibility.
2. Target The Correct Audiences
Even before you create content for social media it is crucial to keep target audiences in mind. The goal should be to make it relatable to laypeople. You might also choose to educate a section of the audience through longer form video content like webinars, pre recorded videos, or screen recording videos to improve the level of engagement on posts.
Knowing your target audience helps you tailor posts accordingly and also ensures you never run out of ideas. Therefore, it becomes vital to keep track of the target demographic and how it’s responding to your campaigns.
3. Select the Right Platforms
No matter how great your campaign is, if you don’t choose the right platform, the entire effort is at risk of going down the drain. Platforms are not only different but the kind of content they entertain also differs.
Choosing platforms based on your audience type becomes necessary; here Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are popular choices. All these platforms have the potential to make posts viral but those with greater sharing options tend to do better. For example, Instagram stories have become a popular campaign device, so much so that LinkedIn has added the feature too.
4. Make Content Unique
Content doesn’t have to be intellectually stimulating at all times; sometimes it can be simple too. However, the ideal mixture should be something that is humorous and emotionally appealing. People have to want to click on the links without you begging them to. For generating such content it is essential to start thinking outside the box.
5. Choose the Appropriate Influencers
If you want to be successful on social media you have to choose the right kind of influencer. Firstly, get someone who enjoys a sizable degree of fan following. This way the brand gets credibility automatically since friends and associates of influencers are likely to lap them up. Sometimes going with influencers outside your particular field might be beneficial too.
6. Select the Right Words
With the use of hashtags, single words or catchphrases play an immensely important role in catapulting a brand to greater fame.
Trending and relevant hashtags create or destroy campaigns. Take, for example, the #ShareACoke strategy. Customers felt their personal lives were reflected in this hashtag and they were being made a part of the narrative by Coca-Cola. As a result, the trend became increasingly popular with numerous shares across social media platforms.
7. Use Suitable Features
It is best to utilize all the resources each social media platform offers. Usually, audio-visual content tends to blow up the most and attracts people too. But, you can also make use of long-form content, memes, infographics or anything that helps sales.Just see what works for you.
8. Improve Sharing Options
Virality demands remaining at the center of attention and there are several ways to go about it. One might try word-of-mouth approaches, where friends and associates are told about the product.
Often incentives are provided for sharing as well. But, you can start off with paid ads on platforms like Facebook to attract target customers.
Perks of Viral Marketing
1. Negligible Costs
Viral marketing has become so popular because companies have to put in brains behind content creation. Once done properly most of the distribution is carried out by target customer bases who share the product advertisements or spread information by word-of-mouth.
Naturally, this makes distribution costs almost nil and sometimes companies don’t even have to allocate money for paid advertisements on platforms.
2. Potential to Reach Massive Audiences
Small businesses or solopreneurs also have the chance to go viral with social media campaigns. Since there are almost no expenses and social media connects the world, it is a great way to make your business international without additional charges of advertising.
3. Viral Marketing is Non-Invasive
Advertisements tend to be invasive as they demand attention from consumers. On social media, however, potential customers have the choice to engage with and share brand advertisements making it non-invasive.
Moreover, it improves the ability of buyers to understand the brand, as well as the product. In return they decide to increase engagement as well as sharing.
4. Helps in Brand Building
If social media campaigns hit the bull’s eye imaginatively, then you’ll see how the content is amazing enough for people to share and create special bonds with your company. Such campaigns become great tools to build awareness and create a steady brand following.
5. Rapid Generation of Leads
Even if your social media campaign doesn’t immediately translate to customers, you’ll see how it aids lead generation. Most people are drawn to things that are trending and while everyone might not be prepared to buy your products just yet, they are likely to keep you in mind as a result of your social media popularity.
Possible Social Media Trends in 2021
Social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat have augmented reality and virtual reality included for more immersive experiences. With the pandemic in 2020, people have stayed at home for greater periods and discovered the joys of these technologies.
In 2021, with people finding more courage to step into public spaces, we are likely to see how customer experiences and virtual instances are brought together by opportunities. Dynamic content will definitely change the appreciation one has for brand value, and accordingly, AR media will grow to engage potential buyers.
Influencer marketing is also likely to become big on channels like TikTok. There are several TikTok stars already who garner a lot of attention. Due to the dominance of video content in social media marketing, these individuals are in prime positions to drive up sales.
With TikTok becoming yet another major social media platform where a campaign can be driven, companies must realize that products and services can be marketed better by going live. Creating virtual events increases engagement and makes potential buyers feel more at one with the company.
To cut a long story short: going viral isn’t exactly easy. But you can learn a lot from viral marketing concepts and figure out how to make content that draws attention. While our guide is intended to assist you, it isn’t a guarantee of going viral.
However, by following the tips, tricks and advice outlined above you’ll find the process significantly easier. We would like to insist that brands should never clickbait people. Although this strategy increases virality, it serves to reduce a brand’s image since potential customers might see it as being deceitful.