Viral campaigns are an effective marketing strategy for companies with smaller budgets. They can spread like wildfire and can have a huge impact for minimal costs. However it is important to think about your brand carefully, although viral can have a positive impact, it can also have a negative effect on your brand. And once it is out in the public domain, it is there forever and it can’t be taken back.
It is also really important, as we have learnt that although your viral campaign is funny or interesting, that there is a clear link back to your brand. We launched a Love/Hate travel campaign that was hugely successful, yet the link back to our brand was in no way strong enough and therefore the actual result of the campaign wasn’t as successful as it should have been. Going viral can create a buzz and drive sales, but it is important that you don’t neglect your website development and other marketing strategies to tie this altogether.
Below we have identified some top tips on what to do when creating a viral campaign.
1. Create a recognisable character that can become synonymous with your brand
For example, the, meerkats of comparethemaket.com. These meerkats have now become so popular that they are promotional gifts when people buy insurance through the service. And when people now simply mention meerkats, it is one of the first things people think of.
2. Have a catch phrase
Again with Meerkats, ‘Simples’ is now a popular phrase used by thousands of people, a catchy phrase or saying can elevate your brand to the next level. People will talk about it, want to share it and your content will spread far and wide naturally.
3. Tap into trending topics
By tapping into timely content and emerging trends can attract lots of attention. People are more likely to share newsworthy content, which will result in more shares and traffic to your site.
4. Make it funny or tug at the heart strings
Viral works if your content has some appeal think of YouTube and videos that make you laugh, or videos that have huge amount of views. These are things that are heart-warming, such as the recent flash mob proposal or the funny Old Spice adverts. Offering something that is a bit different. But that people will take to their hearts is something that will be a success.
5. Get influencer buy-in
An endorsement from an authority in your industry could help make your content go viral, or a celebrity could add huge amounts of gravitas if your budget allows. Getting key influencers to share your content can have a massive impact on your brand and can send items viral, with minimal effort. Get networking, making contacts with top influencers in your industry, can have a huge impact when you are ready to try and get things to go viral.
So think carefully and get it right and you could reap the rewards of a successful viral campaign.