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The ingredients of effective viral marketing [infographic]

Author's avatar By Kimberly Grimms 15 Jul, 2014
Essential Essential topic

Including the 5 reasons your content ISN'T Going Viral...

Since its inception, the Internet has opened new doors for growing a business by sharing viral content. Today business owners are naturally still keen that they "go viral" to increase their awareness. Content marketing offers opportunities to do this through the range of content marketing formats  we have available to us.

What is viral marketing?

Viral internet marketing is not to be confused with ordinary online marketing. Neither is any viral content considered marketing. It isn't enough for something to spread rapidly. As it spreads, it should help get your company noticed.

Marketing guru, Seth Godin, emphasizes that true viral marketing “must market your business in a tangible and useful way.” Now that you know the difference, the next step is to find out how marketing becomes viral.

Why does content become viral?

If we're honest, there is no secret ingredient why a certain campaign "goes viral". After combing through a billion tweets, even the software giant Microsoft could not provide a concrete answer. The findings from their year-long research, however, proved to be interesting. According to the research, popularity does not necessitate virulence. Most of the time, content becomes popular because it comes from a popular feed, for example, that of an actor with many followers.

While initially read widely, popular content is quick to be forgotten. On the contrary, and despite its usually humble origins, viral content manages to become memorable and share-able. As it is shared over a significant period of time, viral content becomes embedded into society’s consciousness.

What can prevent your content becoming viral?

So, the research shows we can't definitively say why content goes viral... Let's look at it from the reverse direction. This infographic suggests how to make your content viral by showing what you should avoid! I think it highlights the ingredients of effective viral content marketing well.


What Do Viral Marketing Campaigns Have In Common?

Summarising the advice from this infographic we can say that you need to start with a clearly defined audience. Knowing who you’re talking with will also help you determine which media channels to use to seed your viral. You can go on social media, upload videos, create a blog or do some email marketing. It all depends on your product and the type of consumer. Once you've done this, it’s time to work on your viral marketing campaign.

Create an engaging story with a great hook. A campaign that elicits a positive emotional response – like excitement, is more likely to be shared.  Also, add a call to action. But don’t be a hard sell. Keep things subtle. Appealing to the consumer will already get your brand noticed, so branding can be kept at a minimum.

When you do brand, it helps to make an association with something of value to the consumers. Do this by examining your brand. What human issues does your product or service relate to? Tap into these very specific emotions and beliefs. This is rightly first and foremost in the infographic and is the most important factor in a viral campaign.

Author's avatar

By Kimberly Grimms

Kimberly Grimms is a futurist who spends most of her time monitoring social behavior in search for new consumer trends. She uses the information to create viral and useful content. You can read more of her writing on her blog.

This blog post has been tagged with:

Viral content

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