Viral Marketing: Is There a Secret Recipe?

By OctaneGo, April 4, 2012 | Tips & Resources

Every online marketer dreams of that perfect campaign that goes viral – a flood of tweets, shares or posts with numbers hovering around a few million. And that’s what makes them flock to the latest craze on YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and other social platforms, trying to figure out what the “secret recipe” is.

If you want to replicate that kind of success, begin by understanding and applying these common ingredients of successful viral campaigns:

  • “Awesome” content: When thinking about viral marketing, marketers get misled into believing that content is everything. While content remains the most important element, what will make it really successful is its presentation with creativity. Just compiling an e-book or PPT and sharing it across platforms will usually not accomplish anything and will rarely ever go truly viral.
  • Skip information for a change: The Internet is brimming over with information. In fact, there is much more information than the entire human population can imbibe. This means that as a marketer, you need to present something that’s different than regular factoids, articles, how-to videos, etc. What goes viral? Leaked videos, games like Angry Birds, interactive maps, truly innovative design ideas, breaking news, and so on. Notice that all these usually depart from the common and conventional.
  • Made with care: Whatever idea you are developing should not be a rushed job. While it’s true that as a business you are always running short of time, presenting anything less than a perfect offering on a viral marketing campaign will result in sure failure. If you want users and customers to care, you need to make it with care.
  • Does scale matter? While it’s good to have the leverage to launch the campaign intensively, viral campaigns live in social media platforms and spread through word of mouth, none of which requires capital. Also, exceptional marketing campaigns are usually not created to time the market, and hence keep working for long after they were created.

You are very likely to come across much more advice, but the crux of a viral marketing campaign is that it takes a lot of effort to create something share-worthy, and it might be after several tries that you get the hang of it. So never stop trying or experimenting.

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