Picture it. You create some content and then just sit back and let the audience do all the work for you by forwarding your message on to all their friends and connections. This is what viral marketing is and the successful campaigns are ones that spread like wildfire through social media communities. When people think of viral ads, they automatically think of video but it doesn’t always have to be. Viral messages can be in the form of content too – articles and blogs are fodder for social media buffs to link on their sites too.
TOOLS TO USE
When you want to launch a viral campaign, go straight to sites like Facebook and YouTube. These sites have millions of viewers and interesting or funny content will spread like wildfire around these sites. That leads us to our first tip – make sure your content is outstanding.
Do not try to create a viral campaign with boring content. Nobody wants to see this in the first place and people sure as heck will not forward it to their friends. It is a badge of honor for people to compete with one another to see who can send the most compelling video or news article. The best ones get the best comments. Weak content will get either no comments or a “wtf”? (Note – you don’t want that).
WHO YOU TARGET
Depending on your marketing strategy, you already have some idea of what types of people are on the sites you have chosen for your social media marketing campaign. Now you want to figure out how to best target them. Here are a few tips to get your customer’s interested in your content:
1. Emotional Responses: People are emotional creatures. If they find something rofl funny they will forward it. If it really makes them angry, they will forward it. Whatever content you have in your ad, make sure it compels them to forward it. Happy or sad, it will still get your content out there.
2. Differentiate Yourself: Give them something different, something that has never been done before. If the content you create is just like everyone else’s, then it will just be viewed as tired and regular. Stand out – make people take notice.
3. Have An Understated Approach: Don’t pack so much content into an ad that it becomes overwhelming. Make sure it is subtle and understated. Nobody wants to see traditional advertising and more important nobody is going to take the extra step to forward it.
4. Add Freebies – If you can do it – add free stuff to your campaign. This will undoubtedly get people moving to put your link on their page or forward your message to their friends. In a progressively what’s in it for me era, give the people what they want – something for nothing – and you’ve got a customer for life.
And remember, successful viral marketing spreads quickly but like a 24 hour virus, can fade quickly too. So follow up on your viral ad with additional content or anything to grab your audience’s attention. Make sure the viral ad doesn’t die out as quickly as it caught on.
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