Elements Of A Viral Marketing Campaign

There has never been more technological freedom and a demand for good ideas for advertisers than in this point of the Internet Age. Big companies can enable users to design their own shoes using WeChat and a smartphone, use Augmented Reality to find their Ikea dream home in their actual home, and send users back to their childhood homes in a music video just by using an old address.

And yet, what really grabs the attention of everyday users hasn’t really evolved since the days of Candid Camera. The fact is, not many people really know what goes into a truly viral video, until it starts to spread. However, there are enough viral vids floating around the Internet landscape to tell us some crucial elements. Consider these suggestions to really set your startup on fire in our current tech-video age so you can connect with the force that is advertising.

A strong emotional resonance

Most of the world’s effective viral campaigns usually inspire strong emotional reactions from viewers – whether it’s shock and awe, genuine sympathy, surprise, envy, curiosity, or astonishment. From the ALS ice bucket challenge (sympathy) to the series of Panda Cheese commercials (curiosity mixed with astonishment), to the Girl Leads Man Around World video (envy, utter envy, the cry of envy – that found its echo in every drab office cubicle in America), the Internet-observant world has been subject to enough of a wide range of emotion to be able to grow a discerning palate for what works. When it comes to drumming up a truly compelling viral campaign, make your emotional anchor strong, don’t overthink it or make it feel over-contrived, you can even get playful.

A big name or a good cause

One of the single biggest viral campaigns in recent memory requested us not just to share a video, post a hashtag, or take a simple photo. It compelled us to literally dump a bucket full of ice water on ourselves on video and tag friends to join in – and it worked. In the end, the ALS Association raised over $100 million, and inspired names like Mark Zuckerberg, Martha Stewart, Justin Timberlake, Oprah, Bill Gates, and hundreds more to post their own videos.

Riding on the precedence that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge set, Challenged App allows companies, charities and online celebrities to try to strike out with their own challenges. Companies who already have an established following and have an interesting enough challenge can make a video very easily on this platform and try to capitalize viral challenges.

A unique view of the times

In a polarized society that is trying to balance multiple agendas and has spread research and opinions across every inch of policy, agriculture, childbirth, and personal lifestyle, there’s nothing that quite sets off a firestorm of tweets, shares, support and denial like a well-crafted thinkpiece or a video that attempts to shed an offbeat view of the times. From John Oliver’s weekly videos to Lindy West’s #ShoutYourAbortion, we’ve seen that nothing gets people quite as riled up or determined to join and share a line than divisive social agendas.

Companies have done their share of issue bandwagoning, like Starbucks adding their two cents on gun control and Tom’s Shoes’ One-For-One program. There are plenty of ways to get your hands mucky, but if you really want to get your brand out there while doing your part to bring attention to social injustice, then devote your company to a cause you care about.

A thorough familiarity with your audience

Unless you know who you’re talking to, you won’t get your message out there. To really make your campaign resonate with your prime target market, you should know what they’re looking for: make sure your brand is on trend, unique, can illustrate a lifestyle that many people aspire to, on a platform (either media or social) that can capture enough traffic from the people to whom you’re looking to market.


Despite the big-budgeted marketing capabilities of international brands and Internet movers and shakers, most viral videos that circle the web are shot on iPhones and uploaded on Vine or dug up from old camcorders, made by everyday people of all ages in spontaneous moments of boredom, awe, and inspiration.

Adorable animal videos, unique and original baby announcements, new and ingenious home decorating hacks, and heartwarming surprises from loved one to loved one have the immense potential to become viral hits simply by being utterly relatable to anyone who passes these videos along. By tapping into an intimate moment, surprising customers on camera, or sharing cool makeup tutorials, the way into a viral marketing campaign may be simpler than you think.

Reach Your Audience

Nothing goes viral on its own, you need to push your message to your audience so they can share it. When you get a great piece of content whether it is in writing, a video or an infographic which resonates with your audience you need to get it in front of that audience. You can have the most amazing content but if no one knows about it they cannot connect with the message of share it. Revcontent features brand content in native placements in publications such as Forbes, Newsweek, The Motley Fool and Anwsers.com to place it in front of the right audience on desktop and mobile. This type of amplification is increasingly accurate and target with a real focus on analytics and date integrity.

This post originally appeared on Forbes

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