Image by: martinhoward
The idea of going viral has become the new Holy Grail of internet marketing. Gurus wax poetically in strategy meetings across the world about how a piece of original content that goes viral is the equivalent of striking oil in your back garden.
But, as usual with things that involve the internet and the millions of people that use on a daily basis, the answer is not as black and white as the marketing gurus like to paint it.
While it is true that a well thought out and popular viral campaign can do wonders for getting your company noticed, they do not directly translate into increased sales unless you have a strong brand message to back it up.
So in the interests of helping the human race progress towards bigger and better things, I have compiled a few tips on how to create the perfect viral campaign.
Content, Content, Content!
This is important; if your content is rubbish, then nobody will want to share it. Got that? Good.
You are going to need to put some serious thought into ideas for things that people are going to want to share. The three main paths that people choose to go down are humour, controversy or wonderment.
You are also going to need to think about the ways in which people are going to share this jaw droppingly original content of yours. If you want a video to be shared then make sure people can comment and share their thoughts.
Target the Bored, the Geeky and the Weird
Your biggest potential audience are the people who are bored at work. Just think about the potential numbers of people sitting in offices right this second, desperately wishing for something to cut through the tedium and bring a smile to their jaded faces?
If you are in an office right now, stand up and look around; you will see them. They are hugely important as to whether your viral campaign will be a success or not.
Just as important are the weirdoes of the internet. An important part of going viral is letting people express themselves through your content: so if you have a video of a cat flying a helicopter your first port of call should be the cat loving groups on Facebook. Becoming a hit with this kind of niche community is a great way to get the momentum of your campaign rolling.
There is a Serious Point Though
You need to always remember that the point of this video is to have some kind of beneficial effect on the fortunes of your business.
This is the ‘mullet strategy’ of ‘business up front, party in the back.’ You need to make sure that you communicate your brand in a serious way no matter the hilarity of the content.
Understand the Odds
Another important point to keep in mind is that most things are not going to go viral on an epic scale. Therefore, under no circumstances put all of your eggs in the ‘let’s try and go viral’ basket. Ideally, you should have a number of different creative campaigns going on at the same time.
These odds ram home the importance of really putting yourself and your content out there as much as you can. Use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, your company blog, influential bloggers and any other way that you can think to spread the word!
The above tips are by no means a fool proof guide to becoming viral megastars, but even a mildly successful online campaign can save you significant amounts of money that you would otherwise have to spend on things like TV advertising costs.
If anyone else has any tips or knowledge they want to pass on, or you want to show some of your favourite viral campaigns, below is the place to do it.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Gavin Harveyis a personal trainer who lives in London with his partner and their two cats. When not blogging in his spare time for companies such as Space City, you will find Gavin curled up on the sofa, nursing sore muscles with classic films and dreams of adventures abroad.