The Basis of Viral Marketing


As we have said before, viral marketing is one of the most important selling points in every business. However, it is a concept that most of the time is pretty abstract so we believe that the best way for you to understand it is by telling you not only how to do it, but by giving you all the basic information so you can start your own viral marketing campaign right now. With this guide, you will know how to do everything, from the initial organization of the campaign to account for the profits and losses of the campaign. Just keep on reading.

We hear very often about viral marketing, about videos that have millions of views, about images that are shared at high speed because they have been able to touch a magic key within the collective consciousness of the audience or about interesting jingles that are stuck in the brain of the people and keep playing in their heads over and over and over again. They have that “something special” that pleases and generates the uncontrollable need to spread among acquaintances.

But are these contents random or are they well-calculated viral advertising? Well, actually it’s a bit of both.

Some contents have been created without an advertising or marketing purpose, simply for fun, to raise awareness and/or inform. Those are the ones that went viral just because of luck and casualty.  While others have behind them a well planned viral strategy made by a team of experts that wanted that content to reach as many people as they can, with some luck and another of great previous preparation and a very worked creativity the accomplish that objective and help companies and brands to sell more products and increase their profits. Viral marketing well planed is one of the best things a company can do.

Principal advantage

The main advantage is that the advertising brand hardly has to do anything from the moment the viral content is released, just wait and see how the benefits come. This all sounds very nice! But like everything else, it has a downside. and is a very big downside. Making an advertising strategy viral is very difficult. Less than 1% get it right. And the random factor plays an important role inside the way it works. However, there are some strategies that you can follow to get it working in no time and (with a bit of luck) you will get a lot of profit.

Viral marketing is a weird marketing strategy. You need a combination of a good strategy and good luck

Why does one content become viral and another not?

However, rather than focusing on those strategies, we are going to focus on answering a question: Why does certain content become viral? there are agencies and marketing experts who have tried to discover the formula of virality and some ingredient they have found during their empirical tests. Among the memes and pretty kittens with big eyes. However, there isn´t such a thing as a magic formula, to be honest, most of the time is just luck. There are some common points that all the successful viral content has in common. Do you want to know them?

  1. Very long contents are more shared: Yeah, you read it right. Even though it was supposed that in the mobile age and content over-saturation it was better to be short and concise, the truth is that was a great mistake. Extensive contents are more successful than short ones, even though we read less and less and that our attention jumps from one place to another in less than 15 seconds. Articles from 3000 to 10,000 words are shared on average more than those containing fewer words (about 8,859 times). Why does this happen? There is not a real reason but a hypothesis tells that it is because there is 16 times more content with less than 1,000 words than content with more than 2,000 words.
  2. Get visual: Viral marketing does not exist without a photograph or a video. The articles of a blog are shared on average 64.9 times if they have an associated image, while those that are only textual have an average sharing of 28. Overwhelming! Spend 10 minutes searching for the perfect photo in the image banks, the possible virality of your contents will thank you.
  3. Social Networks are the key:  Most users have some profiles on social platforms. Thanks to them you will be able to turn your content from a simple cold into a global pandemic. Showing thumbnails on Facebook (image, headline, personalized description) multiplies the viralization capacity, with thumbnail the average sharing is 56 and without 17 times. And the same happens on Twitter and obviously on Instagram, where the images are the center of attention.
  4. Put feeling into what you’re doing: Neutral content doesn’t convey anything and won’t make users want to share. You must put feeling and affection in the process of creation. They better be positive emotions such as surprise, laughter or entertainment, since negative emotions such as sadness or anger are unprofitable. Nobody wants to share the pessimism of other people, let alone that of a company.
  5. Infographics and lists are the most important: The infographics, images that condense the ideas of a post, and the lists have a much higher sharing average than the videos, the articles that begin with “How… the dolphins get to talk underwater”, “What… have the crocodile tears for sure” and “Why… Messi has decided to change his hair color”. The information should be well structured, coherent, ordered in blocks, with catchy headings and supporting graphic resources.

With these five keys, you can be sure that your content can become more viral and hopefully the campaign will be successful and will leave lots of profit in your company.

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