Viral marketing is one of the main strategies driving the success of your brand. Companies are in a constant search for viral content ideas, not just to outstand their competition, but to win over customers as well.
According to Smart Insights:
- 66% of customers think that a brand’s viral efforts are one of the main drivers of a brand’s success
- 54% say that viral marketing is the driving force that impacts their purchase decisions
- 49% of customers consider viral content credible
You can observe the greatest examples of viral marketing every year during Super Bowl when major brands compete to win the public eye with viral ads:
However, even though you may have the audience of several million people, it doesn’t guarantee that your content will go viral.
Why You Can’t Succeed in Your Viral Marketing Efforts
Not every content can go viral, and the number of people you can reach won’t determine your viral success.
The virality of the content in digital marketing is determined by many factors, but mostly, by the characteristics of the viral content.
What are these characteristics?
Let’s take a look at them and the ways how you can ensure that they are present in your viral content.
1. Appealing to Emotions
What do you want people to feel when they see your content for the first time?
Emotional appeal is one of the main characteristics of viral content. It is common that viral content appeals to positive emotions, however, it doesn’t mean that viral content cannot provoke negative emotions.
For the viral marketing purposes, however, you should clearly understand the intention behind your content and which emotions you want it to evoke.
For this, you need to study and research the behaviors of your target audience. And one of the best ways to do it is by directly surveying your audience.
Social media platforms offer quite a few options for surveying your audience, from Facebook polls to Instagram’s interactive surveys:
Social data that you collect at the end of your survey will help you study the behaviors of your audience and, as a result, come up with an idea, which emotions your audience will respond the fastest.
Why should you survey your audience first?
The answer is simple.
Your audience will be the first to respond to your viral message and share it. The more precise your audience analysis is, the quicker will be their response.
2. Ensuring Accessibility
The second must-have feature for the content in viral marketing is accessibility and so-called ‘shareability’.
Shareability does not only mean having a button to click on to share content as fast as possible. Among many features, ‘shareable’ content includes:
- Visual appeal – this means that viral content should be well-organized, be scannable, and of high quality.
- Appeal to interests – viral content should be in line with your audience’s main interests.
- Reaffirming – shareable viral content should reassure your audience in the reason why they follow your brand.
Achieving visual appeal is quite straightforward. You can achieve it with high-quality equipment and content editing software.
But how do you determine why your audience follows you?
For this, you can use social data analytics.
For instance, on Twitter, you can directly look up your audience’s interests, which will answer your questions about what topics they follow and why they follow your brand in particular:
At the end of the day, if the content doesn’t have visual appeal and doesn’t appeal to your audience’s interests, no matter how many ways there are to share it, your audience won’t do it. Hence, this content cannot be called viral.
3. Cultivating Value
The third and one of the key characteristics of viral content is practicality.
No content can be considered high-quality if it doesn’t bear any significance or value to your target audience, who, in fact, give you a hint at which content they consider to be practical.
Again, all your answers are in social data analytics. “Social media channels are the goldmine of social data – the insights provided by the audience for a brand to both understand the preferences of their audience and to improve the marketing strategy”, says Claire Atkins, a marketing manager at Axonim.
For instance, on Facebook, you can study your audience’s content preferences in general and post-by-post, analyzing each post’s engagement rates:
Comments under a post are also a variation of social data, as they indicate the post’s practicality level.
Viral Marketing is Also Impossible Without…
You cannot call content viral if it doesn’t call the target audience upon performing a certain action – to like, comment, and share a message to make it viral.
Emotional appeal, shareability, practicality, and a call-to-action combined together create a viral message and reaches millions of people worldwide.
Hopefully, our insights will help you understand viral marketing better and create viral content and a successful viral marketing strategy for your brand.
Author Bio: Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, he works as a content strategist, you can check his website here. He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.