Viral marketing campaigns are in no way random. However, they must attempt, in some strange way, to seem that way. That is the essence of how a viral marketing campaign must take off. The reality, however, is that they are as rigorously thought out and carefully planned as any other advertising campaign. You don’t just casually make a viral marketing campaign, no matter how “rough around the edges” many of them seem. You have to actively understand every detail. To do this, you need to know what goes into making a great viral marketing campaign. Here’s a rundown of it…
Establishing a simple goal
What is this supposed to do? Who are you targeting? What do you want to have accomplished by the end of your campaign? These are the kinds of questions that you need to ask yourself before anything else. A simple, concise goal must be realized in order to gauge the effectiveness of your viral campaign. To begin the process without one is to submit yourself to blindness and possible failure.
Essentially, your content has to fulfill something for the audience in such a way that they will want others to be fulfilled as well. This could mean creating content that is incredibly useful, and has a strict utilitarian purpose. Or it could be something far more visceral and emotionally impactful, such as content that is very funny, inspiring, or sad. Essentially, the content must retroactively make a hole in the consumer’s life that they didn’t know was there before. Once you have done this, then an audience will feel obligated to share it to the people they know, in order to make sure that this hole is filled for them, as well.
Keep it simple
The power of simplicity cannot be overstated, in this case. The more complicated your idea is, the more likely it is to fail in the viral marketing arena. Viral content has to be easily taken in, and have an immediate, obvious impact on someone. It can’t do this if you make it too complicated. People will be less likely to share content that is not immediately accessible. Boil your concept down to the bare bones. Make it the most quintessential, simple version of your idea possible.
Grab people’s attention
Your campaign has to draw immediate attention to itself. Whether or not your content is full of subtle nuance, you can’t approach the initial impression that it makes like that. The title or headline of your content is the most obvious way to do this. Don’t be passive about these things. Give it a name that people simply have to click on. And once they are there, give them a reason to stay. At the end of it all, give it a bang that makes them highly impressionable to sharing it with their friends and enjoying it all again.