Going Viral - How to Launch Marketing Campaigns that Create a Ton of Buzz

Going Viral – How to Launch Marketing Campaigns that Create a Ton of Buzz

Carl Taylor | March 29, 2021

Do you want to grab as much attention as you can online? Get everyone excited and talking about your business by following these tips.

Viral marketing depends on content that will attract a lot of attention. Thousands of memes and videos become viral every year. But it can also happen to marketing campaigns.

While it’s difficult to design an ad with complete certainty that it will become viral, there are methods to make it more likely to take off.

You need to know that the organic spread of content is often more effective than aggressive advertising. Only the most lavish marketing budget could surpass it in volume. Sharing content on social media is free and, more importantly, voluntary. That’s why social networks are the best medium when it comes to viral marketing.

A good example of the power of viral campaigns would be IHOP.

The American restaurant chain’s IHOb campaign to promote IHOP’s line of burgers started with a witty tweet that has garnered more than seven million views. But the views didn’t come from the followers alone. The internet started buzzing about it, and the tweet spread like wildfire.

Soon after, the company’s burger sales quadrupled.

Brand awareness that comes from viral marketing is priceless. Instead of ads, potential clients learn about the brand through their social contacts. This aspect makes the content more personal to those that see it – a feat most ad campaigns will struggle to achieve.

It’s easy to assume that content will go viral simply due to luck. While it certainly plays a part, it’s not the only deciding factor.

Quality content and a well thought out strategy are essential ingredients in a viral marketing campaign. No matter the size of your business, a viral marketing campaign will get people talking about it. And with the bigger reach, more potential customers will come your way.

In this article, we’re going to share tips and tricks to help your campaign spread and reach as many people as possible.

How to Create Viral Marketing Campaigns

How to Create Viral Marketing Campaigns

There are reasons why widespread online content becomes memorable. And most of those reasons have to do with the quality, rather than how the content’s marketed.

This might seem obvious at first, but many failed campaigns don’t focus on the content quality enough. Instead, they often try to compensate by aggressive promotion.

However, you can’t force poor content into going viral any more than you can force word-of-mouth.

There are certain common traits that successful viral campaigns share. Let’s take a look at the essential factors that will make the content likely take off.

1. Know Your Audience

Selecting and getting to know your target audience is vital for every type of marketing campaign. Keep in mind that no content, however viral it gets, will appeal to everyone. And the content doesn’t need to be explicitly about your offer.

To go viral, your content has to speak to the audience on a personal level. So do thorough research into what they’re drawn to. The research results will help you create the perfect message.

Also, knowing your audience will make it easy to find the right channels for the campaign. A video or an ad might become widespread. However, it’s more likely to garner profits if there’s a clear intention and a carefully selected target audience.

That’s why it’s best to choose an audience that will likely react to the marketed product or service.

2. Concentrate on Video and Other Visual Content

Videos are among the most frequent viral content, along with memes. However, it’s not easy to make a video that’s certain to take off. It needs to be well done, with just the right length, and must be relevant to the target audience.

Concerning quality, it’s a matter of style. Your video doesn’t have to be a cinematic masterpiece. But, it must be consistent in the style and the story it tells. It also needs to have a quality soundtrack and proper design. Even if the runtime is under a minute, the video has to stick to a theme and a genre.

Length is an essential factor as well. A perfect viral video should last long enough to make its point and not overstay its welcome. It needs to catch and keep the audience’s attention the whole way through.

The most shared videos are never too long.

3. Make the Content Resonate with the Audience

To go viral, your content must engage the audience from the start. This means it has to provoke a response right from the title or the thumbnail. Those should intrigue the audience and make them curious.

It’s important to note that curiosity should be about the content, not immediately about your business. In other words, your content will need a ‘hook’.

The emotional response is another important factor. For maximum efficiency, you’ll have to decide on the tone and make it consistent. While humour is the most frequent way to go, it’s certainly not the only way.

4. Make an Irresistible Offer

Once you’re certain the content will emotionally resonate to your audience, make sure there’s promotional value to it.

Include something the audience will see as a great deal, and don’t shy away from freebies. Give away reasonably valuable products or services. This will entice the audience to further engage with your business.

Handle the freebies with good measure, as you don’t want to promise too much or too little.


This is where knowing your audience comes into play again.

5. Be Ready to Take a Risk

Your viral campaign won’t benefit from playing it safe. That’s why many successful examples have used shock value to great effect. Of course, this is also a matter of measure.

While your content should have a certain edge, it must not be too provocative, disrespectful, or insulting.

There’s a fine line when it comes to bold content. Get it right and your campaign will be more likely to succeed. Always pay attention and ensure that the edge is consistent with the theme.

Shock value means nothing by itself but needs to be tastefully incorporated in the overall message.

6. Create Content with a Message

Based on the tone and style, your content should have a clear message.

A good hook will only serve its purpose if it leads to a meaningful statement. So know exactly how you want to present your brand and adjust the content accordingly. A clear vision in this case will determine the style and tone of the content.

Communicate the message clearly.

While you don’t want the audience to forget about the content immediately, it shouldn’t go overboard. Too complicated stories will most likely appeal to only a small niche. Keep the content simple enough to be engaging to the widest audience possible.

7. Don’t Follow a Cliche

Keeping the content original might be the most complicated task of all.

One might argue it’s impossible to create something entirely new. However, that isn’t what you should be aiming for anyway. Instead, you should avoid cliches that are too obvious, as well as directly copying other content.

There are creative ways to steer clear of the overused formulas.

A satirical parody approach to a well-known cliche is good for comedy. Whatever the style, surprises always work well.

The problem with cliches is that they lead to a development the audience expects. A well-placed surprise, done in good taste, will immediately make the content stand out.

8. Make the Content Relevant

The challenge with viral marketing lies in timing. It’s not unusual for videos to go viral several years after they come out.

Obviously, this won’t be useful for a marketing campaign. While timeless content is usually a mark of quality, in this case it could be harmful.

The point of viral marketing is to grab attention and spread wide in a certain time frame. That’s why the content should be in line with current events as much as possible. Connections with recent events are more potent when it comes to leaving an impression.

However, when making timely content, be aware of what everyone else is doing. This has to do with the previous point about not falling into cliches. Steer clear of a theme seen in other campaigns too often. And if it’s unavoidable, approach it with a fresh twist.

9. Make the Campaign Visible

Make sure to pick the right platform to launch your campaign. Naturally, you should choose the platform based on the content type.

When it comes to social networks, your target audience demographics will be helpful. You won’t find the same crowd on Twitter and Instagram, so choose the starting point carefully.

Viral content might cross platforms, but it will initially spread the most in the starting environment. Choosing the right platform will depend on how well you know your target audience.

Since viral marketing can’t be as fine-tuned and directed as the traditional, you should optimise the campaign to reach the most relevant audience first.

A catch-all strategy could be effective and it would overlap with the nature of viral content. The major risk is that a saturated platform could drown out your content before it has a chance to take off. That’s why the initial placement requires the most attention. Do that right and your content will have a better chance to spread.

10. Don’t Overdo It

If you want to present your campaign as a genuine viral phenomenon, refrain from promoting it too much. The appeal of viral content comes in part from its spontaneous spread. Advertising it excessively will create the opposite effect.

People should feel like they’re discovering your content themselves.

You should especially avoid focusing on the viral aspect. Don’t promote the content as viral immediately when it comes out. Instead, let it take off on its own. This is the essential difference between traditional and viral marketing. That’s why most of your attention should be on the content quality and the initial release strategy.

If the content has all the right ingredients, it’s more likely to take off. But, if it doesn’t, pushing too hard won’t make it viral. Instead of forcing the spread, you should try again with a different approach.

Increasing the Reach of Your Business

Increasing the Reach of Your Business

Viral marketing is probably among the most complicated strategies when it comes to online marketing. However, if done right, it can be the most rewarding.

Quality content, the right approach, and knowing your audience are necessary for every campaign. In fact, those are absolutely vital.

If you want to create a bold, effective, and successful viral marketing campaign, Automation Agency can get you there.

Our Concierge Service will help you tailor your content with memorable visuals that will attract attention. Go to this link to find out about the full range of our services and start growing your business reach now.

About the author 

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.

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