everything you need to know about the subject – WAU
Viral Marketing is the strategy that encourages public engagement to get the message across. This happens when a product or service meets consumer expectations.
Have you noticed how scary some of the advertisements become popular?
Especially those who make use of social networks end up seeing content that is shared, liked and that, in a certain way, stick to the head, whether through the use of a joke, a song, a catch phrase or even mixing two or more of these things.
And, believe me, it is not by coincidence that this happens.
In fact, there is strong planning that involves the whole process to make it happen.
It’s the famous Viral Marketing.
Okay, the name can refer to something less desirable – after all, who wants a virus in their life? – but we will prove today, in this article, that this particular virus is an exception to the rule, being coveted by the most powerful brands and marketers in the world.
So, how about decreasing your immunity to the virus of this type of marketing, so you can learn everything you need to make a campaign memorable and popularized in a frightening way? Just follow the reading!
Index: Everything you will learn in this post!
What is viral marketing
First of all, let’s definitely understand what viral marketing is.
Viral marketing is all advertising material whose strategy involves encouraging people to pass this message on.
Still don’t understand? No problem, it’s really complicated. Let’s exemplify with one of the most classic cases in the internet universe: Hotmail.
After all, who has never heard of this free email service?
It is so popular that it is not uncommon to see at least very weird user names. After all, it is necessary to have a unique identity and with millions of users, it is very difficult to have simple names that are still available.
Only when did all this start?
“Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com”.
With a single sentence, an invitation made at the foot of each message sent.
Well, let’s imagine that you don’t have – or are not satisfied with your current email service. The invitation is tempting, isn’t it? Now imagine that a person sends ten messages a day.
Ten new potential customers. If only two take the bait, we already have two more accounts @ hotmail.com also sending ten emails a day, with invitations at the bottom … and so the cycle increases.
It’s just not enough to make an invitation.
After all, the public expects something of quality so that they are tempted to be part of the cycle.
So, Viral marketing only works when the product or service meets expectations. And more than free, or paid, it is necessary that the target audience perceives the value of what is offered by the brand as something of interest to their investment (money, time, etc.).
Why you should invest in viral marketing
So why should your brand invest in viral marketing?
Why, the answer is simple!
Once the viral status is achieved for your action or campaign, the chances of popularizing your product / service grow exponentially.
And in tow come opportunities to increase your sales and win new customers.
It is good to make it clear: not all of your campaigns will go viral, but from this search for formats and content that foster the desire in the public to pass on your marketing message, you will already help – a lot! – in conquering the market.
And if we are going to talk about the importance of this investment, we need to understand what is so special about it.
Have you noticed how our market no longer has barriers? The small store located in the interior of the state can sell anywhere in the country and the world.
And this facility means that all companies have to fight to get their space, strengthen their brand, since the competition is fierce, involving both large and small.
Do you know that moment of looking on the shelf and being distressed by the number of different brands for the same product?
Viral marketing makes your company stand out among the rest, creating bonds with the target audience that help you when choosing your brand among all those available.
When seeing the product on the shelves, the prospective customer is expected to look at the product, remember the campaign, smile at the thought of the joke and catch phrase and end up also wanting to have wings to face their day – or night more willingly.
How to do viral marketing: the 8 best tips
So, are we going to get our hands dirty and create viral marketing?
Calm down, let’s not just launch the challenge and put you on fire to accomplish this great task alone.
We have separated five precious tips for you not to do ugly.
1. Focus on the sales cycle of your product or service
The worst advertisement is that which does not sell reality.
And we are not talking here about using playful resources and metaphors, but about the naked truth about what your company offers.
Investing in marketing means leveraging all the good that your product or service has to offer the public, responding to your needs and desires directly.
Want a very basic example?
If you sell a car and campaign with a red color vehicle, you would expect that color to exist to be sold, right? Because if it is not the case, the consumer will feel, at the very least, injured when he sees that what was advertised exists only there, in advertising.
It is also useless to propose a sale if the company will not be able to meet demand, preventing access to what it wants to consume. So pay attention to distribution!
And finally, your service and sales teams must be more than ready to serve customers, resolve doubts and know all the features of what is going to be sold.
This in addition to those basic rules of good service, such as education, cordiality and respect.
2. Do something easy to absorb and pass on
Do not make access to your material difficult.
This is not the time to create forms for winning leads. In fact, the easier it is to view and forward this message, the better!
That is exactly why many invest in the creation of audiovisual materials, which are already easier for the public to absorb in various popular media, including TV and internet, as well as serving as a basis for the production of other materials (radio audios). , advertisements for magazines and newspapers).
In fact, the heavy investment in video also grows due to the growing use of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets).
It ends up being much easier to download materials in this format for visualization than graphic pieces that require a larger space for reading and understanding.
3. Produce something unexpected
It is not enough to make a good take with humor. It must be unexpected, that is, it must offer the public something that it has no idea that will happen – but that is, in some way, very welcome.
A laugh, a testimony, a different view on something already known. The goal is to surprise.
And it takes work, make no mistake.
You need to break the standards that would normally guide your marketing campaigns in order to surprise.
Want a delicious example? Belgian brewery Stella Artois, which has been conquering the London palate, created the series of advertisements “Receiving is an art”:
Thus, beer, in this case, escaped the rule of women with little clothes to become an element for socializing and a great reception for friends.
Everything with a lot of finesse. And just look at the company’s YouTube channel to see that the investment has yielded a true series of videos that strengthen the brand’s image with an audience that does not appreciate – just – football and beer, to want to win fans from other related areas, but very little developed, such as gastronomy.
4. Use mass channels
In fact, when we talked about the Stella Artois campaign above, you probably didn’t even realize how easily you had access to the company’s content, just a click or two away.
Only that is fundamental.
Youtube has become a darling precisely because it allows the masses to easily view material.
And, most importantly, it has fantastic buttons, just below the screen that allow you to share this material directly on your profile on the main social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, hi5…), in addition to being able to enjoy and comment within the YouTube page itself.
The use of mass channels is a decisive point for those who want to do viral marketing.
We said earlier that your campaigns need to be easily accessible and here social networks come as an almost perfect answer to the desires of a brand.
The ‘almost’ exists exactly because of the ease of multiplying any content, which greatly increases competition.
5. Don’t plan to be viral
This last tip may seem a little strange.
As well? We explain.
Nothing can guarantee that a campaign will go viral.
After all, it will always depend on an external and unknown factor: the public. It is he who, in the end, will decide what deserves – in his opinion – to be shared and seen.
Some may even say that it is possible to do this through the purchase of space, fake profiles … but it is not. Forcing the viral may even give an initial push, but when it is not embraced by the public, it will not do much good.
An example is the 1996 advertising – almost twenty years ago – by Parmalat, with children dressed as pets:
A simple little song, catchy lyrics, the spontaneity and cuteness of the little ones and a final sentence – “Tomô?” – made advertising stay in people’s minds for years on end, with at least an unusual continuation:
The bugs grew and developed! And they have proven the many benefits that have always been touted by the product.
How to plan this popularization of phrases, of figures that became carnival costumes in such a way as to guarantee that a decade later it would be interesting to make a new commercial? Impossible to calculate.
6. Be relevant
It doesn’t matter if your campaign is based on a fad, on popular issues at a given time or things that are part of the popular imagination. Addressing themes or famous people does not mean that your marketing will go viral.
Want an example? The actress Susana Vieira (quite popular for her participation in soap operas and her spiky manner) stars in two advertisements on television for two very different brands: while the commercial made for Havaianas is liked and shared, the other for the medicine Calcitran ends up being ignored by the masses.
Even though the ‘voice’ of both brands is the same, the footwear brand’s focus is much more striking and relevant – less obvious – than that of the drug that helps prevent osteoporosis.
You may even think that it is easier to talk about slippers than medicines, but then we return with the question: is that really it, or did Havaianas manage to create campaigns so well developed and executed that they end up making it seem easy?
7. Understand that the viral will not be about your product or service
In the first tip we say that you need to sell in your campaigns what your company will offer in reality. But that does not in any way mean that viral marketing is some kind of manual or presentation of your product or service.
In fact, the balcony is precisely in the presence of the brand in a way Natural.
In other words: it is necessary to think that whoever is watching your advertisement will be so excited about the story being told or with the format adopted, that it will not even realize (or even care) that it is a commercial.
That means betting more on the universe of the features of your products and on the answers they can offer to the public. And then the creation can make use of comic strips, emotional, unusual formats, because the concept will be very well outlined.
8. Understand the reasons why people share
Not everything you see on your social networks you like, comment on or share. Have you noticed that? The point is that, even without realizing it, we constantly make a selection of material.
And selection, especially when it comes to social media, is not just a result of “like” or “don’t like”. It is much more subtle.
They concern what can thrill, entertain and inform, not only to them, but to their social group. That is why materials with more basic feelings often get stronger.
They are common to the overwhelming majority of people and it is easy for them to see and / or understand the message.
The biggest mistakes you can make in viral marketing
Now what all viral marketing has in common is the undeniable desire to do the best to win the public’s attention!
Only there are some mistakes that you must avoid in order not to throw your efforts to the ground. We list here the biggest ones for you to know, repair (if necessary) and avoid. Are they:
Addressing complicated issues
Unfortunately, we live in a world full of sensitive issues – many of which are caused by ourselves.
It is the case of religious differences (and intolerances), historical facts that cause discomfort and any other subjects that may even be turned into a joke, but of dubious taste.
It may even be that it wins the desired audience, but the repercussions may not be the best for your brand, especially in the short and medium term.
So, when creating your material for a marketing campaign, it is best to stay away from controversial topics and bet on slightly less complicated issues.
This does not mean that a company should not defend causes that it considers important, but it is essential to exercise caution.
Take advantage of negative situations
This, in fact, is a big mistake not only for viral campaigns, but for any type of attitude. It is necessary to identify and escape situations that, even though they may seem, at first sight, a good idea, end up being big mistakes.
One case that has been gaining a lot of strength, especially with the help of social networks, is that of sexist campaigns that have been perpetuated in advertising through the years.
A case that has generated a lot of buzz (and a lot of negativity) is Bic for Women. In 2012, the pen manufacturer launched a model specifically aimed at women. Only the shot backfired.
Most internet users started to ask and make jokes, since the brand ended up implying that the other pens would be made for use by men. And it became a snowball.
Even on the North American version of the Buzzfeed website, it is possible to have access to a compilation of creative, funny and acid reviews about the product (in English)
Don’t think about the possible consequences
Well, the case presented above leads us to the next mistake to be avoided in viral marketing. We imagine that Bic did not think about the possible consequences of the launch of the pen. But it ended up being a great lesson for your campaigns: evaluate and plan.
Another major viral marketing case that turned against the sorcerer was Starbucks’ “Free Iced Coffee” in the USA.
They offered friends and relatives of the chain’s employees free iced coffee to see if they attracted more customers. The result was: such a resounding success that they didn’t have to cancel the promotion.
A great idea to avoid these types of mistakes is to run different tests with groups of people to give their opinions about your campaign.
Thus, you can decrease the chances that small mistakes will cause major headaches.
Focus on advertising
A marketing piece should be primarily focused on promoting the brand to increase sales, right? Right. And that means that the big star must be the logo and the marketing message, right? Do not.
In fact, the viral has a very specific issue, with regard to how to deal with the advertising character itself.
He must be present, but not directly and strongly.
The bet here should be more on the story to be told and how the integration between what is offered (services and products) works.
Generally, subtlety becomes a key aspect, the great differential, something that can even help in the construction and application of the element of surprise (which we talked about in the previous item).
Do not think about the target audience
This is an error that, unfortunately, happens much more often than we would like to think. And it’s almost never something that happens in a planned way (after all, who invests to lose?).
The issue of achieving it is your primary focus, so you and your team can never lose sight of it.
Want a wonderful and super simple tip to put into practice?
It may sound like a joke, but seriously: transform the phrase “And what does this have to do with my audience?” in constant partnership.
Use sticky notes for printed materials, comments on digital files … in short, turn this moment for the practice of empathy into a true mantra.
That way you will always bring to everything you do and think, in relation to the specific viral campaign or action, that essential and fundamental vision for the success of the marketing project.
Doing without a purpose
If we approach here that the quality of material for viral marketing is fundamental, it is logical that doing without having a very specific goal in mind is a waste of time and work.
Investment must always be based on strategic planning, so that it is not lost. Even if the material is super interesting, funny and captivating, it should serve a purpose for the brand.
If you’ve identified with any of them, you don’t need to lose your temper.
Remember that the first step towards improvement is to know what is not right and to look for ways to fix the path for the future. Especially because nothing is perfect, but excellence is in seeking constant improvement
To think that viral marketing alone is enough
Be very careful with this error! Viral marketing is great, it popularizes your brand, gives you room to win more leads, expand your clientele and build loyalty. But it is only worthwhile if it is part of a large and continuous effort on different fronts of marketing.
In fact, as good as a viral campaign is, it is ephemeral. Therefore, it must be part of a larger plan according to the objectives of your company.
Continue your efforts on social media, content production, television and radio media…
The key is to think of actions and campaigns as a cog: if one of the pieces is taken or does not work well, it ends up compromising the entire system.
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Top 9: the 9 best examples of viral marketing
We then move on to successful case studies. Below are 5 great examples of viral marketing for you to know and be inspired by:
9th place – The Blair Witch
A 1999 film that had a lot to be just another horror, geared towards lovers of the genre, which ended up standing out through the clever use of low quality footage and the trailer, creating a mockumentary (slang in English for fake documentaries):
The film became a sensation in a universe that was beginning to recognize the power of the internet.
Unfortunately, because of that, it is difficult to calculate the return on views, clicks and shares, but there are some numbers: it was around 60 thousand dollars to produce the film and 1.5 million dollars earned in the opening weekend.
8th #IceBucketChallenge – The Ice Bucket Challenge
A disease without a cure resulted in a campaign that caused famous and unknown people to post videos taking a bath with a bucket of water with ice or ice water.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was an initiative of the ALS Association, as a way of promoting awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and encouraging donations to search for a cure for it.
It all started with a post by baseball player Pete Frates, who has the disease, who on video poses a challenge to his friends: a bath with an ice bucket or a donation to the ALS Association.
The hashtag has spread. There were millions of participants, including Bill Gates, Fátima Bernardes, Neymar Jr., people who not only were willing to post their videos taking a bath, but also donated to the cause. The result? More than R $ 200 thousand only for London entities in a few months.
7th place – #LikeAGirl
The feminine tampon brand Always created a series of videos with the hashtag #LikeAGirl, strengthening the fight against prejudice against women.
The result: over 60 million views in the first video in the series alone.
6th Eduardo and Monica
The popular song by the band Legião Urbana is one of those that even those who did not participate in the history of the Brasília trio know how to sing. And that is one of the reasons why Vivo was so successful with its video (and dear tribute) for music, which was 25 years old at the time.
Many people, at the beginning, did not even realize that the clip was part of a brand marketing action, but even so, they surrendered in the multiplication of likes, shares, views …
It is worth pointing out how the insertion of the services was performed with enormous perfection. The result can be seen here:
“And who will ever say that there is a reason in things done by the heart?” – excerpt from the lyrics of the song that was part of the playlist of many couples…
5th The Last Selfie
One of the campaigns that touched Internet users in 2015. The idea of the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) was simple and objective: using Snapchat to show photos of animals in danger of extinction, between the panda bear, the gorilla, the polar bear and the Bengal tiger.
The idea of using Snapchat as the main advertising format for the #thelastselfie campaign was fundamental to its success. In this network, capture of a moment prevails, without saving for the future.
In it, the posted images disappear in just 10 seconds. By subverting the network’s proposal, WWF ended up showing – and raising awareness – how frighteningly fast the process of disappearing a species from the planet can be. And, of course, the consequences are much more serious.
Not only did the campaign go viral, it also ended up being one of the winners of the 2015 Webby Awards.
4th place – Dove, Beauty Sketches
Dove is already known among marketers worldwide for creating viral campaigns that thrill even those who are not customers of the brand.
This video in question is the most viewed on the official channel of Dove US, with 66 million views.
The goal is to show the pressure to achieve beauty ideals and how they end up overcoming the real beauty of each one.
3rd The Selfie – Ellen de Degeneres at the Oscars
The most replicated post on Twitter in 2014 was a photo. A simple selfie, taken with the cell phone, without filters, half squeezed, that brought a group of friends having fun at a party. So far, nothing much, it is quite likely that you have already posted some of these on your social networks.
But the photo was posted on the Twitter profile of the American actress, comedian and presenter Ellen de Degeneres (today, with a mere 55.7 million followers) and the ‘little party’ was no less than 86th Oscar ceremony . The author of the click was actor Bradley Cooper, nominated that year as best supporting actor for American Hustle.
Ah, as if that were not enough, the group clicked was formed by: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Channing Tatum, Kevin Spacey and Lupita’s brother, Peter Nyong’o.
It turned out that the photo ended the year with 3.3 million shares, in addition to having served as material for many memes that swept the internet during that year. And, of course, it only added to Ellen’s popularity, in addition to modernizing the Oscar’s somewhat dusty image.
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