Going Viral: 5 Factors that Help Marketing Campaigns

Going “viral” may sound like a term from the early 2000s, but the benefits of gaining massive visibility can’t be discounted in 2022. When businesses develop viral marketing campaigns, they gain a sudden uptick in public engagement. This can boost traffic to your website and monumentally improve public opinion of your brand.

Going for the “viral” approach to marketing is different from other marketing strategies for one key reason: you’re relying on the public to do most of the marketing for you. Users outside your organization or business share your content on social media to multiply engagements.

Going Viral: What You Need to Know

If you want to know how to go viral, the answer doesn’t lie in fluffy cats or teenage pranks. These are 5 factors that help business marketing campaigns go viral.

1. Engaging Content

Viral content, whether part of a marketing strategy or existing purely for entertainment, engages people. When people are “engaged” with content, they feel a connection with it. The internet is overpopulated with quirky videos, witty quips, and other content yearning to go viral, but the ingredient that makes something viral is the engagement factor.

Your social media campaign should be either funny, touching, shocking, impressive, or able to evoke another strong emotion. How do you make certain industries that are definitely un-emotional (like product packaging or chemical testing) engaging? You can’t go wrong with humor.

2. Shareable Content

For a marketing campaign to expand into viral proportions, it has to be shareable. An hour-long featurette isn’t shareable because it’s far too long. A billboard campaign isn’t shareable because it’s grounded in a specific set of locations. Funny billboards often go viral because they’re posted on social media, which makes them shareable.

Shareable content needs to be located on social media, and compact enough that it’s shareable on its own–no additional context necessary. Examples include Dove’s “Real Beauty” sketches which, even if the campaign includes several videos, consists of several individual sketches that were each simple to share on multiple platforms.

Be sure to include hashtags on compatible platforms, which makes your content not only shareable, but searchable. Consider incorporating visually satisfying images.

3. Good Timing

If you want to ruin public opinion of your brand, make an untimely joke using a months-old meme. Every business, no matter the industry, should feel current in order to maintain solid client relationships.

Consider using a tool like Google Trends or the “Trending” bar in some social media platforms to see what people are talking about. Incorporate these trending topics, graphics, templates, or ideas into your marketing campaign–but act fast, before it becomes yesterday’s news and today’s embarrassment.

4. The Right Platform

It’s not uncommon for people or businesses to go viral by accident. This is often a factor of the above features, as well as a harmonious pairing of content to platform. In order to decide where to post your marketing campaign, you need to decide the structure of the shareable content.

For example, Wendy’s has gone viral multiple times for openly insulting other fast food chains’ attempts at marketing. However, these posts are usually limited to Twitter, where short, snappy verbiage isn’t just welcomed but encouraged.

The WWF often posts short videos about endangered animal species on Instagram because that’s the ideal setting for said content, hence why it often goes viral there. Another short video platform, TikTok, would be the wrong setting for these videos; the most frequently viewed content on this platform tends to be either impressive or funny.

5. The Right Ally

Viral marketing campaigns are usually the work of digital marketing agencies, rather than field workers, managers, or members of the executive suite. If you want a marketing campaign to go viral, your best bet is to outsource your campaign to an agency that’s highly specialized and experienced in crafting viral marketing campaigns.

Partner With VSSL

Are you eager to implement a marketing strategy that garners widespread attention? Contact the VSSL Agency. Our social media management services use research-driven tactics to craft viral marketing campaigns and ultimately boost engagement with your business. Visit the VSSL Agency today to discuss your company’s needs, and we’ll get right to work devising social media marketing strategies unique to your brand identity.