Viral Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

Viral Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

We’ve all come across videos and images circulating around the web that seem to have come out of nowhere, but have become fairly popular in a couple of days. Every time you ask someone if they’ve come across the post, you are very likely to hear a ‘yes’.

This inherent need to share what we like with others is what prompted businesses to market their content the same way; giving birth to viral marketing.

Now, brands use viral marketing as an essential tool to get their views, products and services to the consumer.

If you are looking into viral marketing, go through our ultimate guide to understand and implement techniques that can make you as popular as the Gangnam Style song!

But before we delve into the steps, let’s first understand what viral content actually is.

What Is Viral Marketing?

By its very definition, viral marketing is “any marketing technique that induces websites or users to pass on a marketing message to other sites or users, creating a potentially exponential growth in the message’s visibility and effect.”

This method relies on entertaining and amusing your audience; the target is to get them to share your content so much that it goes viral.

If your campaign reaches a large number of people, it is definitely going to do wonders for your brand image, brand recall, and sales.

So, what sets viral content apart from the others?

Essentially, content that spreads like wildfire has the following attributes:


Yes, the material you’ve come across online has been extravagant at times, but any campaign that ever reached viral status had one thing at its core: simplicity.

You can add as much colour, story, and extravagance as you like, but ensure that your message or CTA does not get lost in the clutter.


It is commonplace for marketers to use exaggerated features and photography to publicise their product, but deviating too far from the truth can be detrimental for your campaign and your business.

So, remember not to claim anything that you can’t support with evidence.

Solid Ideas

The idea you come up with for your viral content needs to be solid and impactful.

There’s a large plethora of content generated online every day; in fact 60% of all marketers create at least some content for their organisation daily.

But with so much clutter online, it’s hard to stand out – hence, marketers should come up with compelling ideas that resonate with specific buyer personas.

How To Generate Viral Content

It’s important to understand that not all content will go viral – but to increase your chances, here are some elements that you need to include:

Set Clear Objectives

Like with every campaign you’ve ever launched, make sure there’s a point to the content you’re creating. Before designing your strategy, ask yourself:

  • What do you want to achieve from this?
  • Is this going to boost your sales?
  • Will this help reinforce your brand image/reputation?

Once you get a clear idea of what you want to achieve out of a campaign, you can start planning on how to launch it.

Pick A Target Audience

Remember when we said that your content needs to resonate with your audience? Yes, what we’re really saying is that it needs to be personalised for your prospective client.

While your business may offer its service to a large demographic or region, not everyone has the same taste in content.

So before you sit down to design anything, consider who the content is targeted at, and who will benefit the most out of your offer or service.

Keep Your Posts Graphic

Images get 105% more engagement than written content, and videos get 65% more traction than images.

Not everyone wants to read through a huge chunk of text, no matter how well it’s written, just to learn about a product.

Graphic content, on the other hand, uses minimal text, and can be eye catching – these also get your message across more effectively.

A great and very fun way of using graphics for marketing is memes. Yes, you read that right.

Memes are what define being viral on the internet; they are shared readily by social media users, and are now being picked up as an effective way of marketing.

Have Emotional Appeal

As per Business Insider, if your audience can emotionally connect with your campaign, it will help your content spread faster.

A good example of this is the “You are more beautiful than you think” campaign launched by Unilever in 2013. The idea was to reinforce the way their brand Dove, and create brand recall.

Specifically, this campaign targeted female customers all over the world, and brought them together on one emotional aspect: the insecurity of our own physical beauty derived out of social conditioning.

The video ultimately went viral, and turned into the most watched video of 2013 with more than 114 million views in the first month itself.

Think Outside The Box

You’re not alone in trying to make your content viral, but sadly, there’s no sure formula that can guarantee the success of a viral campaign.

You may think that a fun video you create is going to get exponential amount of shares and eventually put your campaign on the map. Well, with the amount of posts out there looking to do the same, it is easy to get lost in all the noise.

So, how do you manage to stand apart in a sea of social media content?

Don’t do what everyone else is doing – in short, come up with ideas that no one has implemented yet or find a new angle to showcase your products/services.

Overall, the key to quality content creation – that has the potential to go viral – is knowing what appeals to your audience. No matter how interesting or informative your content may seem to you, if it is a miss with the audience, then you won’t get the fame you’re looking for.

Follow the steps we’ve outlined, and focus on coming up with solid ideas; this way, nothing can stop you from making your business go viral.

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