Viral marketing

All marketing teams create content hoping that their message will spread like wildfire across every consumer touchpoint. Viral marketing is the name given to promotional methods that naturally explode through word of mouth and digital buzz.

Viral marketing naturally generates interest through valuable, entertaining material that spreads like a virus throughout the internet. Just like a virus, viral marketing spreads from person to person and from channel to channel, earning attention at incredible speed.

Because they’re designed for sharing, social networks are the typical habitat for viral marketing. For instance, an inspiring video may appear on YouTube; then followers will share that video across Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

The fundamentals of viral marketing

Viral marketing takes a customer-centric approach to promotion. Though there’s no concrete formula for creating content that goes viral, the best campaigns are those that understand:

Viral marketing depends on content’s ability to align with the needs of a specific audience and inspire them to share. Most viral campaigns are defined by their:

Businesses can track the viral nature of content through analytical and social media tools like Sprout Social.

Benefits of viral marketing

Viral marketing is a fast and effective way to generate attention and engagement online. The benefits include:

Importantly, the quick-spreading nature of viral content can be a double-edged sword. It’s possible that some messages will go viral for the wrong reasons. When that happens, it’s difficult to protect your brand reputation. The key to successful viral content is carefully sharing material that’s designed to cater to your target audience.