Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing

We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘It went viral.’ But what does that mean? Viral marketing is a method of creating buzzwords or marketing pieces that are memorable and attention-grabbing in our modern, always-connected world. This method of marketing utilizes social media, videos, text messaging, and other person-to-person methods to spread information about a product or service instead of just creating a commercial and putting on TV or radio. As they say, ‘that’s so 20th century. Today in the 2010s, viral marketing is using the power of individuals sharing content to get messages out to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

Techniques Used in Viral Marketing

The whole point of viral marketing is to get people talking about a product or company. If you’re the marketing manager at a company and are responsible for creating a viral marketing campaign, there are some ideas that can help get your product out there and on everyone’s mind:

  • Giveaways: These offer something exciting or fun. People love to talk about what they got for free and will tell others how to get it for themselves.
  • Videos: A video can offer a viewer a chance to engage in the product and experience it. It can be very fun and entertaining. The more memorable, funny, or shocking your video is, the more likely it is to go viral.
  • Social Media: It’s pretty much impossible to engage in broad-scale viral marketing without using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any other sources. These media allow people to easily share your message and greatly increase the likelihood that it will go viral.

Who Uses Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing is useful as a stand-alone marketing tool or as a part of a larger campaign that uses multiple kinds of marketing. It is especially attractive to smaller businesses or companies because viral marketing can be a cheaper alternative to traditional marketing efforts.

A new energy drink company, for example, could create an Internet video featuring a person who consumes the energy drink before performing a seemingly impossible bicycle jump. If the video is made to look real, it may encourage people who see it to share it with others. After the video receives enough views, the company could reveal its true purpose, convincing its viewers to seek out more information about the drink without ever using a traditional advertisement.

Implementing Viral Marketing Techniques

There is a common misconception that viral marketing depends on the ability to reliably create something extremely popular. In reality, a successful viral marketing campaign rests more on understanding how to connect with specific demographics by presenting them with valuable content.

Viral marketing is a customer-focused approach, so the first step is to identify the target demographic for a product and what they value the most in products, requiring marketers to research and analyze demographic data. During the Blair Witch campaign, the filmmakers and main marketing agents for the movie were accomplished film students. They examined what made horror movies compelling for the demographic of teens to young adults they were targeting, as well as explored how that demographic shared information. They used this information to focus on their product’s mystery, and they concentrated their early efforts on the Internet where they knew they would have the best chance of reaching a younger audience

social media and marketing

Careeer in Viral Marketing

Viral marketing requires careful planning and a team with a strong understanding of modern media. This means there are many career opportunities in the field, including:

The majority of viral marketing campaigns involve Internet platforms. Any company that wants to succeed in viral marketing needs the services of a skilled web designer to create websites and other online materials. Web design is a highly technical field involving several computer programming languages and a good sense of visual composition.

Education/Experience

A web designer should have a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, computer science, or new media, or an arts degree in design. In addition to a resume with computer-focused work in it, web designers often have to provide work samples demonstrating their ability to create websites.

 A viral campaign is only as good as the content it wants people to share. Content specialists create materials like videos, games, blog posts, and other things consumers will want to share with others. This requires a diverse range of skills in new media, creativity, and communications.
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