Viral Marketing

What Is Viral Marketing

At the heart of any viral marketing campaign is an idea. And even though good ideas are worth sharing, in order to have any hope of going “viral,” social objects require sustenance and herding.

Relevance is key to encouraging someone to take the time to purposely share content with those they know. It is the art and science of creating content that appeals to people individually and also as groups of shared interests. This is why social media is social in the first place.

The Power Of Viral Marketing

While much of the content examples we hear and see so often are aimed at short bursts of entertainment, creating and distributing helpful content is contagious in its own right. Help me answer or ask a question. Help me find a reason to participate. Give me a voice. Help me do something I couldn’t do before I came into contact with your social object. Strategic marketers will calculate what happens after the initial view and resulting share. They’ll define the complete series of meaningful steps and then reverse engineer the process to design content that delivers a complete and directed experience.

Sharing The Spotlight

Among the most powerful forms of galvanization is that of recognition and reciprocity. Sharing isn’t Caring, It’s Furthering an Idea Ideas are worthy of sharing, when there is incentive to do so. The incentive isn’t always rooted in rewards however, motivation can simply stem from a reaction – a smile, an email, an emoticon, credit, etc. When we introduce social objects, our ability to create, connect, and define experiences around these information and idea catalysts defines whether we earn the attention we feel we deserve or we savor the collaboration we engendered through design.

Viral Marketing Campaigns

While there are many published formulas designed to help you make your social objects “go viral,” nothing is more important than…

  • Creating content that’s relevant
  • Identifying the tastemakers and influencers who will help us reach the right audiences
  • Involving them in the process before the campaign is officially introduced – seeding
  • Striking a chord with the person they’re trying to compel – making an emotional connection
  • Encouraging them to share it with their contacts
  • Rewarding them for doing so
  • Defining the action we wish viewers to take after the engagement
  • Providing them with a forum for self-expression
  • Recognizing all of those who helped us
  • Connecting everyone together for future engagement



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