10 Steps for Your Campaign to Go Viral

By Anne Leonard

Going “viral” is basically winning the popularity contest in the marketing world. But how do you get there?

While reaching the viral status can seem impossible, your company can take some intentional steps to gain popularity.

Here are 10 quick steps to achieving a viral marketing campaign:

  1. Choose your audience. It’s key to hone in on a specific audience that you want to reach with your campaign. After you’ve narrowed down your audience, study their interests as well as their disinterests. The more personal your campaign, the more likely it will hit a spark.

  2. Set clear objectives. It’s never a good idea to rush into your marketing strategy. Set some clear goals. Designate the ‘why’ behind this campaign. There’s a big difference in strategizing for selling a product and gaining awareness.

  3. Include visuals. Did you know that Generation Z (those born between the mid-90s and early 2000s) has an attention span of 8 seconds? With 25 percent of the U.S. population in this age group, visuals are key. Videos and images will catch their—and everyone else’s—attention much quicker and be more appealing than text standing on its own. Though, it is important to be mindful of the visuals you use since they will be more under scrutiny.

  4. Be bold. Viral content never plays it too safe and is certainly not bland. Don’t go overboard, but lure in your viewers to get them thinking.

5. Tug at the emotions. From laughing to crying, content that stirs emotions are more likely to be shared. Focus on the emotion that you want your viewers to walk away with and do your best to achieve your goal.

  1. Communicate a message. How do you want your brand to be conveyed? For instance, if your campaign is comedic, it’ll show your company is playful. Content with a charitable theme will show you are caring. When you communicate a deeper message, you’ll be more memorable to your viewers.

  2. Simplify your content. Don’t overload your audience with too much information, which can seem like too much of a time commitment. Your campaign should be quick and simple to make a bold statement they’ll remember. Also, don’t flood the content with your branding as it can be distracting.

  3. Establish a call to action. You content must prompt your audience to take the next step. Whether it’s buying a product or attending an event, make sure you provide a way to do so within your campaign.

  4. Choose the appropriate platform. To get the most exposure from your video, you’ll want to use sites like Vimeo and YouTube. Then, those with more images and text will flourish better on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. There’s no hard and fast rule as videos can also be shared on the aforementioned platforms.

  5. Don’t force your content. Companies make the mistake of trying too hard to go viral without letting nature take its course.

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