What viral marketing is, the advantages and how to implement it to your business properly.
You can find a lot of articles covering Viral Marketing and how to implement this ultimate marketing method to your business. Unfortunately, there are so many articles about Viral Marketing on the Internet that are misleading, incomplete, contain saturated techniques, and even not working at all. Everybody wants this for their business, but, not everybody can see the big picture of what Viral Marketing really is because those misleading and in-complete articles make people think that Viral Marketing is easy & quick, and they don’t tell you that not all of Viral Marketing techniques can be implemented to your business.
Many think that Viral Marketing is about getting unlimited shares rolling like a snowball on social networks. Then what about Viral Marketing before the age of social media? And while those lectures & articles giving you some study cases from big companies like Apple that successfully implemented a viral marketing technique for their new i-phone X, do you really think that you can get the same result to these annoyingly well-known brands when you are new?
I want my readers to think that Viral Marketing is hard. I mean on your first try on Viral Marketing, never think that if you implement a Viral Marketing strategy then thousands of people will simply share about you and millions of visitors will come to your website or to your off-line store. And I would like to advise not to simply accept all the information you found online as the whole fact because they are just small pieces of what Viral Marketing really is. And if you have no experience you may struggle to assemble these pieces into one big picture which will lead you to a wrong Viral Marketing strategy and a wrong strategy + confident = BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.
Reasons why you should implement a Viral Marketing strategy
Actually, there are so many advantages of viral marketing when it works. From media coverage to conversions. But the followings are the real benefits:
- Brand awareness; more people know your brand organically. And they vary from your audience to media including individual bloggers. This will absolutely increase your credibility because people know you from their friends or from the sources they trust.
- Fast Growth; needless to say. When you’re getting a growing amount of quality traffic it will increase your conversion rate too. Whether it’s a lead generation or sales.
- Low cost; when it worked, it’s so effective that you can save some money on advertising and any other paid promotion. It can reduce your marketing cost by up to 80%.
Each business is different, which means each business needs a different viral marketing strategy. But the core concept of viral marketing remains the same. And rather than testing different strategies on your business, take a look at the big picture of viral marketing first to get a better insight before devising any viral marketing strategy.
The Big Picture of Viral Marketing
Viral Marketing is the ultimate marketing method that gives you so many advantages. Imagine if you successfully run a Viral Marketing campaign and getting unlimited high-quality traffic, there’s almost no reason to buy advertising or run any paid promotion during its momentum.
People share things they love, trending topics, and relevant information to their friends or colleagues. In some cases, people share things just because they want to be the first who know a new thing among their friends. With that’s as the fact, you are forced to be stand out. Ex: if you are a coffee shop, don’t expect your video will get shared by thousands of people if in the video you’re just making coffee the same way people do it or use the same ingredients and the video doesn’t contain any useful information for your audience.
There are only main 2 things that can go viral in marketing; You (company/product/service) & your content (stories, video, photo album, advertising and more). And, specifically in online marketing, there are 2 types of Viral Marketing which are On-site & Off-site viral marketing. I’m not going to talk about that fidget spinner, ice bucket challenge, and people who take selfies on the top of tallest buildings. This article is about what you can really implement in your business.
Everybody has a chance both online or traditional business, that’s the good news. But, even if everybody found the best suited viral techniques for their business, the result they get can be different. Barbershops may go viral with their unique ways cutting people’s hair, a hosting company can go viral by giving a free SSL certificate to people who can bring 2 paid users for them, a startup went viral after sharing the success stories of their users, A yoga instructor successfully implement a viral marketing techniques using an inspiring & emotional video about their student’s life, a social media went viral just because it’s uniqueness.
And nothing is going viral forever. Whatever going viral today will stop eventually and replaced with new things. So, don’t think that if your viral marketing strategy running successfully then you can stop any other promotion methods totally. Viral marketing reduces marketing costs, not removes it.
How to go viral online for business
No matter what your business is if you want to use Viral Marketing to get users, sales, or gain brand awareness, the very first step is to find your chance. In other words, find what in your business that has a chance to went viral. Is it your product/services or your content such as your user’s story, advertising stunts, video, etc.
The second step is to set your goals & purposes. Do you want to implement the techniques to get users or to gain brand awareness? Some people may get confused about their goals. Their plan may look like to implement viral marketing tactics to gain brand awareness to generate leads. It seems like nothing wrong with that plan. But, bear in mind that gaining brand awareness has no differences in building your audience, and if your real goal is to generate lead then your job is to convert this audience into leads. I would suggest not to mix your goals on brand awareness and lead generation. Unless you are so creative on strategy, you may end up with low-quality content & copy that not worth sharing.
After you find your chance and set your goal, it will be clear for you to see where you can implement viral marketing techniques. If your product or platform is so unique, you may want to start working on on-site techniques first. In most cases doing off-site viral marketing is easier. Also, depending on your business model there’s a possibility to implement viral marketing both on-site & off-site.
The last thing is which techniques you can implement. Find the reason why people would share about you or your content to their friends. Is it worth sharing, how they share it; Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Be creative and never expect any luck. And this is the only area where you can test your ideas whether it’s on-site or off-site techniques.
Note that creativity is the key to viral marketing success.
What is On-site & Off-site Viral Marketing
On-site viral marketing, as an example; user’s invitation, referral, tell a friend button, are viral marketing techniques you implement on your website to make your users bring more users. We can categories the techniques into 2 marketing categories; Referral Marketing & Word of Mouth Marketing (WOM). Yes, they are still considered as viral marketing methods.
Off-site viral marketing, as examples: social media posts, stories, online marketing stunts are the techniques you implement off-site (not on your website) to make people share about you or your content. Please note that each has a different purpose. While On-site viral marketing is all about growing users from the inside, off-site viral marketing is all about building your audience.
Creativity is the key to go viral. It’s a tricky and time-consuming process. But when it works you will receive all the advantages of going viral. So, take your time devising strategies. It’s ok if you failed in your first campaign. Good luck!