ThinkOTB Agency

Social Media and the Spread of Viral Marketing

March 20, 2015

No longer the latest passing fad in a sea of marketing jargon, social media is here to stay. Like it or loathe it, for a marketing campaign to be successful it must navigate the fast-paced and dynamic world of social media marketing. Campaigns must have style, draw the right attention in the right places and know how to target the intended audience. And what about viral marketing? Is it simply luck that dictates which marketing campaigns go viral and which miss the boat? Or, is it possible to use tried and tested techniques to create a campaign guaranteed to make a stir? OTB has the answers.

1) Choose carefully

Not all marketing campaigns can use social media as their primary outlet for communication. It could be wrong for the target demographic, the content involved or simply the timing of the campaign. According to Social Media Examiner, thinking carefully and choose wisely when deciding whether to commit a campaign to social media, and deciding how best to measure the results it generates, are key. How are you going to ensure that social media interest is generated into tangible facts, figures and progress, and transform virtual likes into real life growth and improvement? These elements are all important points to be considered before diving into social media. They can influence later decisions such as which platform to prioritise and what kind of content to generate.

2) Make it visual

Social media trends move so quickly and platforms are so overcrowded with noise. It is vital to create a campaign which is visually appealing and attracts attention quickly. According to a recent article by SmallBizTrends, this is the number one element which gives a campaign the best chance of going viral. They write ‘adding video or images to your campaign is one of the first things you need to do to build a viral marketing campaign; even if the majority of your message is text-based, find a compelling image or create a compelling video to go along with it.’ By creating a central element of your social media strategy which is fun, easy to share and instantly recognisable, it is far easier to generate interest and excitement around a brand and its image than using complicated, time consuming messaging.

3) Don’t push too hard

The basic principles behind viral marketing are that it is organic, user-generated and fast. In seeking to ensure that your viral campaign is a success, you might try too hard. It’s highly likely that you could push the concept too hard and lose some of the genuineness of the campaign. Some of the most successful viral campaigns have been those that may have been least expected. But, due to their innovative and creative approach, have become internet sensations in their own right. Think Old Spice’s ‘The Man your man could smell like’, Metro trains’ ‘Dumb ways to die or Evian’s ‘Baby and Me. All of these are unlikely to be described as the world’s coolest brands, yet were able to generate authentic and widespread appreciation. They let the videos speak for themselves.

Liked these viral marketing campaigns? Check out Branded3’s list of top viral videos and find some inspiration for your own social media marketing campaign. You can also contact the Think OTB team to discuss your marketing strategy.


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