A type of marketing that uses fast-spreading messaging to increase interest in a specific brand, product, service, or cause.
How Viral Marketing Works
Viral marketing aims to disseminate knowledge about a brand, product, service, or cause from individual to individual through a digital platform. The purpose of viral marketing is to encourage the viewer to share the promotional message with their friends, family, and other various contacts, resulting in an exponential increase in people who view the message. "Viral" refers to anything that spreads swiftly and extensively among its audience. With a viral marketing message, the message has a purpose in its creation and dissemination.
Social networks are the natural home of viral marketing because of their speed and ease of sharing. In principle, running a viral marketing campaign is straightforward. You make an appealing video or another sort of message for your target audience, upload it to the internet. Users of various platforms will do the rest of the work when they begin to share the message.
A message can go viral on purpose with a carefully crafted viral marketing campaign or by chance. However, a company may have more control over the message when the viral marketing campaign is on purpose.
Real-Life Example of Viral Marketing
As an example of viral marketing, the Ice Bucket Challenge was widely publicized in 2014. If you had access to the internet and a social media account, you are likely to remember the viral sensation. Like the rest of us, you may have even participated by having a bucket of frigid ice water poured over your head. The challenge became a worldwide sensation, with a slew of celebrities providing their support.
This is an example of viral marketing to create awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was reportedly a huge success, garnering $115 million for studies and bringing ALS to the forefront of people's minds. The money the organizers raised due to the viral ice bucket challenge was more than five times what they generated via traditional fund-raising methods the previous year.
Even the real-life Superman, Henry Cavill, participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. While filming the famous Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Cavill, and Amy Adams, who plays Lois Lane, took up the challenge, giving the superhero film a public relations boost while also helping a good cause.
Significance of Viral Marketing
The most popular platforms to distribute a viral marketing campaign include Twitter, Tik Tok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. These platforms have made viral marketing a real business strategy. The increased visibility, site traffic, and eventual sales of a brand, product, service, or cause bolster organizations that have employed the strategy.
When a company utilizes viral marketing, it can keep its marketing costs lower. Instead of paying for print, radio, or tv spots, the company need only create their message once, post the content with relevant keywords and wait for the shares, likes, retweets, etc., to start coming in.