Table of contents

    Viral marketing - what is it?

    When we think of viral marketing, we move to a world where the message spreads rapidly, reaching a large audience in a relatively short period of time. In contrast, content marketing involves creating valuable, useful content for users, which often takes time and patience.

    What is viral marketing?

    Viral marketing, or viral marketing, involves creating a message that, due to its appeal and originality, is readily and quickly shared by Internet users. The goal is simple: to reach the largest possible target group in the shortest possible time.

    What forms does viral marketing have?

    Viral marketing can take various forms, such as:

    • Viral advertisements, which are designed to intrigue and attract attention, prompting users to share them.
    • Spoof virals, which are humorous or satirical versions of the original ads, often designed to increase interest and engagement on social media.
    • Social media, where content is created and tailored specifically for various platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, to maximize reach and shares.

    When choosing a form of viral marketing, it is important to tailor the content to the target audience and focus on originality and creativity to maximize the chances of virality.

    What are the goals of viral marketing?

    • Increase brand awareness, which makes more people learn about the product, service, or brand.
    • Building a positive corporate image, through engaging and valuable content that is readily shared online.
    • Increase company profits and product sales, by spreading the message to potential customers and new audiences.

    Achieving these goals is possible through the use of various forms of viral marketing, such as viral advertising or activities on social media that are optimized to maximize reach and engage users.

    Types of a viral campaign

    Viral campaigns are mainly characterized by their ability to spread quickly online. Recipients are encouraged to share, which makes the message touch a great number of people.

    1. Viral campaigns are characterized by a unique and original approach that grabs the attention of the audience and motivates them to share the content.
    2. Emotions are a key element of viral campaigns. Content that evokes strong emotions is more likely to be shared by the audience.
    3. Ease of sharing is a key element. If audiences can easily share the content, it increases the chances of virality.
    4. Viral campaigns often provide valuable, useful or educational content, to increase audience interest and engagement.
    5. Incentives to take action, such as share, comment or like requests, are an important element that can increase a campaign’s reach and impact.
    6. Campaigns should be tailored to the specifics of a given social media platform to achieve maximum reach and engagement.
    7. Clear and comprehensible messaging is important to make content accessible to a wide audience, regardless of their knowledge or experience.
    8. Visual appeal, like images, videos or GIFs, is a key element to grab the audience’s attention and increase the likelihood of sharing the content.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of viral marketing?

    Viral marketing has both advantages and disadvantages. It’s a great way to quickly reach a wide audience and increase brand awareness, but it also carries the risk of a lack of control over the message.

    • In its favor is certainly the ability to reach a large audience and increase brand awareness.
    • Minus, on the other hand, is the fact that viral campaigns can be difficult to predict and control.

    What to remember when creating material for viral marketing

    When creating material in viral marketing, it’s important to keep in mind a few key aspects: originality, emotion and value for the recipient.

    The material must be interesting, engaging and, above all, it must arouse the desire to share. It is also important to keep in mind the principles of marketing ethics, so as not to expose the brand to a negative reception.

    Material must be interesting and engaging.

    Viral marketing – viral advertising examples

    In the world of viral marketing, examples of successful campaigns abound.

    1. Dove campaign – “Real Beauty Sketches”

    The Dove campaign is one of the most famous examples of viral marketing. The campaign created a series of videos to raise women’s awareness of their own beauty. The videos were moving and thought-provoking, and had a strong social message that generated a lot of interest and discussion online. The campaign not only raised awareness of the Dove brand, but also prompted reflection on the perception of beauty in society.

    2. New Samsung ad

    The advertisement for Samsung’s new product, which depicted the product’s innovative features and advantages through excellent advertising, quickly gained popularity online. The humorous elements contained in it, the quality of the production and the originality of the message attracted the attention of a large number of viewers, which translated into an increase in interest in the product and the company’s profits.

    3. Foster Farms – “Amazing Chicken”

    The ad of the company Foster Farms, in which chickens played the main roles, is another example of a successful viral campaign. With its original and humorous approach, the ad won the hearts of the audience and was widely shared on social media. The campaign not only raised awareness of the Foster Farms brand, but also contributed to an increase in sales of their products.

    4. Old Spice – “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”

    When we talk about viral marketing, the Old Spice campaign is a great example of how an ad can become a hit on the Internet in a short period of time. Thanks to its originality and humor, it attracted a large audience, which translated into increased brand awareness and company profits. It showed how the ability to reach a wide audience can rejuvenate a brand’s image.

    5th Blendtec – “Will It Blend?”

    Blendtec became famous for its “Will It Blend?” viral marketing series, which featured a variety of items blended in a blender. This campaign, combining creativity and Internet users, attracted users from all over the world who watched with interest to see what would be blended next. As a result, the product gained popularity and sales increased significantly.

    6th ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a campaign that has gained huge popularity on social media. People poured buckets of cold water on each other to raise awareness about ALS and encourage donations for research. Thanks to the virality of this campaign, significant funds were raised and brand awareness related to the fight against the disease was raised.

    7. “Dumb Ways to Die”

    “Dumb Ways to Die” was a viral marketing campaign that used animated characters and a catchy song to raise awareness about railroad safety. This creative campaign garnered a large audience and became a hit online, demonstrating the importance of the message in creating awareness among young people.

    What is content marketing?

    Content marketing is the strategy of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a specific target audience. The goal is to encourage a desired customer action, most often the purchase of a product or service.

    What makes content marketing different from viral marketing?

    The primary difference between content marketing and viral marketing is in the goals and the way it reaches its audience. Content marketing focuses on building customer relationships by providing valuable content, while viral marketing aims to reach potential customers quickly and broadly through excellent advertising and a message that spreads like a virus.

    Viral marketing is different from content marketing.

    Summary – viral marketing

    Viral marketing, with its ability to instantly penetrate large audiences, is becoming a key strategy for companies looking to increase brand awareness, product sales and company profits in a short period of time. Examples such as the Old Spice, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and “Dumb Ways to Die” campaigns illustrate the variety of forms and effectiveness that a well-planned and executed viral can bring. The ultimate goal is to understand how these different forms and strategies can be tailored to a specific brand or product to achieve maximum reach and audience engagement.

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    Kamila Dębska
    Kamila Dębska