The rise of social media marketing changed the way brands operate online. With a more direct connection to consumers, it became more important than ever for businesses to focus on who they were and what they stood for. But as these platforms continue to change and evolve, how do you stay ahead? If you’re active on social media, chances are you’ve wondered how to go viral. It sure sounds cool, doesn’t it? But what is viral marketing and how realistic is it? 

“I didn’t think this was going to blow up”

Viral Marketing is a marketing technique that allows your message to go viral, impacting the masses at once. It uses a mix of principles and strategies to create organic buzz around your product or service. The kinds of viral content that you’ve probably seen on TikTok or Instagram are almost always organic with no paid help. However, advertisements and paid marketing can help slightly but definitely does not ensure virality.

Modern trending videos have exploded through the use of humor (or memes if you’re educated) that people create online. Random phenomenons like Baby Yoda or the use of that annoyingly catchy “My Money Don’t Jiggle Jiggle” audio do in fact happen by chance, believe it or not. However, virality is definitely not as easy as it sounds. Most viral content happens by accident.

But everyone wants to go viral, right? I mean, it sounds like the perfect marketing for your business or sales. The most important thing to keep in mind is that going viral is not all sunshine and extra income. 

Pros and Cons

A video to reach over a million views? Sounds pretty cool to us! No downsides, right? Mmm, not necessarily. Just like everything else, posting something risky and memorable on social media can definitely have its drawbacks.

The pros

  • Increased brand awareness: Going from 10-1,000 average engagements to 10,000,000 can boost your brand awareness through the roof!
  • Audience growth: The more people looking at you and your business can mean more potential customers. Depending on the content, it can cause major traffic to your social or online site. 
  • Increased sales: More eyes mean more sales… potentially.
  • Becoming an “it” brand: Depending on the type of viral content you make, it can cause a huge uproar in traffic. If an influencer makes a video with your product, it can become a “must” for people who trust them. If you show a fun work environment, customers may come just to watch the show.

The cons

  • There is an ugly side to people: Viral campaigns are meant to get people talking. However, everyone isn’t going to agree with you 100% of the time. You can get backlash from anyone or everyone. 
  • Losing control of your content: The internet is forever, which means once it’s out there, it’s out there. Even if you delete a post or private a video, others still have access to it, and what they do with that content is out of your hands.
  • More fans doesn’t always mean more customers: Just because new eyes are on your business, doesn’t necessarily mean more profit. Some may just be there for the FOMO.
  • Fleeting Fame: Going viral once does not mean you’ll go viral every time. That kind of attention is rare. Because of that, just because one video reaches a million people, doesn’t mean the next will. 

What Makes A Marketing Campaign?

Viral content is a tricky beast. You need something that people are going to want to share, but you also need something that businesses can’t replicate easily. So, what makes a viral campaign?

1. They’re organic

Here’s a social media life tip: you can’t force viral content. 

This type of content spreads organically. That’s just how it works online. People don’t want things shoved down their throats (we know you skip your ads on YouTube). Because of that, your audience ultimately chooses what works and what doesn’t. 

A little cheat you can use is watching trends. Look out for those little signs of trending audio, filters, music, or content. Many things are repeated, like dances or editing styles.

2. They’re timely

Trends are called trends for a reason. They are fleeting. Although viral videos will leave an impact on the customer, they will definitely forget about it in a week or so. After a few days, the next viral trend comes out, and you’re once again thrown into the meme cemetery.

3. They’re bold

This is where backlash may come into play. Ever wonder why certain things go viral? That’s because they make a statement. These bold posts can create risk for your business but can have a higher chance of gaining momentum. Videos of nasty customer interactions, satanism, or straight-up crime will definitely catch your eye.

Keep in mind that not all marketing campaigns have to be controversial, but they do tend to be out of the norm. We all remember Kendall Jenner dissolving racism with a Pepsi, right?

Does viral marketing make sense for your brand?

Going viral takes a lot more work than a 30-second video. Most people plan these attempts for weeks before trying to create content. Influencing is considered a full-time job now. Going viral in an organic sense is definitely tough no matter how much preparation you put into it.

However, if you’re committed, and have the resources, people love unhinged content. It’s what makes the internet such an interesting place to be. Sometimes you just have to think outside of the screen.

We Wanna Go Viral

We know that viral marketing is every business’s dream, but definitely time-consuming. That’s why Three Ring Focus is here to help you craft your next high-quality website, marketing, or SEO strategy. Check out of some the work we’ve done for a little sneak peek. Don’t miss out on the benefits of having an expertly-crafted site. Contact us today for more information about our services!