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How to make a viral campaign

Difficulty: Beginner

Every marketer aims to have a campaign that goes viral. After all, it gains huge exposure for the marketer and their brand.

But the question is, how exactly do you make a campaign go viral? There are several steps you can follow to ensure your campaign will get the attention it deserves.

  1. Know who you’re targeting

    Before you even think about what type of campaign you’re creating, you need to know who you’re aiming it at. Aiming to create a viral campaign doesn’t mean you just want to target ‘everyone.’ You should still have a buyer persona which outlines who your audience is. This way you can cater your campaign directly towards them. This will be far more successful than trying to create a campaign that everyone likes. Your work is never going to please everyone. Instead, try and target a particular demographic.

  2. Target emotions

    Whether or not we actually realise it, we make decisions based on emotions. In fact, there are eight emotions that are the most influential upon our behaviour. These are:
    - Joy
    - Trust
    - Fear
    - Surprise
    - Sadness
    - Anticipation
    - Anger
    - Disgust

  3. Have a plan

    Sure, a lot of people don’t plan on their marketing campaign going viral. Often it is just a message that resonates with the audience. But one thing is clear - you need to make sure you have planned out your campaign and it has a clear message. If it’s not really sure what people should be feeling, what your campaign is about and what action the audience should be taking, your campaign is not going to go viral. Instead, people will just end up confused and will not view or share your campaign. Plan your script, infographic or image carefully to ensure your campaign's message is clearly communicated.

  4. Don’t be promotional

    Don’t just talk about your business throughout your whole campaign. You may think it’s interesting, but people probably won’t want to watch a tonne of promotional videos. This means don’t go overboard with including your business logo or promoting your products or services. Doing this just means you’ll make the message not as clear and will distract from the emotional connection you’re trying to make.

  5. Keep it simple

    Don’t overcomplicate your campaign. If you’re including too much information, or it’s too long, people are just going to get overwhelmed or just bored. If this happens, they definitely aren’t going to want to like the clip, let alone share it on social media.

    Rather than include absolutely all the information you can into the one campaign, give your audience the opportunity to visit your website to find out more information. By including less information, you make the campaign more interesting and cause people to want to find out more. This will help to cause your campaign to go viral, while also increasing traffic to your website.

  6. Include visuals

    You’re more likely to get attention on social media if you’re using visuals. In fact, infographics are often the most shared type of content. Make sure to put in extra effort with the visuals you’re using within your campaign. This will make it stand out more on social media, and therefore increase the likelihood of it being shared and becoming viral.

    It’s import to ensure the visuals you use match your branding. You don’t want to use visuals that compromise your brand. These images could also confuse the audience, as you’ll be sending mixed messages. To convey what your brand stands for, ensure your visuals are consistent.

  7. Get your content out there

    There’s no point making the perfect campaign if you’re not going to invest time into promotion. If you don’t do this, your campaign will never get seen, let alone go viral. To help make your content go viral, you need to get it to be seen by those who are influential in your industry. So how exactly do you do that? You can either hope they happen to stumble across your campaign and share it, or you can invest time in an outreach strategy. Often if you want people to see something, the best thing to do is directly tell them about it. This will help to increase your chances of influential people seeing and sharing your content.

    However, you need to be careful with your outreach strategy to ensure it has the outcome you want. You don’t just want to spam everyone. If they don’t know who you are and you’re sending a generic email, chances are it won’t even get read. Before you email influencers, you need to build up a relationship with them. You can do this by simply following their social media accounts, sharing their content or linking to it within your own content. This heightens the chances the influencer will be more receptive to your email and more willing to share your campaign.

Following these steps will help to ensure your next campaign will go viral.


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