Every brand hopes their campaign will get as viral as possible. While it is believed around some quarters that random content gets viral, this is not always the case. Sometimes, by a stroke of luck, this does happen. However, to purposely make your campaign go viral, a lot of background work is put into ensuring its success. Some of the very successful viral campaigns had dedicated periods of planning and detailed execution.By creating content that users are eager to share around, the objective of the campaign is met. This dream to some is a living reality to many as they have reaped their return on investment in time and content as well as increase their brand awareness to potential customers who would have otherwise never heard anything about them.
Since the recent release of popular songstress, Adele’s single, Hello, the song has been inspired hundreds of Twitter users to take on the #HelloChallenge. Even if this was created just for fun, there are many lessons to learn about viral marketing.
In this article, we will highlight five (5) important factors that should be considered when towing this path to ensure success
This is the most obvious but easily overlooked factor of a viral campaign. Just as with the #HelloChallenge, the single that inspired the hashtag broke Taylor Swift’s record for the most views on Vevo in 24 hours, accumulated an impressive 333 million views on Youtube in 3 weeks, and became the first song with over a million digital sales in a week. The #HelloChallenge was successful because it was timely.
Brands that take advantage of a high profiled event/situation to showcase themselves never go wrong. An example is the Oreo tweet during the 2013 Superbowl blackout. This tweet which didn’t set out to be promotional gathered 10,000 retweets in one hour.
There is no better substitute for timing useful content to an event/date/occasion as it is instrumental in spreading the word faster.
- Target Audience
This is another key factor. Understanding the behavior of this group helps in crafting the perfect message that will grab their attention. Once they have an emotional connection to the campaign they are eager to share and create awareness amongst their circles. Adele’s ‘Hello’ received positive reviews around the world. Because of the emotional connection they already had with the song, participating in the fun #HelloChallenge was effortless.
For product brands, an example of a successful campaign that focused squarely on its target market is the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign
targeted at women encouraging them to love their body.
- Incorporating User Generated content
This is the success driver of viral marketing. Your target audience’ interaction with the campaign from their point of view adds layers to your campaign. Having users’ contribution to your campaign has immense and interesting advantages. By giving them the power to fuel the campaign, they promote it by providing organic content their network can relate to. When they get involved, news about your campaign spreads further.
The #HelloChallenge is a typical example of UGC. It involved typing out the ‘Hello’ lyrics to a phone contact, and seeing how long you can go on for. Fans took time out to reach out to exes, family, friends and even total strangers.
Some campaigns that proved a success using this method include: CocaCola’s #ShareACoke campaign, Samsung’s#TechmeetsArt campaigns, amongst others. #TechmeetsArt focused on giving Nigerian artists an opportunity to showcase their works to a larger international audience. The 3-week campaign had a total of 169 original artworks from various artists across the country.
- Using visual content
It is commonly said that people are attracted by what they see. Using compelling images or videos in your campaign with distinct message enhances interaction.
With the #HelloChallenge, screenshots of the hilarious (and not so hilarious) conversations between the prankster and his victim were shared. These images were used to drive the success of the campaign.
- Use of influencers
Influencers also play a key role in facilitating the rapid spread of a campaign.
When people who have active social media accounts and a large number of following get on a campaign, it gets more traction and mileage. Several celebrities also got involved in the #HelloChallenge.
Because of the cult-like following of influencers, a tweet, mention, repost, retweet of your campaign by an influencer opens it up to a larger audience. Many times there is a laid out, well thought through strategy to use their influence to get a campaign go viral. Some other times, these people take an interest in a campaign and lend their voice willingly.