A young woman in a T20 cricket match holding a placard saying “Tinder Shubham se match kara do” went viral; her picture with the message was circulated on social media like wildfire; a few days after that, Shubham Gill posted a reel on his Insta handle announcing that he joined Tinder with a bio “Tera hero idhar hai.”
User-generated content (UGC) around this campaign was later seen in an IPL match in Bengaluru when an individual posted a picture of him holding a placard saying, “Looking for 2BHK in Indiranagar, ” which again went viral.
This is a prime example of viral marketing. It has a story, relatability factor, and a little bit of humour, a recipe for viral content, and it worked perfectly for the dating platform Tinder here. The campaign was so effective that it was picked up for UGC later, which led to even more engagement.
What is viral marketing?
Five years ago, a content or campaign was considered viral if it got more than a million views, but now with the number of social media users touching billions, the definition of viral content has changed drastically.
Now a campaign is considered viral when it performs beyond its expected outcome, and the performance is not just limited to views, as many old Bollywood songs on YouTube have millions of views, but not all of them are viral.
So virality in its true sense is when a group of people connects and feels strongly about content and reshare it among their social circle. To put it simply, if the campaign is receiving earned media beyond a certain number is considered viral.
So how to achieve virality for your campaign?
Achieving virality for a campaign is not an exact science, but there are common elements observed in many successful viral campaigns. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Connection with the target audience – It’s crucial to identify and target the appropriate audience that will resonate with and share your content within their social circles.
- Creativity, emotion, and humour – These three aspects form the foundation of viral content. To stand out amidst the vast sea of content, your campaign should excel in at least one of these areas. Unique and memorable content has a higher chance of going viral.
- For example, the “Fogg chal raha hai” campaign became a part of meme culture and popular conversation due to its distinctiveness. Emotional campaigns, like Shahrukh Khan’s campaign with Cadbury #NotACadburyAd, struck a chord by creating an emotional connection with businesses recovering from losses during the pandemic. Additionally, humorous content is highly shareable in today’s meme-sharing culture.
Kusha Kapila X Tata Punch
- Relatability – Relatability plays a crucial role in the success of a campaign as it increases the chances of it being shared. When people can easily connect with and see themselves in the content, they are more likely to share it with others. The viral campaign featuring Kusha Kapila and Tata PUNCH perfectly illustrates this. The campaign connected with the audience by portraying the relatable scenario of being scolded because of a PTM (Parent-Teacher Meeting) and humour. This relatable experience resonated instantly, leading to widespread sharing and engagement.
- Sharability – Design your content in a way that encourages easy sharing. Incorporate social sharing buttons, hashtags, or other features that make it simple for viewers to share the content on their preferred platforms.
- Wait for the right time – Timing is crucial in viral marketing. Pay attention to trends, current events, or relevant moments that align with your campaign. Releasing your content at the right time can significantly boost its chances of going viral. For example, the Tider campaign was planned around a T20 cricket match, giving it a huge advantage in going viral as it instantly became popular among cricket fans.
Remember, achieving virality is not guaranteed, but incorporating these elements into your campaign strategy can increase the likelihood of your content resonating with a broader audience and potentially going viral.
The Role of Influencers in viral marketing
The role of influencer marketing in viral marketing is significant and cannot be overlooked. It is a crucial element in many successful viral campaigns. While analyzing numerous campaigns for this article, we found that 8 out of 10 viral campaigns included influencer marketing as part of their strategy.
In the examples mentioned earlier, influencers like Shubham Gill, Shahrukh Khan, and Kusha Kapila played a pivotal role in the campaigns, contributing significantly to their success.
Including influencer marketing in your campaign provides a solid headstart for viral marketing. Influencers not only bring your content into the limelight but also infuse it with humour, creativity, and emotional appeal – all of which are essential for virality. This is because influencers are skilled in creating content that resonates with their audience and captures their attention.
Here’s how influencers help in viral marketing:
- Increased visibility – Influencers have a dedicated following and a strong online presence. By collaborating with them, your brand and campaign gain exposure to their audience, increasing the chances of your content being shared and going viral.
- Added creativity – Influencers are known for their unique and creative content creation abilities. When they participate in your campaign, they bring their own style and creativity, making your content more engaging and appealing to the audience.
- Enhanced relatability – Influencers closely connect with their followers, who see them as relatable figures. When influencers endorse or participate in a campaign, it adds a relatability factor that resonates with their audience, leading to increased sharing and engagement.
However, it’s essential to choose influencers wisely for your campaign. That is why using an influencer marketing platform like Qoruz is crucial for selecting influencers who have a genuine influence on your target audience, ensuring maximum impact and better chances of achieving virality.
What not to do?
When aiming for viral marketing, there are certain pitfalls to avoid. Here are some key things not to do:
- Don’t focus solely on going viral – While viral content can generate significant attention; it’s important not to prioritize virality above all else. Your content should align with your brand values, goals, and target audience.
- Avoid controversial or offensive content – While provocative content may attract attention, it can also lead to backlash and damage your brand’s reputation. Avoid offensive, discriminatory, or polarizing content that may alienate or upset your audience.
- Don’t rely on shock value – Shocking content may grab initial attention but is often short-lived. If the shock factor is not accompanied by substance, relatability, or a meaningful message, the content may not have a lasting impact or generate meaningful engagement.
- Avoid overcomplicating the message – Keep your content concise, clear, and easy to understand. Complex or convoluted messages can confuse or lose your audience. Aim for simplicity and clarity to ensure your message resonates effectively.
- Don’t neglect audience targeting – Understanding your target audience and tailoring your content to their interests and preferences is essential. Avoid creating content that appeals to a broad and generic audience, as it may not generate the engagement needed for virality. Focus on specific segments or niches most likely to connect with and share your content.
- Avoid excessive self-promotion – While promoting your brand or product is important, excessive self-promotion can come across as inauthentic. Find a balance between promoting your brand and providing valuable, shareable content that resonates with your audience.
while achieving viral marketing success is a desirable goal, it’s crucial to maintain realistic expectations. Virality is not guaranteed, and chasing it alone may compromise authenticity. Instead, the focus should be on creating high-quality, relevant, engaging content that genuinely connects with your target audience.
By prioritizing creating valuable and resonant content, you can still make a meaningful impact and contribute to your overall marketing goals, even if it doesn’t go viral. Building genuine connections, fostering engagement, and delivering value to your audience should be at the forefront of your strategy.
Remember, success lies not solely in the number of shares or views but in the lasting impact and meaningful connections you establish with your audience. Strive to create content that leaves a positive impression, encourages engagement, and contributes to your brand’s long-term growth and reputation.