The Art of Viral Marketing: Secrets Behind Successful Campaigns

How do you make a marketing campaign go viral? What’s the secret ingredient?

For social media marketers, what actually triggers virality in cyberspace can be hard to pin down. At times, it can feel like a fluke – especially when we’re completely reliant on other internet users to voluntarily share our carefully curated posts to their social networks.

Despite the uncertain nature of viral marketing campaigns, though, there are some solid strategies we can actively engage in to make our social media posts go viral.

The key? Grasp consumer psychology by the collar, and use it to leverage your audience’s emotions. Create content that captures attention and encourages your audience to engage with it. But the most crucial step? Harness the power of social media, and its potential to make your posts go viral across multiple different platforms.

Interested to learn how to do it? Let us take you through these viral social media marketing (SMM) strategies in deeper detail.

Viral SMM Strategy # 1: Understand Consumer Psychology

Consumer psychology. Emotional marketing. Viral sharing. Each of these concepts is interlinked, and they can have a dramatic impact on the success of your social media campaigns. You’ll no doubt learn a great deal about consumer psychology if you complete a tertiary qualification in business such as an AACSB online MBA – in addition to the centrality of the concept in eliciting the results you want with your marketing.

Used to your advantage, consumer psychology can help you understand how to influence your audience’s behavior. If you do it well enough, tapping into consumer psychology – what makes people tick – can even inspire your audience to re-share your marketing content for you, and potentially, make it go viral.

Viral SMM Strategy # 2: Leverage Audience Emotion

Now that you’ve got a grip on consumer psychology, you’ll need to use it to leverage your audience’s emotions.

For this to work, you need to be able to tap into your audience’s psyche. What emotional triggers can you use to make them feel certain ways, and elicit particular responses? Do you want to fire them up, get them angry, or make them frustrated about an issue so they’ll act on it? Or perhaps you prefer to tap into positive feelings. What’s going to make them laugh? Humor is a top drawcard for viral posts – if the alarmingly high rate with which we share cat memes is anything to go by.

Once you’ve identified exactly which emotions you want to tap into with your viral marketing campaign, this will also help direct the creative direction of your marketing content.

Viral SMM Strategy # 3: Create Content that Captivates

If you want your posts to go viral, your content will need to captivate. But how do you create compelling content?

For starters – as well as being emotionally engaging, visual appeal is also important. Design graphics that pop to help capture your audience’s attention. But also, provide value. What makes your post different? Why would people want to share it?

Above all, make your content unique. People love originality – and if it’s clever, catchy, and captivating to boot, you could be on to a viral winner.

Viral SMM Strategy # 4: Harness the Almighty Power of Social Media

Social media platforms. They’re breeding grounds for viral content. And just like the plague, viral posts infect everyone they touch – spreading like wildfire among the throngs of internet users.

So how do you harness this cyberspace contagion? Constantly plug your posts, share them across multiple platforms, and actively encourage your audiences to engage with them.

Viral SMM Strategy # 5: Ramp Up User Engagement and Interactivity

You’ve done everything right – you think. You’ve dug deep, looked into your audience’s psyche, tapped into their emotions, and created content you think will captivate them.

Now, it’s in your audience’s hands. But will they share your posts? Often only time will tell. But, if you do everything you can to encourage audience interaction, you’re more likely to have social media users engage with, and ultimately, share your posts.

User engagement can be activated in several ways: perhaps your campaign will be centered on a competition, or draw on user-generated content submissions.

Anything that encourages audience activity, and gets them to interact with your posts, can make your marketing campaign that much more likely to go viral.


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Written by Sara C

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