Viral Marketing Initiatives

Let’s talk viral marketing and what makes it “viral”? So this is an interesting topic for me. Why is a word that I seem to use a lot!! My mom used to just say “because I said so” because I was always asking why. As I have gotten older, my natural inquisitive nature has made me a better student and probably what I would call a life-long student.

We have all seen the ALS ice-bucket challenge and probably even participated in it but why? Well it’s because the marketing ploy went viral! Viral marketing is all about marketing in such a way that consumers will share information about a company.

Viral marketing has five important characteristics, in my opinion. First, the right audience is targeted. Viral marketing doesn’t scream company brand. There are not tons of logos and tag-lines. It is about being understated and subtle.

My favorite expression for just about everything is KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid!! Viral marketing is simple. The ALS ice bucket challenge was all shot with cell phones. It didn’t have expensive art directors or scripts. It was ordinary, every day people creating and sharing these videos. Simple, inexpensive videos went viral. This is a great YouTube video of some of the best Ice Bucket challenge videos that show that even celebrities got in on it and didn’t use huge production companies to show their support: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Highlights

People need to have an emotional connection to the marketing campaign. They need to relate to whatever is being advertised. A great example is the Old Spice marketing campaign that was all about the man your man could smell like seen here: Old Spice Commercial. What woman can’t relate to this commercial??? I mean seriously, come on!!! That commercial gave me incentive to go hit the Old Spice aisle at the store and smell away.

The one thing that I hate more than anything is a company trying to market something no one cares about, is irrelevant or politically charged. Just because a marketing campaign seemed like a good idea six months ago doesn’t mean it is still a great idea today, especially with the changing political climate.

Lastly, seriously make sure you post your marketing campaign when people see it. Hello, don’t post at midnight and wonder why it no one has seen it. Remember your audience and know when they are most likely to be looking at social media. As a mom, student and full-time employee, I check my social media and email around 7:30, noon and again around 8:00. Basically, when I am getting ready for work, at lunch and when the kids are headed to bed.

Just remember viral marketing only works if there is someone to share it and make it viral!! Show me some advertising that you think is an excellent example of viral marketing. 

Great resources to also check out include:

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