What is Viral marketing?
Viral marketing derived from a word called virus, and what a virus’s main capability is to spread. When something goes viral, it means that it is visible on the social media feed of majority of the users which the awareness of these people have already been heightened. This is actually a strategy that leverage on social media massively to promote awareness of content that usually strikes a resonance in people is commonly spread widely via word of mouth which they are motivated to share.
Not only viral marketing can also offer spectacular exposure for news & information, it can also spread a brand’s name quickly by fully utilizing the internet which does not cost much at all in terms of finances budgeting.
Case Study (ALS Ice Bucket Challenge)
A successful viral marketing campaign that took the world by storm was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign. Started out in 2014, the purpose behind it was to raise awareness for a disease known as with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease and just within two months, the campaign was so successful and it has raised over $100 Million in funding for research to combat the disease. This campaign has also involved globally known celebrities such as singer, Taylor Swift and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg who have also participated in this challenge as well.
See how powerful viral marketing is?
So why do people and businesses continue to leverage on viral marketing to build awareness on a local & international scale?
Viral marketing enables personnel & businesses to promote their brand or content easily to their target audience with a low cost that excludes advertising costs as advertising is usually done by the target audience who shares it around with other people to raise awareness.
Increased credibility and building of brand image
When a brand goes viral, generally more people will be discussing about the brand which instantly helps to boost brand recognition and increase the credibility if it’s good. Thus, developing the trust factor that people have towards that particular brand and it will motivate more people to discuss and talk about it with even more people.
Exponential growth and reach
When one person spreads the word about a particular brand or content to another person, it can spread to two personnel and from there, the number of personnel spreading the particular brand or content multiplies and the reach can be compounded and grow exponentially at an alarming rate. This is also known as the marketing multiplier effect and this effect further speeds up the reach to even more people and thus capturing the attention of these people as well.
Is there a downside of viral marketing? Definitely!
Businesses have to pay extra attention and caution when creating content that leverages on viral marketing to avoid receiving backlash and negative feedback from the public. Hence, more time should be spent on research and consideration so as to avoid these negativities from the public. The Dolce & Gabbana is a clear example of being at the wrong end of viral marketing as it’s brand recognition and credibility has certainly diminished.
In conclusion, coming up with a creative marketing campaign that can arouse curiosity and motivate a person to share it with even more people is considered successful as it can help to build brand awareness at a high growth rate. This results in a widespread to even more people which works similarly like a virus.
Let me know how you feel about viral marketing in the comments below!
Looking forward to exchanging ideas and comments!