Viral Marketing – A Guide

Viral Marketing – A Guide


Marketing executives struggle with this every day, getting content to go viral. What does that mean exactly and how does one achieve this Shangri-La of popularity? It means your brand recognition – even if you sell used zero turn mowers – is through the roof, content spreading across the Internet like wildfire, retweeted and shared across Facebook at a truly amazing rate. This all adds up to free promotion online, on television, the news, it’s everywhere. It’s the kind of marketing you can’t buy and gets millions of eyeballs on your brand and product.

Public relations firms all over have been studying the statistics behind viral content, trying to harness and recreate it. But like lightning in a bottle, it’s almost impossible to capture and control to your advantage. Everyone has their own beliefs and tips as to how to get something to go viral but unfortunately, the minute you’re trying to generate content with that sole purpose you’ve already failed. When something really sparks national or worldwide interest, it’s almost entirely unpredictable. Is it luck, good planning, or omnipotence when your customer finds the best zero turn mower for the money? It’s all and none of them at the same time.

Creating content that can be poised to take the world by storm certainly takes a whole lot of good planning. Knowing your limitations as well as your audience is also an important part of it. Luck, we can all use some of that from time. So what are the secrets to getting your brand name out there for everyone, and I mean everyone, to see? First off, don’t rely on some of the old standbys. Most people think humor is the way to go. Who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh? The problem is, humor is subjective. What I think is funny, others may not. I have friends who love the show Family Guy but personally, I think it’s the dumbest thing on television and I’ve never found its creator Seth McFarlane very funny. So if you’re using humor to get over, you could be alienating a large portion of your audience.

That’s not say you shouldn’t use humor in your content. Commercials that go viral are often universally, laugh out loud funny. But again, what exactly IS funny? You don’t know. Most comedians can’t give you a definitive answer and you’re likely no comedian. If you want to use emotion to sell your brand and for that content to go viral, tap into more than one emotion – like the thrill for the consumer when they find deals on used zero turn mowers for sale. It can be funny yet stirring, sad but hopeful, dramatic and silly. It’s a fine line that you need to navigate just right to strike a chord in the biggest way possible. But when you do, it’s a magical thing.

Above all though, make it special. Be certain about your content. But don’t look desperate either. The last thing you want to do is come out and ask people to share your content. Nothing will kill it off faster. You have to convince them to do it with subtlety…or even better, let the content speak for itself. The cream rises to the top. If it’s worthy, the public will recognize that.

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