Viral marketing (also virus marketing) is a marketing method to spread a message in the shortest possible time, like a virus. In Viral Marketing campaigns, people are used as voluntary carriers to distribute a meme, e.g. B. via social media, word of mouth or mail. In viral marketing, the advertising message is not the focus.
How Does Viral Marketing Work?
Word of mouth, also known as buzz marketing, is a crucial viral marketing tool. Positive emotions caused by, e.g. B. a commercial are triggered in a consumer, are decisive for the success of the distribution of the commercial. The consumer is enthusiastic about a brand or a service and personally recommends it to friends. Seeding helps with the viral distribution of content via influencers or online media; an optimal range is achieved.
The advertising messages are also passed on to their contacts by multipliers, bloggers or social media users, which is the viral effect. Social media marketing has similar processes to viral marketing to work.
What Forms Of Viral Marketing Are There?
Various forms of viral Marketing are differentiated according to distribution and activity and use different methods to publish the information.
After The Activity Of The Propagator
On the one hand, viral marketing can be differentiated according to the degree of commitment of the distributors.
Passive Viral Marketing
With passive viral marketing, the information is only spread through the use of a product by the consumer. The product itself must have so much emotionality and added value for the user that it can have a viral effect with its properties. More on this in the article Emotionality & virality of products necessary for SEO & social media marketing
Active Viral Marketing
Active viral marketing uses tools to get the consumer or interested party to pass the information on to third parties. See also below under the Holistic heading approach.
According To The Scope Of The Marketing Measures
On the other hand, viral marketing can be differentiated according to the scope of the marketing measures.
With an advertising-oriented approach, the communication of corporate messages is the focus of viral marketing. The main task is a high reach for the advertising message. Dissemination aims to increase awareness or branding. These approaches often have the problem that they are too commercial and therefore do not generate any virality. Commercial content will be identified as advertising in most cases and will accordingly not be shared.
The holistically oriented approach to viral marketing does not focus entirely on the communication policy tools that are coordinated for this. The focus here is on the target group’s interests, characteristics, and needs. The campaign’s content does not necessarily have to do with the product or the brand but instead serves as a viral container.
A viral message or viral container promotes viral spread. A container should have viral properties. Viral properties include, for example, humor, fear, etc. In other words: everything that moves emotionally. Such campaigns aim to address the target group in the upper funnel of the customer journey at an early stage. The objective of the content here is usually fun and entertainment. The purpose of the company is outreach.
Memes As The Engine Of Viral Marketing
Memes are fundamental to the viral spread of messages via word-of-mouth or word-of-mouth. A meme is a small piece of information that is so contagious to other people that they ingest it and spread it like a pathogen. The memes use the ” infected ” social networks to apply in the form of ideas, inventions, ceremonies, customs, religions, technologies, fashions, or buzzwords.
In addition to the genes, memetics supplements the theory of evolution according to Darwin with a second replicator, which is of great relevance for the development of humanity on a spiritual level. The replication mechanism is decisive for the transmission of the messages. Since you cannot analyze and interpret everything that happens in your environment, people like to “replicate” and see the replica as a part of their own.
For Which Target Group Is Viral Marketing Suitable?
The suitable target group for viral marketing are predominantly well-connected digital natives. They are very active on the Internet using chats, blogs, forums and social networks (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube). However, a target group analysis is very important for every industry because this is the only way a target group can optimally access the marketing campaign to be scheduled. Influencers are an exciting target group. More about addressing influencers in the article Influencer Marketing: Working with Influencers
What Are The Benefits Of Viral Marketing?
Viral marketing is inexpensive. The marketing channels ( social media, such as Facebook or YouTube) are available free, and the message reaches numerous potential customers. The financial effort, measured against the possible success, can be small. It is essential that the contribution is sustainable and that the right positive emotions are triggered in the user. Good campaigns, advertising messages or blog posts are still called up years later and thus remain in circulation again and again.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Viral Marketing?
The speed of distribution is limited. It is not sure that the content will work and the desired target group will be addressed. A loss of image happens when the blog post or the advertising message does not trigger positive emotions, but negative emotions are released. Of course, these spread just as quickly and can damage the company’s image in the long term. The success factors in viral marketing are difficult to predict. Even a marketing campaign that has been well thought out and planned does not guarantee the campaign’s longevity. More on planning viral content in the article Planning content marketing campaigns with viral content.
How Does Content Spread Online?
The dissemination of content on the web begins with a seeding source such as your blog, a third-party medium or social networks such as YouTube, Twitter or Facebook. The dissemination works like a snowball principle. Content can be created and distributed by anyone. The decisive factor is whether the content is well received and thus distributed further.
A spread has a viral character if the speed of space develops exponentially. For this, the contacts must be achieved to reach a critical mass. Otherwise, a viral Marketing campaign will fizzle out.
Also Read: Social Media For Companies: What For?