If there was ever a universal goal for digital marketers to strive for, it would be content virality. Why? Because it’s a lot of free marketing! Any digital marketing agency would be thrilled to experience an exponential growth of its content’s reach. Not only does viral content increase brand awareness like crazy, but it also helps drive revenue much higher.
A lot of the time, when content goes viral, it’s completely unplanned. Most people don’t really plan for their post to get shared 100,000 times, or expect their video to garner a million reactions on Facebook, but there are definitely certain things you can do with your creative content marketing plan to increase the likelihood of that happening. These three strategies will show you how you can craft your content for the perfect viral marketing campaign.
Let’s get started!
1: Put It in a Video
Social videos generate 1200% more shares than social text and photos combined. If you want your content to go viral, put it in a video. In fact, worldwide, marketers agree that video content is the kind of content with the best ROI. Consumers can also attest to that fact because 64% of them make a purchase after viewing branded video content.
Listen now: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 6:39 — 6.10MB)
To start your viral marketing journey, begin by increasing the number of videos you post on your social media platforms. They don’t need to be productions created with DSLR cameras (although high quality never hurts anyone), but they do need to be visually pleasing. Today,
some of the most shared posts on social media were recorded and edited with nothing but a smartphone. Phones like the iPhone 8 Plus or the Samsung Galaxy S8 have nearly DSLR quality cameras anyway, so don’t feel like you have to spend thousands of dollars on video production.
Videotape a speaking series by your staff. Take surprise videos on everyone’s birthday and make a video reel with it. Put together a bunch of clips filmed by different people in the office on the same subject matter to show different perspectives on a social issue. One brand that largely benefitted from video marketing and even went viral is Dove. Their Real Beauty Sketches videos touched millions of people with its empowering message, and resulted in 4.6 billion public relation and media impressions in just two months! If you’re looking to get this kind of traction, making a video is only one piece of the pie.
2: Tell a Story
Author Robert McKee said that “[s]torytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” Stories are how people connect and relate to one another — they’re how users understand brands. Telling stories also happens to be one of the oldest marketing tactics in the book.
Word of mouth marketing is when Individual customers provide personal testimonies of a business’s products or services and share it with their friends and family. What usually happens next (if the products and services were of quality) is that those people will try the product or service, end up pleased with the results and, in turn, go on to tell others about it. Eventually, a brand has generated so much buzz that it seems like everyone is talking about it. In the digital space, word of mouth marketing can be seen in the form of reviews or shares.
One great example of storytelling that went viral is the ALS bucket challenge. According to their official website, “[t]he ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a tremendous event in our Association’s history, raising $115 million in the summer of 2014. Not only did it bring awareness to this devastating disease, it importantly spurred a huge increase in our research budget.” It’s this kind of storytelling paired with a strategic creative content marketing plan that produces viral results.
3: Content is King
Content has been and will always be king. Quality content is the stuff that truly drives virality. It’s the video, the message, and the execution that intrigues users and causes them to share, comment and like your social posts. So, how do you ensure quality content? By planning and preparing.
Image Source: www.jeffbullas.com
Internet surfers are getting sick of advertisements. In fact, 63% of users between the ages of 18 to 34 use ad blocking software, and 41% of all Internet users do the same. Marketing to the “adblock generation” can be challenging, but when you think about doing so from a content-oriented perspective, everything changes! Instead of disrupting their Internet experience. you want to be involved in it. Steve Olenski, a Forbes contributor, writes “These days, brands are responding to new expectations from customers by providing relevant content through the entire purchase decision process.” You want to make content that supports that idea.
How do you do that, you ask? Well, you already know to create a video and tell a story, but now you must determine what’s important to your brand and how you want to display it in a video. As noted above, 25% of content that goes viral is considered “awe-inspiring.” Make your video inspirational! Tie your brand to a larger cause and tell a story that speaks to something bigger than just your brand. Make your content silly, funny or goofy. Pull a prank on someone in your office while showcasing your products and services at the same time. You want to think of content that your audience can relate to. After all, social media is about being social, so have fun with it.
Creating viral content may not always be planned, but you can definitely increase the likelihood of it happening. These three tactics are the key elements you need in order to produce viral content. Let’s take a look at them one more time:
1. Create videos to encourage user engagement
2. Focus on storytelling and how you want to convey your ideas to your audience
3. Be involved in a user’s journey by producing relatable and relevant content
Therese Palmere is a content writer for Aumcore, a digital marketing agency based in New York City. She is experienced and writes about everything from social media marketing to crafting the perfect creative content marketing plan.