Do you want to create a video that goes viral on social media?
You know, the kind that gets millions of views and comments in a matter of just a few days.
Come on, all marketers have dreamt of it.
But what does it take to create one?
Is it all just trial and error?
Or maybe luck?
Well, ask anyone who has made a viral post before and they’ll tell you that viral marketing is more nuanced than that.
In this post, let’s take a comprehensive look at different strategies for viral marketing. We’ll also take a look at some viral posts to see what worked for them.
1. Create Content with Shock Value
Shock marketing is all about creatively pushing the boundaries. You want to create content that will elicit surprise, shock, awe, anger, sadness, or multiple emotions together.
The mantra is simple — If you can stir feelings or create an emotional response in people, they are likely to want to engage with your content.
However, shock advertising can also become very crass or provocative if not done well.
It’s important to stay true to your brand. If you leverage shock advertising just for the sake of getting views, it can come across as unnatural.
Instead, you can use this strategy to promote a social cause or highlight your brand values.
One of the best examples of this genre is Patagonia’s ad campaign in the New York Times. Their ad, which was published around Black Friday, used the tagline, “Don’t Buy This Jacket.”
Any company asking people not to buy anything, especially during the holiday season was appalling.
But it attracted a lot of attention.
They even went on to explain to users the reason for not buying the jacket — the environmental footprint. Through this campaign, the company introduced a new feature that would enable users to check the environmental impact of the company’s clothing items.
This way, Patagonia highlighted their emphasis on sustainability.
2. Post Funny Content
Funny videos are everywhere on social media platforms. They are easy to consume and super shareable.
If you can create a video that is funny and plug in your brand naturally, you’ve struck gold.
However, there is a prerequisite for this strategy to succeed — you need to stay updated about the latest meme trends. It also helps to be aware of trending pop culture references.
Monthly subscription service, BarkBox, regularly posts dog memes and funny videos to entertain their target audience which mainly consists of dog lovers.
As you can see in the screenshot below, they shared a video of a dog dressed in a graduation gown. In the comments section, their followers have noted how cute the video is and even tagged their friends.
3. Work With Influencers
Typically, influencers have loyal followers. Since they are public personalities, people recognize them and follow them for recommendations as well. When you create content with an influencer, you get direct access to their followers.
It’s a great way to create some social media buzz and get your brand in the limelight. The best part is that you can reach a targeted audience if you collaborate with the right influencers in your industry.
Take a leaf from the clothing retail brand, Revolve, which has created multiple viral influencer campaigns with top influencers on Instagram.
From outfit changes to behind-the-scenes videos, they have done it all for their influencer campaigns.
What’s more, they even host parties and events and invite multiple influencers to them to create hype around the brand. With each post, influencers generate branded hashtags and use them for added publicity. You may search hashtag generators on EarthWeb to create appropriate hashtags for your content.
If you have the budget for it, hosting events, and inviting influencers can be a great way of dominating the social media space.
Alternatively, you can run giveaways and contests to maximize visibility and participation. If you want to get more engagement and make your video viral at the same time, it’s a strategy that can work wonders for you.
4. Focus on Good Storytelling
From a marketing perspective, your focus shouldn’t just be on selling your product. Instead, weave a story around your brand. Telling a great story is a sure-shot way of winning over your target audience’s hearts. Make storytelling the focus of your overall marketing strategy.
While crafting the story, think about who your buyer persona is. Get into their shoes and think about their pain points and apprehensions. If you can spin an engaging story around it, you’ve got the recipe for virality right. One of the best ways to achieve this is by creating a business proposal that talks about their pain points and how you’re going to solve them.
Airbnb has nailed this strategy. In their ad titled, “A Different Paris,” a girl narrates how a whole new side of Paris opened up because she had the guidance of a local. Her narration is livened by animations that showcase the adventures that the city offers tourists.
5. Get Topical
If something is trending, find a creative way to plug your brand into it. Everyone is already talking about a trend, so it’s easy to join the conversation.
When you get topical, you can also stand up for social causes or support movements that your brand believes in. It opens up an opportunity to showcase your brand personality.
When the Black Lives Matter movement was a major talking point on social media, Nike decided to extend their support with an Instagram video.
It was a short one, but clearly communicated the brand’s stance on the BLM movement. In the video, Nike urged Americans to stand up against racism.
Ready to Create Viral Social Media Videos?
Making videos that go viral requires a thorough understanding of your target audience. You need to be able to grab their attention with a gripping storyline or an element of shock. Fun and humor can also go a long way in making your content shareworthy.
To get noticed, don’t shy away from getting topical and taking bold stands on social issues that are trending. Lastly, work with influencers to boost your reach and improve the chances of your content going viral.
Viral Marketing written on a chalkboard -DepositPhotos