Understanding What goes Viral
Firstly, let us get to the basics. The Wikipedia definition of Viral Marketing is, “Viral marketing, viral advertising, or marketing buzz are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networking services and other technologies to try to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes.”
These are buzz words & use existing social networking services to produce shareable content. Agreed that, Kolaveri Di was a super hit, Gangnam was a blockbuster!
But let us ask ourselves a question! How many Kolaveri Dis or Gangnam’s of the world do we recollect.
Only a handful!
The fact that we recollect only a handful, itself says there are only a few who could crack it organically. It is a Sheer Luck that they could squeeze themselves in, in the charts without spending much. We all know it for a fact, that the content of these videos was not great enough to make it reach these heights! Well, not being unfair to the above two, they did put in a lot of efforts, but they got a cake & ate it too!
So, let’s understand, WHAT GOES VIRAL!
Anything & everything which gives an ego boost or a good laugh or gets us thinking or creates a shareable value (or any mix of these) has a ‘potential’ to go viral.
It could be an ego boost over FB Thank You Video or a good laugh over an ‘Alok Nath’ series of memes or a smart/not-so-smart Alia Joke, it has the fuel of virality, with the right ignition & timeliness.
That makes us reach to another important point, Timeliness.
If the ALS Ice Bucket challenge is done by someone today (24th November) it would have absolutely no shareable value. People would not like to like it or share it or tag themselves in it today. Probably, it is not cool anymore to share a content piece which was a super hit content piece a few weeks back. Alok Nath Jokes doesn’t make us laugh anymore. What may be a hot cake viral content today, may be stale content tomorrow. Viral Content is PERISHABLE. If a brand plans to get a content viral, they should pre-think of a strategy to deal with the virality. And if a brand’s content gets viral, the benefits should be reaped in real time.
What are the other tools to make a content go Viral?
“Did you hear the Gangnam Style?”
“Did you do the Ice Bucket? I tagged you, you got 24 hours. Do it & tag your friends”
“Harlem Shake is so cool! You must check it out”
Essentially, the subtle (& at times not-so-subtle) excitement people have while sharing the content amplifies the fuel to get a content viral. This can be another tool for a smart marketer. Let your ‘loyal’ fans know in advance that something awesome is coming their way, build a hype in the circle of the brand’s eternal influencers
And Last But the Most Crucial Point- Amplification
With the clutter of a lot of brands trying to produce content that can supposedly go Viral, it is essential to take the safer way & create a paid push to the ‘Hopefully Viral Content’.
What all can be done?
These people are a one stop solution to majority of social media ‘reach’ issues! You got to get the right set of influencers to speak about the brand.
Obviously, there is no free lunch in the world. It depends, whether you want it to be a three course one, a four course one or a seven course one! The larger the spread, the more delicious the content is & higher is the possibility of it going viral.
Support it with a social media content campaign & social media ads campaign.
Create a kickass social media campaign. Let people start speaking about the hype. If it doesn’t work, seed it! But create a buzz. Because a lot of times, initial push is essential. Reach out to as many fans (and soon-to-be-fans) as possible via various ad units. People like to share what others are sharing.
Launch it at the best possible time & let people start speaking about you. Using various ad units & options available, reach out to more potential fans who would love to consume the content & make their respective social circle consume the same.
Get the message out for the brand in the most effective way. If the brand content goes viral, it is the best time to push about the services of the brand on various social networks the brand is present it! The footfall & the traffic during the ‘4-din-ki-chandni’ period for the ‘viral brand’ is good enough to garner eye balls to the brand services/products and convert some!
Coming back to this blog, it may NOT go viral as it doesn’t satisfy all the above stated. The content do gets us thinking, the timing is good enough, but like we are told by some brands, I told it to myself this time, “Lets Make This Viral, but Zero Budget Available”.
The Author of this article is Shrenik Co-founder White Rivers Digital