The main goal of every marketer who wants to be successful, is to spread the word about their client’s brand. Viral marketing, previously an overused buzzword and now a legitimate goal of marketers, is an extremely effective way of gaining more attention for your clients. However, there is some misunderstanding in the industry about what, exactly, viral marketing is and what it takes to reach this level. 

If you are interested in viral marketing, you will need to understand some of the basic concepts behind it. It is no small feat to achieve the status of “viral” in today’s digital world, but once this is achieved, it can work wonders for any digital marketing campaign. Below we take a look at what viral marketing is and whether or not you should use it for your brand. 


Firstly, What Is Viral Marketing?


Before we look at whether viral marketing is right for you, you will need to understand what this concept is. In simple terms, viral marketing is a form of promoting products in a way that spreads like a virus (in other words, quickly) from person to person. The idea behind viral content is that it is shared by users to others who might be interested. 

Social media platforms are most commonly used for sharing this content, giving it a much wider reach to more diverse audiences. Some of the most recent examples are the sharing of videos of people taking part in the ALS ice bucket challenge to raise awareness. This same virality can also be used for marketing campaigns for your products and services.  

One of the leading brands in content marketing, in South Africa at least, is Nando’s. Take, for example, their hilarious response to Pick ‘n Pay’s advertisement, “It’s Not Just Chicken, It’s iNkhukhu”. The Nando’s advertisement became more popular and had a wider reach than the Pick ‘n Pay advert, which is one of the challenges faced with viral marketing: your content needs to be better and more entertaining than the competition. 


Should I Use Viral Marketing For My Brand?


Now that you understand viral marketing a little more, you are probably wondering if it is the right choice for your brand. While it can be used for many brands and industries, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of using this type of marketing for your specific brand. 

Below are some of the benefits. 


Much Lower Cost


One of the major benefits of using viral marketing is that it costs a lot less than using traditional digital marketing techniques. This is because users perform a significant part of the work for marketing teams. However, the content does need to be sharable, entertaining, and unique enough for them to share. 

This lower cost allows you to use the money you have saved for other business endeavours, such as boosting your Google Ads campaigns and improving your product offering for clients. Viral marketing is an ideal solution for those businesses who might have a smaller budget, but you will need to ensure that the content you create is worth sharing. Using social media platforms for video and visual content can help this process significantly. 


Much Greater Reach


Content used in viral marketing does not just stay in the confines of one platform, it is often shared on multiple ones, meaning that it has a much greater reach than other types of content. For example, a viral video on YouTube has the potential to reach an international audience, allowing your brand to improve its online presence and visibility. 

Thanks to social media and the popularity of hashtags, you can easily help your content to have a much wider reach. Simply look for hashtags that are popular and related to your content,t and use them in your captions and wording. This will ensure that your content appears in searches for these hashtags, improving its visibility and increasing the likelihood that it will become viral. 


Exposure To Mainstream Media


One of the benefits of using viral marketing as part of your strategy is that it allows you exposure to mainstream media. And while you may not need press coverage for your brand, if your content becomes viral, it is more likely that magazines and online news hubs will cover your brand without you needing to pay for this coverage. 

It might be difficult to reach major news outlets, but even mentions on smaller blogs and popular online magazines can drive traffic to your website or your campaign landing page. Be sure that you are receiving viral attention for the right reasons, however, as negative exposure can be highly detrimental to your brand. 

If you are interested in tapping into the power of viral marketing, or are looking for a digital marketing agency that thinks outside of the box, contact NetMechanic today to find out what we can offer you.