If you’ve come to this text, you certainly know what viral marketing can do for your company. If you still don’t know, don’t worry as we’ll present the main points of this type of strategy. And if you already know, I’m sure you’ll find useful tips here to successfully implement your campaign.
Thinking about implementing a viral strategy is exciting in itself. Can you imagine how cool, in addition to being useful of course, it can be to have a large number of people talking about your product or your company? Yes, it’s awesome!
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- Viral marketing: what is it?
- Viral marketing and its advantages
- Viral Marketing and its Disadvantages
- Viral Marketing: Tips on what to do
Viral marketing: what is it?
Before delving into our conversation, we first need the definition of viral marketing so that we are well aligned with what we’re talking about. Are you ready for this? So here we go:
Viral marketing (also known as buzz marketing ), is a marketing strategy that seeks through peer shares (P2P) to achieve exponential growth. Whether to generate traffic, leads, users or customers.
As the term itself says, being viral is similar to the growth of a virus (in an enabling environment), characterized by exponential and therefore extremely rapid growth.
It parallels the infection of a virus, in that each time person X is “infected” it is very likely that he will spread the infection to a new number of people. Focus on the number of people (plural), very good, isn’t it?
There are several reasons why a person contributes by spreading a viral message, which can range from feeling identified with the message or even wanting to appear superior (concept of exclusive invitations to social networks, for example, or appear to pay attention to news).
Viral Marketing: Hotmail growth acquires exponential growth.
There would be no way to talk about viral marketing without mentioning the case of Hotmail. As a way to grow its user base, the email service wrote in every message sent the following message followed by a link: PS: I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail (PS: I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail).
The result was phenomenal, in approximately 6 months they reached 1 million users. Amazing, isn’t it? We also have an article that our senior consultant, Renato Ferreira, produced talking about Bom Negócios’ viral marketing case. You can check it here.
Since we’re talking about the good part, let’s move on to the next part.
Viral marketing and its advantages
Let’s now formalize what are the main points that interest those who are considering using this approach as a way to achieve better results for their marketing and sales area. Are they:
- Low cost of acquiring customers: Compared to other marketing strategies, viral marketing requires little investment as much of the growth comes organically. Almost a dream for SMEs and startups, no?
- Size of your campaign exposure: Which marketing campaign doesn’t want to reach as many future customers as possible? The term viral exactly refers to rapid growth as a way to generate the greatest exposure for your brand, company or product.
- Increased conversion and lead generation: This advantage is based on that stat that shows that referrals from well-known people count more than advertisements such as buying decisions and level of trust in a brand.
I could mention other advantages over the implementation of viral marketing as a strategy for your company, but they are nothing more than an offshoot of the last three, so let’s keep it simple, ok?
Now on the other hand, it’s not all flowers. And to be very honest we have to talk about the counterpoint. What would be the disadvantages of taking this approach?
Viral Marketing and its Disadvantages
If for everything in life there are reasons to do something, there are also reasons not to do it. You might want to consider this if you are intending to go viral with a marketing campaign. All viral marketing campaigns have the following disadvantages:
- Absence or lack of control: A key point for any campaign that aims to go viral is the ability to generate reactions in people. And because it’s emotional, it becomes very difficult to control what people will feel when they get in touch with your message. For example, consider the case we cited of Hotmail. Imagine knowing that every email from you (including the one that goes to your boss) will be sent with a PS: I love you. What impact can this have on your life? And could this make your user a detractor of the platform?
- Difficulty in measuring results: Compared to other marketing strategies, this approach is more difficult to measure. In a qualitative way, one can receive extremely positive or extremely negative feedback, making it difficult to analyze the approach taken in real-time.
- The smaller your initial user base, the harder your campaign will be: Here we fall into the chicken-and-egg paradox. However, it’s not just those with big bases that manage to go viral, but that can only make the whole campaign easier, of course. Also, if your product is still in the testing phase, or in a closed version, it may not be the best time to take advantage of viral marketing strategies.
Now that you know about the advantages and disadvantages, let’s talk about techniques and tips for those who are thinking of this approach, whether to generate more traffic, leads or brand awareness.
Viral Marketing: Tips on what to do
What’s the fun of a text full of content if it doesn’t have a hands-on moment? As I know that readers of our blog undertake, whether internally in their companies or in a startup, nothing like practical tips to get started today.
You need to consider the following points if you want to implement the viral approach:
- Correctly address the target audience: This is the zero point of your campaign. It is difficult to express in words how important this is. It’s so paramount that if it’s not done, it could kill your campaign before it’s even started. Addressing correctly is what will make your campaign, especially in the initial days, generate traction and momentum to continue growing even with a reduced number of days of life.
- Polarize people: Polarizing someone means putting the other in a decision-making position, whether they are positive (like your campaign because it surprises, generates feelings of “extreme cuteness”, gratitude for life, etc.) for you or not. It is impossible to achieve this by being mild. When it comes to reactions, sometimes your product alone doesn’t fall into the mediocrity line. Remember the reaction (both positive and negative) that the Lulu app had and the number of people spreading it?
- Access other networks of contacts: Make this a very clear and repeatable activity if you want to go viral. The more networks that are being accessed and shared, the greater the space for your strategy to go viral.
A product or service that hits the extremes of the purple line makes your viral marketing strategy easier
With this article, we explain what Viral Marketing is, what are the advantages and disadvantages, and give tips for those who want to implement this approach.
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