Viral Marketing Strategy: How to Infect the Whole Internet

28 April 2023
Reading: 5 min

In the world of offer promotion, we all struggle with competitors day in and day out. Sometimes you get ahead, and sometimes they do. But there are times when it’s out of the ordinary. It’s when several factors come together and your ad travels all over the Internet — your post, text, or video is reposted from user to user. And all you have to do is enjoy organic traffic and collect conversions. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, a dream can easily become a reality. Want to know how? Then get comfortable and listen to our story about viral marketing.

Viral Marketing Strategy: How to Infect the Whole Internet

The essence of viral marketing

Viral marketing aims to spread information about a product or service from person to person by word of mouth or by sharing content through various digital channels. The ideal viral marketing strategy will trigger the user to share your piece of content with a marketing message with friends, family, and others to provoke an increase in views. To achieve this effect, the primary goal of the affiliate is to create content that resonates with the target audience.

You can measure the success of your viral marketing strategy by using viral reach, one of the key metrics of social media marketing analytics. It shows how many unsubscribed users have seen your publication. The audience will be considered viral if it comes to you from a recommendation feed or from subscribers who reposted your post to their page.

Viral Marketing Strategy: How to Infect the Whole Internet

How to infect the masses with your advertising?

Many affiliates hope that the campaign will go viral, meaning that it will gain recognition, widespread distribution, and influence. The author of such an ad will consequently receive an unprecedentedly high percentage of the sales of the offer. However, the harsh reality shatters those rosy dreams. And unfortunately in this reality there is no universal formula for viral advertising. However, there is a certain pattern — a set of similar characteristics that could be identified after analyzing a lot of content that really went viral on the Internet. Let’s focus on a few characteristics of virality in advertising.

Viral Marketing Strategy: How to Infect the Whole Internet

Stay ahead of the curve

Internet users are drowning in content every second, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re using a computer or a cell phone. You need to grab their attention right away by stopping them in their tracks. To snag a minute of fame in a stream of competitors, you usually have no more than 8 seconds.

Having a visual element in your marketing content can help with this. In addition, you need to engage your target audience with a message that will be perceived as a striking element that evokes a lot of emotion. As statistics show, in the battle for user attention, the weirdest and most hilarious campaigns have more chances to win.

Be open to interaction

Content is unlikely to go viral if it doesn’t encourage your audience to interact. Viral marketing works best when it’s designed to get your audience to interact and share it easily — that’s its main purpose

At least, your content should contain some sort of call to action, telling users what action they should take after they understand your message. Some of the most successful viral marketing campaigns also include opportunities for audiences to comment, create their own content, or otherwise play along the same principle behind challenges or contests. Your goal is to keep viewers engaged until they share your content with their community. A great solution would also be to respond to user reactions to your content. Many bloggers repost news or ads with funny captions. Encourage author initiative.

Push for emotional response

Working in marketing, you’re probably used to the fact that users are guided largely by their feelings. When you create viral marketing content that evokes a strong emotional response, your viewers are more likely to engage with you.

Try to remember a piece of viral content that stuck with you. Why was it so memorable? Perhaps they made you laugh or cry. Perhaps they were particularly moving or made you feel nostalgic. In some cases, content may have been shared by a celebrity you already follow or admire. It influenced you in some way.

Keep it simple

Sure, viral campaigns are very different, but there is one thing you can spot with the naked eye: a simple message. The message of the viral ad can be expressed in a short phrase or sentence. The fact is, having more than one CTA or several key messages in a single piece of content can confuse or distract your audience, reducing the overall effectiveness of your campaign. Limiting your viral message to one simple phrase makes it memorable and accessible.

Let’s be honest, all of your content should be fairly simple, too. When posting on social media, don’t overload the text with hashtags, emojis, or metaphors. Videos should ideally be no longer than 30 seconds, which is enough to get your message across without too many words. But it’s important to remember that simplicity shouldn’t limit creativity.

Remember about the timing

Consider the date and time you share your content. Marketers tend to take advantage of big infomercials — holidays, major global or regional events. During these times, more people look at their social media feeds, watch TV and follow current events.

Similarly, anyone who uses Instagram knows that the date and time of your posts matter. For instance, on Saturday at 8 p.m., most people spend time with friends, and at 6 p.m. on Monday, they’re driving home from work in busy transport. In other words, they’re probably not looking at their newsfeed. You can imagine how much the chances of your ads going viral drop if users don’t see them at all.

With the help of statistics

An alternative way to uncover the secret ingredient of viral content could be a simple statistical analysis. According to a February 2023 New York Times study by the Foundation, a Canadian marketing agency:

  • 84% of users will share content if it touches on their issue or expresses their opinion.
  • 78% will send the post to friends to keep in touch with them, and to share some useful or valuable information. Especially one that will help improve health or save money.
  • 73% of users through sharing content communicate with people who share their interests.
  • 69% are willing to share publications to feel part of the same community. People are more active in forwarding content if they see numerous reposts under it. Or if the post was written by an authority figure or a recognized expert.
  • 68% of people repost publications to “appropriate” them and show that they are knowledgeable about the topic. Or to create a desired image.

Whatever the reason for clicking the “Share” button, it’s important to remember that viral content works on a person’s emotions, as we discussed in the previous block. And not just the positive ones — surprise, delight, fun, but also the negative ones — anger, fear, disgust envy. Here also comes in handy a tip for using special strongly emotional words that trigger users to emotion.

In terms of subject, according to various marketing studies, reposting has the highest percentage among the following categories:

  • humor
  • useful materials
  • lists, tops, infographics
  • expert opinions
  • breaking news
  • personal stories

Viral Marketing Strategy: How to Infect the Whole Internet

Final thoughts

Agree that even if you have a multimillion-dollar marketing budget it is always nice to get an influx of free organic traffic. And if it’s just a flurry of hits to your ads, it’s twice as nice. For those dreams to come true, your content needs to be viral. Of course, our tips, backed by real statistics, will get you closer to your goal. However, you will definitely need a pinch of luck in this case. Good luck with creating the most infectious content. We’re already looking forward to reposting it all over the internet!

Have a story to tell about traffic arbitrage?
Become a ZorbasMedia contributor!
Become an author
Do you want to stay on top of your game and know what is going on in the affiliate marketing industry? Subscribe to ZorbasMedia newsletter and never miss a thing!