What is viral? According to a definition in Free Encyclopedia, 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, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses (cf. Internet memes and memetics). It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks.

Virals are Holy Grail of digital and traditional marketing. Man can say they are a goose that lays the golden eggs. People love to share this kind of content, modify them and use them.

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Also mobile loves viral. Users send and share favorite videos, pictures, gifs, and apps. The general impression is that mobile and virals are made for each other. It’s a fact: 79% of people have their smartphones on them or near them all day. The time between receiving a notification and checking the mobile device is very short. An average of reaction to SMS is about 1 minute, and most of them are read within 3 minutes. It’s easy to follow hot trends if you have an ultra-fast connection with the world. The great example of mobile campaign that went viral is the one made by Ogilvy Paris:

Ogilvy Paris gave Parisians a free Wi-Fi connection in places where you typically can’t get Wi-Fi connections. But, in order to access it, you first had to demonstrate your spelling abilities. The higher the score, the more free Wi-Fi time.

Results: 110,000 minutes of free WiFi, 6000 words unscrambled and countless downloads of the Scrabble app. That’s how you go viral!

So how to make a campaign loved by the users? At first, try these 9 essential tips on how to win users’ hearts.

  1. Stay up-to-date with trends – If you want to rock, you must know how the wind blows. Internet trends change in two shakes. One week everyone is posting Ellen DeGenere’s Oscar selfie, and the other one it’s a lame-o to mention it in public. Follow Twitter and Buzzsumo – they are a litmus test for what’s hot on the web!
  2. Speak fluently in emotions – What gives viral its force is the ability of stiring the emotions. Good emotions(RedBox ten days of Deals), or bad(Cecil the lion), it doesn’t matter. Although, if you care for the longer engagement, aim to higher and joyful emotions – according to research, their impact is long-lasting among the users.
  3. Don’t sell, give instead – There are no limits here. You can offer entertainment, service, discount, possibility of being part of something bigger, your knowledge, and many more. Everyone loves the sincere gifts and appreciates the gesture. Share your unique value.
  4. Give something they can use – Apps and content which can be used to improve the quality of life are desired more than the others. Like the Ogilvy’s campaign: Free Wi-Fi access it’s quite a treat.
  5. Be authentic – Don’t imagine that forced successful or cordial attitude (that you have learned from the motivational training) will fool someone. In a flood of marketing trash, people are looking for something real. Give your users a sneak pick of your everyday life. Did your child cover the wall, the dog and half of its trousers with mommy’s lipstick? Share a snap on Twitter. Does your dog try to dig all the way to the China? Make a Vine and share on Facebook! (According to Buzzsumo, children and pets are the golden tickets to the Lead Factory)
  6. Know your audience – It’s hard to prepare the right content if you don’t know who you are talking to. Use every source available to create their behavioral profiles. Use forms to collect the data. Prepare the responsive website, where you can upload the gated content (extent content like ebooks or white papers that can be exchanged for user’s data). Ust the mobile marketing automation platform to keep your database clean and up-to-date, to monitor users’ in-app traffic and appropriately personalize marketing campaigns.
  7. Allow interactions – Users want to contribute their share to the social events. Accept their opinions with the arms wide open. They’ll give you the clear image of your marketing actions’ effectivity, and the feedback on the necessary improvements. Don’t forget the action buttons! As much as 60% of our purchases are unplanned (40 – 80%, depending on product category). 87% of Americans admits to impulsive buying. Millenials do it 52% more often that other age groups.
  8. Tolerate the travestation – Content once published in web stays there forever. Do you remember this funny Beyonce’s photo? Or some deleted (yet not forgotten) celebrity Tweets? Deleting any content and mad reactions are futile. Just accept the fact that once shared they will stay in web no matter how much you’ll stamp your little foot. Just watch Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets, and learn how to react with humor to the mean comments. Some celeb’s reactions only the gain them popularity, because they are hilarious instead of being angry.
  9. Prepare the whole campaign ahead – The viral is not enough. The game is afoot, and you must know what to do with all those potential leads to convert them into your company’s success!

Did you made a viral? Share your experience in the comment section!