Creating viral marketing is tricky by nature because it grows in popularity completely on its own. Part of the reason it spreads so rapidly is because it’s relatable, making it easy for users to share or recreate to make it work for their own brand or business. A lot of people, marketers included, attribute viral marketing to a stroke of luck. If the viral nature of TikTok has shown us one thing in the last couple of years, it’s that viral marketing is all about strategically creating the right conditions and then hoping it catches on! For the best chance at going viral, content must have an attention-grabbing hook, be shareable, and deeply resonate with a specific audience. Brands that do this right, experienced a massive uptick in reach, engagement, and conversions.
Viral marketing is part strategy and part luck. The idea is to use social media shares to promote posts. While there is a huge luck component, having a strategy increases the chances your content will go viral. Here’s how it works. Create content that users share within their networks thus expanding the post’s reach and ultimately racking up views, shares, and even sales. The magic of this strategy is that posts often go viral by accident. And when the post contains a product, this can often result in the product selling out for months at a time.
TikTok is a viral marketing hotspot right now. A recipe, makeup tutorial, fashion haul, etc. all have the potential to go viral. And as mentioned above, if a product goes viral, be prepared for it to sell out! For example, when the feta pasta craze was at its peak, feta cheese flew off grocery store shelves nationwide.
Another example of the power of viral content is Emily Mariko’s 10-minute salmon rice bowl recipe. The post garnered over 34 million views in less than two weeks, launching Kewpie mayo (a Japanese mayo made from egg yolks) into mainstream America.
And then there is the SEASUM leggings trend. This affordable leggings brand sold on Amazon blew up all over TikTok, thanks to the booty-enhancing scrunch design. The product now has over 80 thousand reviews on Amazon.
A viral TikTok was even able to catapult Clinique’s “Black Honey” lipstick shade, originally released in 1971, into Gen Z’s most hyped products.
If you’re still questioning the selling power of viral marketing, get this– the Dyson Airwrap (a $600+ hair styling tool) launched in 2019 and has been selling out repeatedly ever since thanks to viral hair hack videos going viral. Each time the product hits the shelves, it sells out soon after. Sometimes within minutes. You can find it on reselling sites like eBay and Amazon for hundreds above the selling price, and some desperate shoppers are even buying fake versions from unofficial sites.
Because viral content is shared by users, it doesn’t require a significant advertising budget. If you can get your content picked up and shared by your audience, you will save a huge chunk of advertising money while rapidly cultivating brand awareness. This will also improve the success rate of future content!
Business growth is slow in most cases, but viral marketing beats those odds. Small brands can wake up to double or triple their lifetime orders, all due to one viral TikTok. With rapid growth comes rapid lead generation and sales. Even if your posts don’t explode overnight, a moderate level of virality can result in faster business growth and faster lead generation.
When posts truly go viral, featured products make their way into mainstream media. This results in a massive uptick in exposure and brand awareness. When larger media outlets pick up a story, smaller outlets will follow in suit, continuing the cycle of virality.
Now you know how to go viral. Ultimately, going viral is all about creating the right circumstances. You have to create content that compels your audience to press “share.” That’s the strategy part. Then, you need some luck and your followers to help you achieve that “viral” status.