The power of viral marketing is something that shouldn’t be underestimated when considering alternative strategies for your brand or business. Imagine, for example, that you have only one Facebook post that generates more than 42,000 interactions, reaching 2.8 million people; imagine that this publication promoted a product with a real commercial value for your business, and that you didn’t invest a dollar on it. Yes, it’s that powerful.
For Denis Piszczek, an entrepreneur recognized for coordinating powerful viral marketing campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, it’s necessary to understand why people share content to take advantage of the exponential growth of a viral marketing campaign.
According to a study by the New York Times’ Customer Insight Group, people share things to “define themselves” within any community they are part of, and also to “enrich the lives of others.” In other words, once we feel safe, we seek to strengthen our sense of belonging through social exchange. However, there’s an abundance of expressive content on social networks.
In essence, people share content in response to emotional triggers that reinforce their social identity and grouping, with the desire to enrich the lives of others. Your content can be formulated to achieve that goal.
How to Plan Virality?
For Piszczek, virality implies a lot of luck, but there are ways to increase the chances of achieving it. Here’s his list of suggestions:
1. Reinforcing the Group Persona
First of all, the content must convey themes that help reinforce the identity of the group. When creating content, you need to know many aspects of your target audience: their world’s perspective, fears, challenges, motivations and interests. To identify these elements, you can observe what circulates in online communities relevant to your target audience.
2. Trigger Emotions According To Emotional Valence
To trigger emotional responses, a certain degree of shock is needed, triggering a strong positive or negative emotional valence, which is in the same line of the context of your audience. Piszczek recommends focusing on provoking positive emotions such as joy, happiness or admiration, since they provide better results for brand building. However, the use of a negative emotion (such as fear, for example) usually results in a powerful motivator that you should not discard.
Virality is closely related to drawing attention: the easier it is to get the message, the easier it will be to share it. In this regard, Piszczek comments that he usually uses videos on social networks with large and clearly written subtitles that speak from the beginning of the audience’s identity.
Another important aspect is adapting the content according to the platform where it will be shared. Facebook, for example, gives higher priority to long videos, while Instagram prefers shorter clips.
4. Practical Use
For Piszczek, viral content must be of practical value to the public so that it doesn’t look like a product being promoted. By sharing content with that value, take advantage of the idea of enriching the lives of your audience.
Viral Marketing to Grow Your Brand
While becoming viral when publishing content that generates an emotional response and motivates actions in people is an achievement, doing this while promoting a brand is an even greater achievement, and harder to accomplish. This type of marketing requires a discrete virality. In other words, the content must position your brand favorably and, at the same time, generate the elements of a viral campaign.
Viral marketing is a powerful tool capable of generating organic reach and brand awareness. By formulating content that can attract the emotions of your target audience, and following Piszczek’s list, you can increase the chances that your content will go viral, and thus, generate massive interest in your brand.