Although you may not fully understand the concept of viral marketing, there's one thing you know for sure:
If the possibility exists to create a marketing concept that can go viral, you're willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Over the past few decades, viral marketing has emerged as a way to generate an atmospheric amount of buzz about a brand, a product or a service. The success of viral marketing initiatives is largely dependent on the public's mood, but the best viral marketing campaigns were launched with a simple idea that had the potential to catch fire in the public arena.
For small businesses, the tricky part is coming up with ideas that have viral potential. Tired and pedestrian marketing strategies won't work – both you and your team have to be willing to think outside of the box and take risks that aren't necessary in traditional marketing strategies. If coming up with viral concepts seems difficult, here are some suggestions about how to create viral marketing ideas that have real potential.
- Leave the bubble. One of the best things you can do to inspire the development of viral marketing ideas is to take yourself and your team members outside of the corporate bubble. You can have the most talented marketing team in the world. But if they never leave the conference room to interact with real customers and the buying public, they won't be capable of coming up with effective viral marketing ideas.
- Identify customer clusters. Viral marketing is most successful when it targets the places where consumers congregate. If you can identify customer clusters (both online and offline), the job of introducing a viral concept becomes much easier because you'll know where to focus your efforts. In many cases, the clusters themselves shape the format you will use to communicate your viral concepts.
- Embrace technology. Usually (but not always), viral marketing ideas and technology go hand in hand. Once you have a viral concept, your next step should be to consider how you can use technology – especially social media – to introduce the idea to consumers and encourage its distribution among users.
- Be fun and creative. Effective viral marketing campaigns are typically fun and creative. Why? Because consumers are more likely to pass on something they find amusing or unusual than they are to pass on something that is dull and uninspiring. Encourage your team to create viral ideas that fresh, fun and innovative.