18 Jul

Posted by Emma Stewart

‘Going viral’ is a digital marketer’s dream. However, it’s not quite as simple as posting a video or an infographic on Facebook and hoping hundreds of thousands of people share it. Today’s guest author, Helen Cartwright, explores the theory behind ‘going viral’ and shares her thoughts on what businesses can do to capture the attention of the many.

Imagine, if you will, your latest business product or idea becoming the next viral trend to take the internet by storm. In fact, that’s just what the popular Fidget Spinner did for its inventors and has even sparked yet another trend, which some have coined Fidget Viral Marketing, a sort of marketing model, so to speak, to help businesses go viral.

Viral Digital Marketing

What is Fidget Viral Marketing?

To understand the concept of Fidget Viral Marketing, we must first review its origin, which stemmed from the viral success of the Fidget Spinner.

Fidget Spinners, which began as a therapeutic tool for children, has since spurred over 100,000 Google searches and more than 5 million YouTube videos, teaching us a valuable lesson about viral trends and how they work.

The Story Behind the Fidget Spinner Viral Craze

Fidget Spinners are palm sized toys made of plastic or metal that spins around a center bearing that were designed to provide a soothing rotation.

They were originally developed to assist children with OCD, ADHD, and anxiety who require consistent movement in order to remain calm and maintain focus, by enabling them to channel their fidgeting into the small, handheld rotating device or spinner.

These stress-relieving toys first become in demand at school and then soon spread to parents before spiking a social media craze and viral phenomenon that has lead to more than one million units being sold nationwide.

How Viral Trends Work

With social media, information typically spreads quicker than a newspaper via platforms like Twitter and so on. In addition, these platforms enable us to take a more active part in the news as opposed to the passive consumers of the past. As a result, each blog, comment, and even YouTube video provides the perfect opportunity for an occurrence to snowball into a viral event.

Furthermore, the instant the media becomes aware of a trend, such as with Fidget Spinners, they will cover the story over time, informing the market, and even influence the conversations had. In fact, there are established news organizations that will refer to Tweets etc. in an effort spread information and conjure conversations.

Headlines that Fuel the Hype

Viral trends usually begin as an intriguing headline that fuels the hype and creates interest in the story, such as “Fidget Spinners are the Must-Have School Toy of 2017”.

In addition, the idea or topic also continuously feeds an impulse to interact with the idea thus leading to sharing and commenting etc. In other words, it inspires action and sparks conversations of all kind.

A good example of this is when people create memes and other instances of virality, such as the planking craze, that spread through emulation and replication. In fact, it is this interactive part that catches on swiftly and spreads like a virus, thus creating a viral loop. On the other hand, if the topic or idea fails to elicit a reaction from people, it will cease to continue to spread from person to person.

The Viral Loop

The viral loop is what enables viral growth, which in turn enables trends to take off.

The way a viral loop is created is an individual is exposed to an idea. If the idea then elicits a response in the person, then the individual is most likely to spread the idea. The more people exposed to the idea, the greater the potential for each individual to respond to the idea and pass it to other individuals.

Provided the idea can dependably convince people to respond to it, the idea can continue to spread until it converts even the most discerning of individuals.

Some ways that people pass ideas onto others include:

  • Spreading memes as part of an ongoing joke
  • Liking or sharing on Twitter or Facebook
  • Commenting on social media
  • Passing on a trend offline by word of mouth
  • …and more

Why Going Viral is Important

Viral marketing is necessary for creating instant awareness, which can be important for introducing a new product by getting your brand in front of a wide target market instantly, which in turn can also help generate traffic.

In addition, launching a new product via social media platforms that are useful for attracting attention and enables users to share content, such as Youtube, Twitter, or Facebook, cost less than a television commercial; however, if it inspires people to share your product, it can have a significant impact on the success of your brand.

What Businesses Can Best Leverage Virality?

Fortunately, just about any business can tap into the power of virality as an effective marketing campaign. Some ways entrepreneurs can leverage their own viral campaign include:

Get Their Attention

Remember, a viral campaign is not meant to inform your audience of every aspect of your service or product. Instead, it should provoke an instant reaction, such as shock, surprise, or laughter etc. in order to quickly catch the viewer’s attention.

Consider Your Own Impulses

Before you begin your campaign, take note of what inspires you to forward a link or view a video. In addition, ask those around you and in your media circle with social media experience what inspires them to act as well.

Seed Your Product or Idea to Your Biggest Fans

It is not enough to simply post your product’s viral marketing video online and then hope that it takes off. Instead, try inserting links to the video on search engines so that the ads appear when users search related terms. If you currently have a popular online presence, you could seed your video with your biggest fans first to entice them to get the word out about your product.

Post Unique Content Related to the Trend

Content is one of the most accessible and simplest ways to leverage your own viral campaign to reach a large audience. You could also post content related to the trend to benefit from a current virtual trend.

About the Author

Helen Cartwright is a passionate blogger, who excels in the Digital Marketing and Technology niche. When not wired in marketing strategies she ghost-write for a variety of authors who have their work published on leading online media channels such as The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.com.​

About Star Digital

Star Digital are a UK based digital marketing agency. We specialised in SEO, PPC, Content and Social Media Marketing. If you’d like to learn more about our Digital Marketing Servicesthen please get in touch with our friendly team on 01604 696385 or email info@star-digital.co.uk

 

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