How-to: Viral Marketing

Hello and welcome to Episode 39 of Aftershock Weekly. This week we’re going to have some fun and we’re going to talk about How to Viral Market. All right, so there’s different components to viral marketing, and to just start out, let me just say that there’s no silver bullet. You can’t guarantee that something’s going to go viral—in fact, usually, the last one we’re going to talk about, Luck, is the biggest factor. But let’s talk about a few things of viral marketing.

First thing is Visual. You know, something that’s very visual and shareable, or that makes people laugh, right? So, a good example of this, if you guys have ever seen the Squatty Potty. Squatty Potty is hilarious—it uses a unicorn in a unique situation, and it’s something when you see, you can’t unsee. So, it will be something that you share. YouTube Squatty Potty—and you’re welcome!

Number two: Emotional. So this is something that we can look at and say, well, what’s emotional in the last couple years that’s been shared out a ton? You guys remember the ice bucket challenge? Probably. In fact, many of you watching this probably did the ice bucket challenge. And it was for ALS awareness, and basically what happened is somebody was challenged to do the ice bucket challenge to create awareness, they sent it to the next person, and celebrities got involved, and the next thing you know millions of people are dumping ice on their head. And people were having fun with it, too. It was really cool. Bill Gates did it, and a lot of really big people around the world.

Be concise. I’m sure you remember Got Milk, right? And Got Milk came out in maybe the late 90s, but has still continued to this day. The milk moustache on all kinds of celebrities, on commercials they’ve done, and that slogan has still been there. Well, it’s very precise in what they’re trying to say. Got Milk? Trying to promote dairy.

Four: Straightforward. A great example of this: Geico. Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more off your car insurance. Now how many times have you heard that, on the radio, on TV, seen it in a magazine? They’re very clear and straightforward on that one message. Now how they deliver that message, there’s about a hundred different ways. They’ve done the caveman thing. They’ve done the guy flexing. They’ve done all kinds of amazing ways to try to attract your attention, but at the end of the day, fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent off your car insurance. Everybody knows that.

Next: Target. So, a very targeted campaign would be Black Rifle Coffee. Now they target veterans, because that’s what they are: a group of veterans that have beards, they’re all between, you know, 25 and 40, and that’s exactly their audience. They create content to go viral and to get shared among their audience. Just Google or YouTube Black Rifle Coffee, and you’ll see some of their videos. Beware, there are some swear words, so make sure that there’s no children present. But, it’s hilarious, and when you think about, okay, this is targeting veterans, people that are supporting guns, pro-America, you’ll see they do a very good job of their targeting, and that’s why a lot of their videos have gone viral. Some of them, a million-plus shares.

Last one: sometimes you just gotta get lucky. It might not be your first time, it might not be your fifth time—it might be the hundredth video you make, or the hundredth ad you do. You don’t know what’s going to work and resonate with people, you just do the best you can to guess. Who’s my audience, what’s very visual, what can I appeal to on an emotional level, a concise message, something very straightforward and targeted. Sometimes, by doing all these things, it still doesn’t work. But sometimes, you get lucky, and you get that one ad that gets shared. You get that one video that somebody shares, and the next thing you know they share it with somebody else, and the next thing you know you’ve got ten thousand views on a video that you did, and you probably wouldn’t have been able to predict it. The key to it is, constantly come up with some specific content, keep coming up with ideas, and something will eventually work. And it doesn’t have to always millions of views. Something with a thousand views is going to be probably very good for your targeted audience. So keep at it.

So thanks for tuning in to this week of Aftershock Weekly. We look forward to seeing you next week, and with that, we’ll leave you with a quote.