All small business owners dream of their content going viral. If you hit the jackpot and your content is viewed by countless people, you’d very likely end up with sold-out shelves for months to come. We all strive for engagement and there’s no engagement like a viral post, but do you know how you can get your digital marketing to go viral?
What Does It Mean to Go Viral?
Although it may seem like a simple question, the line has to be drawn somewhere and this can be a tricky question to answer. For example, a viral Reddit post might have over 10,000 upvotes while a viral Instagram post might have over 100,000 likes. However, it’s widely known that Reddit has stronger engagement than Instagram, so those metrics may very well be more equivalent than they seem.
Generally speaking, a viral post is any form of online content that quickly garners popularity and has been widely consumed on both its home platform and other platforms. As you can see, the goalposts are pretty flexible so you should set your expectations accordingly. There’s no set number for going viral, so keep your attention on engagement metrics and which posts get the most engagement in the shortest time frames.
Launching a Viral Marketing Campaign
The key to viral marketing is doing the right marketing research. You’ll quickly realize that there’s no one formula for going viral. Very few polished advertisements seen in television and YouTube commercials ever go viral on their own, and if they do it’s hard to predict how they will be interpreted. For example, Gillette’s The Best A Man Can Be campaign went viral because of its social commentary, which caused controversy in some circles.
It’s fair to say it’s difficult to intentionally launch a viral marketing campaign that’s well received. However, there are a few things you can do to make your posts more engaging. Here are a few tips to help you refine your marketing strategies and maybe, if you’re lucky and keep at it, make a viral post.
Choose the Best Time to Post
The best time to post will vary from platform to platform, but it’s usually between morning and lunchtime on weekdays, specifically from 9 am to 12 pm. This will give you an extra boost as it’s the time when most people are active on social media and willing to engage with the content they see. You may also want to avoid posting on the weekends, as many people post on those days and flood the feed, competing for a limited audience.
Do the Right Market Research
Who’s your target audience? Who’s buying your products or services? And most importantly, what do they like? While all of your posts should feature your products or services, not all of them have to center them. For example, if you sell comic or anime merchandise, posts that connect with the culture of those communities will likely resonate with your audiences, such as posts highlighting or celebrating cosplay or fan conventions. When you do market research, find the places where your industry intersects with the other interests of your audience.
Stay Away From Controversy, Or Lean Into It
To Gillete’s credit, they haven’t backed away from their initial stance, and in fact, they’ve gone on to double down on their take in other marketing campaigns. This strategy makes them appear deliberate and intentional, which makes them more appealing to the audience they’re courting. Ideally, you’ll want to stay away from controversy and focus on connecting with your audience in a more lighthearted fashion. However, if you’re going to make a strong stance, stay strong and stick to your guns.
Hire the Right Digital Professionals
If you really want to take your digital marketing to the next level, you’ll need to dedicate a role in your business to a digital marketing professional. Any digital marketing professional worth their salt will be able to stay on top of metrics and digital trends in your industry, but you’ll want to make sure you hire the right people. Experience matters, so look at their track record and see what results they have gotten in the past. You know who knows how to go viral? Those who’ve managed to go viral before.
The best advice you’ll ever get when it comes to digital marketing is to keep posting. If you aren’t getting the engagement you want, take a step back and analyze where you can improve, then jump right back into it with a new post. Strike the right balance between quality and quantity by posting at least a few times a week, and remember, every new post is a new opportunity to go viral.