Top tips for successful viral marketing

What SMEs could learn from successful viral campaigns – An infographic by 4imprint

Social media is increasingly returning benefits as a promotional channel for firms looking to engage audiences. As a result, businesses are being urged to learn from successful viral marketing techniques to realise their own goals.

Promotional products retailer 4imprint has put together a number of viral marketing tips for companies based on the success of previous campaigns, including linking to popular culture like TV shows and books to target specific audiences, incorporating cryptic elements to drive debate, giving away free merchandise to boost awareness and increase reliance on a product and being clever with hashtags to capture the imagination.

The firm draws on the success of Barack Obama’s 2008 election drive as an example of how hashtags can be used as a means of promotion; the US president used the word ‘hope’ as his campaign slogan to great effect, with the hashtag taking over Twitter and helping him win the presidential race.

Another tactic to help a marketing drive go viral is to back a public event or stunt relevant to the company’s brand and audience, 4imprint suggests. In 2012, energy drink producer Red Bull sponsored Felix Baumgartner’s freefall jump from the edge of space, which helped reinforce the brand’s extreme sports persona. The jump was streamed live over social media and more than eight million people tuned in to watch.

Cheryl Jackson-Leafield, marketing manager of 4imprint UK and Ireland, commented: “While SMEs can never guarantee that a new marketing campaign will go viral, they can significantly boost their chances of taking the world by storm by ensuring it ticks all the right boxes.”

The firm has published an infographic containing a range of useful techniques for getting marketing to go viral, drawing on successful viral marketing campaigns from 1918 to the present day. For a free download, click here.

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