What is every marketer’s wish? At How to Build a Brand, we’re willing to guess that it’s Going Viral. After all, who wouldn’t want their branding and marketing efforts to be recognised and rewarded on a massive scale…possibly even globally?

Not long ago, we expounded upon the Ice Bucket Challenge, outlining why it was so successful and the valuable branding lessons you can learn from it. Today, we’re taking it further, to talk about what branding experts have to say about increasing your brand’s chances of going viral.

Branding Experts Talk about Viral Campaigns

Going Viral requires that a lot of conditions align, and a number of those conditions are somewhat out of the marketer’s control. However, there are also a number of things you can do to increase your campaign’s chances of being placed on the viral map:

  • Royal Content: You’ve heard that content is king, and it should be downright royal in order to increase the odds that your campaign will go viral. We suggest delivering valuable information, offer something different from the competition, ensure that the quality of the writing and editing is high, provide information that is relevant and interesting, and that’s humorous, creative, or otherwise entertaining.
  • Dialogue Creation: If your branding strategy supports marketing campaigns that give people something to talk about (intriguing, ground-breaking, or have a WOW factor), then your branding efforts are more likely to be globally recognised.

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  • Sharing Ease: Your marketing campaign can be ingenious, hilarious, breath-taking…but if it’s not simple to share, people will not go out of their ways to spread the word. Make share buttons for all major social media channels easily visible and accessible. Upload your material in commonly used formats, and in formats that are unlikely to require upgrades in order to facilitate sharing by most.
  • Action over Words: Talk is cheap. People are bombarded with talk about brands, virtually every minute. Do something different by offering them an experience, or showing them how travelling with your brand can change their lives. And remember – don’t just tell them, show them.
  • Seeding: In order for your branding efforts to pay off, and your campaign to go viral, you must plant it in all the right places. Determine which communities (blogs, Reddit, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, ads on favourite places) your ideal client belongs to, and then plant those seeds so that interested parties will do the spreading and cultivating for you. The more places, the better; however, avoid dumping it everywhere at once. Start with the places your target audience frequents most often, then move to things like banner ads. Otherwise, you’ll risk your audience losing interest and not sharing ‘fresh information’ from the places where they have the power to share.
  • Attention to Attention Spans: Today’s consumer is not only busy with his own life, he’s busy digesting all the marketing that’s being hurled in his direction. For these reasons, he’s likely to overlook anything that looks lengthy. Get to the point, directly with video, audio, and written material. You only have a few seconds to captivate…and without captivation, viral expansion is not possible.
  • Brand Presence: Ensure that your brand’s logo, name, and other identifying visuals are present. Nothing spoils a successful viral campaign than a branding affiliation that’s absent.
  • Bragging Rights: One of the best ways to encourage sharing is to give viewers and readers of your campaign the benefit of seeming intelligent, ‘cool,’ or in-the-know just by sharing your content. Keep this in mind, along with the qualities you know your ideal client possesses, and give them the material they need to increase their social standings.
  • Stick with It: Resist the temptation to abandon your campaign once it’s been published. Track its progress on different channels and focus your continued efforts where it’s gotten the best reception. Find the most fervent conversations, and work to keep them going. Even if this campaign doesn’t go viral, use what you learn to shape your branding strategy for future [viral] success.

In summary, viral marketing involves more than hoping and waiting; there are lots of proactive (and necessary) steps for success. For more on how you can enhance your branding strategy with viral likelihood, enrol in our FREE 6-Step Brand L.E.A.D.E.R. System and Like the How to Build a Brand Facebook page for daily branding tips.

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