What is viral me
Unlike word of mouth marketing, viral marketing primarily uses media and social networks to disseminate indirect PR and advertising messages. For this reason, it can also be classified in the category of social media marketing. This form of marketing can be very effective due to the uncomplicated possibilities of spreading such messages from person to person. However, it is of crucial importance how viral the shared content is. Typically, content that arouses strong emotions is more viral than others. It is therefore not advisable to use spots that are too advertised.
Since the advertiser only has to give impulses for his campaign and does not have to present his messages constantly, the financial outlay for a viral campaign is minimal compared to other marketing measures. A simple “Like” on Facebook can make a post accessible to several hundred people, which means that the reach of a message can reach enormous heights in a short period of time. An exact planning of the campaign is not possible because the distribution is not done by the company, but by users of social media.
Furthermore, a distinction is made between passive and active viral marketing
With passive viral marketing, the message spreads automatically, e.g. through the use of a product or service.
Active viral marketing relies on users spreading the news themselves. For this reason, the content of the messages must be particularly viral, i.e. be shared with pleasure.
Examples of successful viral marketing campaigns
A successful example of active viral marketing is the Edeka #Heimkommen spot with meanwhile more than 55 million views on YouTube (as of 05/2017). There is a strong emphasis on emotions. A lonely pensioner only gets rejections from his family at Christmas. In order to still celebrate with his loved ones, he sends out his own obituary. An emotional Christmas party follows.
The campaign by Old Spice, whose video “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” received millions of clicks, was also very successful. A special feature of this campaign, however, is that Twitter users were able to ask questions to the main actor and that he replied with almost 200 additional videos within 48 hours. Here, interactivity and the associated consumer involvement ensured a successful viral campaign.
Another popular example is the Oscar selfie by Ellen DeGeneres with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and other Hollywood greats, which even surpassed Barack Obama's retweet record. With over 3 million retweets, it became the most successful tweet at the time. The special thing about the Oscar Selfie, however, is that it was taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note, the manufacturer of which was an Oscar sponsor. Because of this tremendous attention, Samsung donated $ 3 million to Ellen DeGeneres for charitable donations. (The current record holder, with 3.6 million retweets (05/2017), is Carter Wilkerson, who wanted to secure a year of free chicken nuggets at the Wendys fast food chain with his tweet.)
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