Viral Marketing - what it is and how to do it
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In the world of digital marketing, one of the most powerful and exciting strategies is viral marketing. If you've ever seen a funny video being frantically shared on social media or a meme spreading like wildfire, then you've witnessed the power of viral marketing in action.

But what exactly is viral marketing and how can you make use of this strategy to boost your brand or product? In this article, we'll explore everything about viral marketing, from what it is to how to execute it effectively. Let's dive!

What is viral marketing?

Viral marketing is a marketing strategy that is based on the rapid and exponential sharing of content by users. Thus, rather than relying entirely on traditional media outlets to promote a message, viral marketing spreads from person to person, often leveraging social media and other online channels.

The essence of viral marketing lies in sharing. So, when content is considered valuable, funny, exciting or useful, people naturally have the desire to share it with their friends, family and followers. This cycle of sharing is what drives the exponential growth and virality of a campaign.

Key Elements of Viral Marketing

One of the most important elements of viral marketing is the content itself. Therefore, it needs to be highly captivating, sparking immediate interest and encouraging people to share it with others. Finally, through humor, storytelling or mental triggers, viral content must capture the audience’s attention and incite them to action.

Viral campaigns often tap into emotions like humor, shock, awe, or inspiration. Furthermore, it is crucial that the content is original and relevant to the target audience so that they feel compelled to share it with their social circles.

For a campaign to go viral, the content must be easily shareable. This means it must be available in formats and platforms that facilitate instant sharing, such as social networks, messaging apps and email.

Types of Viral Content

Creativity is the limit when it comes to viral marketing. Various formats can conquer the internet, from hilarious videos to informative infographics. Explore the possibilities:

  • Videos: Short, funny, exciting or informative videos have great potential to go viral.
  • Images: Impactful images, creative memes or fun GIFs can spread quickly on social media.
  • Memes: Memes are images or videos with funny or ironic phrases that adapt to different situations, generating great engagement.
  • GIFs: Animated GIFs are great options for conveying emotions and ideas in a fun and memorable way.
  • Infographics: Well-designed infographics can present complex information in a visually appealing way, making them easily shareable.
  • Quizzes and Tests: Quizzes and interactive tests entertain your audience and can generate great engagement, especially if they are personalized to your niche.
  • Hashtags: Relevant hashtags can help increase the reach of your content and make it easier for new users to discover.
  • Challenges: Fun and creative challenges can encourage audiences to participate and share their experiences, boosting virality.

Viral Marketing Examples

Ice Bucket Challenge

One of the most famous examples of viral marketing is the “Ice Bucket Challenge” (Ice Bucket Challenge). This campaign encouraged people to dump a bucket of ice over their heads and challenge others to do the same, all in the name of raising awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Old Spice: The Man You Could Smell About

The deodorant brand Old Spice created a series of commercials starring “Old Spice Man“, which went viral due to their quirky humor and visual appeal. These commercials were shared widely on social media and helped reinvigorate the brand's image.

Gangnam Style by Psy

The music video for the song “Gangnam Style” by South Korean singer Psy became a global phenomenon in 2012, becoming the first YouTube video to reach one billion views (it currently has over five billion). Its unique choreography and captivating visual aesthetic were key to its virality.

How to do viral marketing

Know your audience

Before creating a viral marketing campaign, it is essential to deeply understand your target audience. What are your interests, values, media consumption habits and preferred platforms? This information will be key to creating content that resonates with them.

Be creative and original

Originality is the key to success in viral marketing. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and try new, innovative ideas. Therefore, be authentic and avoid imitating what has already been done before.

Take advantage of trends

First of all, keeping an eye on current trends can help boost a campaign’s virality. Be aware of relevant memes, cultural events, and happenings that are occurring and find creative ways to incorporate them into your content.

Use social media

Primarily, social media platforms are fertile ground for viral marketing. When creating content, be sure to optimize it for different platforms, making it easy to share and participate in online conversations.

Success metrics and assessment

Reach and engagement

When evaluating the success of a viral marketing campaign, it is important to analyze metrics such as reach and engagement. Therefore, check the number of views, shares, likes, comments and mentions on social networks.

Share rate

A key metric for measuring a campaign's virality is share rate. Therefore, the more people share your content, the greater your potential to reach a wide and diverse audience.

Impact on sales and Brand Awareness

Finally, it is important to evaluate the impact of the campaign on increasing sales and brand recognition. While reach and engagement are important, the true success of viral marketing lies in its ability to generate tangible business results.


In short, viral marketing offers an exciting and highly effective way to promote your brand or product in the digital age. By creating captivating, relevant, and easily shareable content, you can harness the power of online sharing to reach a broad, engaged audience.

With a solid understanding of your target audience, creativity, and a strategic approach, you can create campaigns that not only go viral but also generate significant results for your business. So what are you waiting for? It's time to start thinking big and make your content go viral!

Want to know more about viral marketing? Download our e-book on viral marketing and make it happen!

Image: Freepik

Viral Marketing: what it is and how to do it