What is Viral Marketing?

August 31st, 2021


What do fidget spinners, Chewbacca Mom, and cat videos all have in common? 

They all went viral. 

The question is, do you want your budding brand to go viral, too? 

Naturally, wouldn’t you agree? Who doesn’t want to bring attention to their business and increase sales?

More sales mean more revenue for the company, and that translates to more dough in your pockets. And when you have more moola, you can buy more stuff — like your dream car.

Or, if you’re smart, you could put that money right back into your business to launch a killer viral marketing campaign to make even more stacks. Just think about all the cool things you could do if your business took off, blessing you with a bottomless reservoir of cash. Would you give back and donate to charity? Hop on a plane to travel the world? Buy your mom a house? Adopt 20 puppies?

Whatever your dreams might be, the first step to making them come true is to get your brand in front of the masses with a tried and true marketing technique— viral marketing.
viral marketing agency

Hold Up — WTF is Viral Marketing? 

Simply put, viral marketing is when someone creates video or visual content that deeply resonates with their target audience, whether it’s shared on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat. That content is shared at the speed of light on social networks to the point that it spreads like wildfire — or goes viral. This is called virality. The idea is that the audience themselves choose to share the content. Some examples of viral marketing include the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign.

Due to their undeniable speed and the fact that they make sharing easy-peasy, social media platforms are a super choice for viral marketing and sharing marketing messages in general. But viral marketing isn’t as simple as adding a cute animal or placing a laughing baby on the top of a campaign. 

A successful viral marketing campaign depends on your ability to drop the right content in the right place and at the right time. If your audience likes what they see, they’ll do the heavy lifting for you and share it with the masses, giving your customer base exponential growth. 

If you want to make viral marketing work for your brand, you have to know what it is in the first place. And trust us, an effective viral strategy is NOT just all about celebrities and influencers (but they help, not gonna lie).

How Does a Viral Marketing Campaign Work? 

Good question! 

So, in theory, a viral marketing campaign is pretty simple to carry out, much like any other promotion you might do. You create a video or another type of visual content, throw it up on the internet and promote it. From there, all you can do is sit back, wait for the fuse to light, and for people to start sharing it like crazy. 

Viral Marketing with Memes 

Today, much of modern viral marketing on social media can be illustrated by the popularity of — drum roll, please — memes. (Who doesn’t love a good meme?!) 

Although not necessarily tied to a specific service or product, how memes quickly spread goes hand in hand with the principles of effective viral marketing techniques. 

Think about how seemingly random phenomena like Kermit the Frog drinking tea, the “Yes Man” baby, and Vin Diesel’s love for family take over your social media feeds out of nowhere. Memes get shared and promoted unbelievably fast because they resonate with people. 

The same rules apply to viral marketing — an audience will share your content because it’s flashy and buzz-worthy. 

With that said, these insanely effective campaigns are a lot like lighting in a bottle; many will make an attempt, but only a small handful will actually manage to receive the sort of global reach they’re hoping for. That’s why it’s a good idea to call in the pros who can help turn a lame marketing campaign into a viral one.

Here at Nowadays, our proprietary Social Scripting is the fine-tuned conversation that grabs attention online. It’s how we get people feeling major FOMO. And it’s the spice in our Nowadays secret sauce. We specialize in emotions that make people take action — whether that’s downloading your app or retweeting your branded video so that it goes viral. 

You’ve got the brand. We bring the drama — and the results.  

What Are the Advantages of Viral Marketing? 

Now that you’re up to speed and understand exactly what viral marketing is, let’s take a look at a few advantages to implementing a viral marketing strategy, shall we?

Low Cost 

Viral marketing campaigns can be excellent for companies that don’t have a huge marketing budget. Why? Because viewers do most of the work in getting the word out about your products or services. You can spend less money on buying airtime for commercials or paying for clicks and spend more time coming up with unique, interesting, and shareable content.  A successful viral campaign can level up your brand, while not breaking the bank.

It’s Not In Your Face

Viral advertising isn’t in your face. They don’t interrupt your favorite sitcom. They don’t rudely pop up on your screen when you’re simply trying to visit a website. You see, your audience is the one making the decision to participate and share your content. You’re not forcing them to do anything. Which is why viral ads often spark more interactions than classic forms of advertising like TV commercials or pop-up ads. 

Super Fast Growth 

It’s very rare for business success to happen overnight — or even quickly, for that matter. Successful businesses are usually the result of blood, sweat, and tears over the course of many years. Viral marketing is one of the very few marketing tactics that could potentially create an explosion of attention. This is undeniably a goal for many brands but very difficult to achieve. If you achieve consistent growth at low cost, you’re already ahead of the game.

A Final Word 

Well then, you might be wondering, what exactly is viral marketing?

Viral marketing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like — marketing that spreads like a virus. 

It’s marketing that rapidly boosts interest, hype, brand awareness, and potential sales of a product or service. Effective campaigns aim for viewers to share content, which then spreads among their peers and continues.

Viral marketing can transform your brand from lesser-known to quickly becoming a household name. While some people get lucky and go viral by accident, in most cases, creating viral content can be tough.

However, fear not — we’re here to guide and assist you!

Here at Nowadays, we’re experts at modernizing your message and injecting it directly into social media. Through our Social Scripting™ process, your content commands attention, makes a strong impression, and goes viral. No clickbait. No bullshit. Just word-of-mouth momentum. 

So what are you f*#king waiting for?! Join our Hall of Fame of viral clients and call us today. Trust us — you’ll be glad you did. 



CNET: Fast and Furious fans celebrate F9 with Vin Diesel ‘I got family’ memes

BBC: ‘Chewbacca Mom’ on winning Facebook in 2016

PBS: From Kilroy to Pepe: A Brief History of Memes