If you want to reach a huge audience in a short space of time, then viral marketing could be the route for you. It’s a cost effective way to reach thousands of people and a well-structured campaign can help raise awareness of your brand, your products and services.

By creating a buzz with viral marketing, the ripple effect can rapidly take over. However it’s essential to choose the right strategy for your campaign to help ensure its success. For a campaign to work it needs to have a valuable offering with an easy route of distribution, an incentive to share with people you know and a way of making the campaign lucrative. Setting goals will help keep your eye on the objectives you have set and need to meet.

Effective measures such as giving away products and services with information that is of value as well as keeping it fun and eye catching, will encourage people to share and support the success of your campaign. Ensuring your communication is easy to share is essential so make sure it’s simple enough to be transmitted without the key points of your message being diluted. To get your message to catch fire you need to use all the mediums at your disposal. As well as the traditional routes such as email and word-of-mouth, social media provides the perfect medium to reach a wide audience with minimal effort. Though time should be spent on devising an engaging campaign.

How Viral can go Wrong

When a viral campaign works well you will increase your brand awareness, increase your followers on social media, and boost traffic to your website, as well as hopefully increasing your bottom line. Planning and execution is vital for viral marketing, as if it goes wrong it can have a catastrophic effect on your brand and there is no way of stopping the ripple after the pebble has dropped into the pond.

High end supermarket, Waitrose, set a challenge for shoppers to respond to finish the sentence, ‘I shop at Waitrose because…’ This sparked off a storm on Twitter as thousands of tongue in cheek responses made their way onto the social media platform ridiculing the brand’s posh image. Comments lampooned every aspect of their brand from their prices to their middle class customers. Even the ‘green token’ charity scheme was targeted just for fun!

But if you agree with the phrase there’s no such thing as bad publicity then you could say their campaign was a huge success. Rather than backfiring, if you measure the success by how much attention it created online and offline in the national press in a matter of days, then you wonder whether their viral marketing campaign was more of a triumph than a failure!

How to Make Viral Marketing Work for You

Viral marketing can be the perfect way to launch a product, encourage people to attend an event and to conduct a customer survey. If you want to learn more about your customers and potential customers then creating a survey relevant to your brand, products and services will encourage their engagement and participation. Remember to make it fun, original and if possible quirky. It’s essential that people enjoy taking part and are engaged enough to share it with everyone they know. Offer an incentive to encourage their involvement, a free product or service will usually promote a response. Remember to ensure the survey is eye-catching to capture the interest of your audience and to help increase response rates.

Using an innovative customer satisfaction survey software, such as KeyPoint, will help ensure the success of your survey. The easier you make it for your audience to participate, the greater your response rate. As more people tend to use mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones then a survey tool that can capture your vital data on these platforms is essential, especially if you use viral marketing techniques to promote your survey. Once you have used the system to analyse and report the outcome, be sure to share the results and more importantly how you are going to use the results to benefit your customers. This will indicate that you appreciate the effort they made promoting and taking part in the survey and that you are an organisation that listens and responds to the voice of your audience. Customer loyalty is after all priceless.