What is Viral Marketing? Advantages and Examples

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Alba Fraile (Autora invitada)

Every day we hear all about viral marketing, the Internet’s viral videos and content that spreads at the speed of light. But what exactly is it? A viral product or viral advertising, viral campaigns or simply luck, that randomly makes something such a big hit…

Viral content usually has a well-designed viral strategy behind it, it is, in part, also due to luck, but creativity and preparation are also extremely important… For this reason, to get to know this world a little better, I would like to tell you today what the definition of this concept actually is, how a viral campaign works, the advantages or viral marketing and show you our favorite examples.

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Viral Marketing: what is it? 

Viral Marketing is that which is able to generate interest and the potential sale of a brand or product through messages that spread like a virus, in other words, quickly, and from person to person. The idea is for it to be the users themselves that choose to share the content.

Due to their speed and ease to share, social networks are the natural habitat of this kind of marketing. The most widespread example in recent times is the creation of moving, surprising or spectacular videos on YouTube, which are then shared on Facebook, Twitter and other channels.

The reason to make use or virality, the ease in spreading and sharing, is however a double-edged sword. We cannot forget that in this type of campaign, a large part of the control falls into the hands of the users, and we risk the message being misinterpreted or parodied. On the other hand, a successful viral campaign can work miracles for your brand’s results.


How a viral campaign works

A viral marketing campaign is very simple to carry out: create a video or another type of content which is attractive to the target, put it on the internet and plan the first actions to get it moving. Form there on, all you can do is wait for the fuse to light and for users to start sharing like crazy.

In some cases, virality happens by accident, from a video uploaded by a private user that all of a sudden becomes popular and begins to circulate all around the Internet.

As for the dispersion strategy of the videos created by brands, we have two focus points: the shown or the concealed. In the former, the user is aware from the first moment that they are viewing advertising content, while in the latter the participation of the brand is hidden and is only revealed later.

If you apply concealed marketing techniques, it is important to be very careful so the user does not feel tricked, cheated or deceived, as the viral campaign could then turn against you.

No matter what strategy we choose, we should never ever become spammers, nor go overboard while sharing the content. Instead of repeating message over and over again, the best strategy is to find the perfect place and time and let the “viral fuse” light itself.


Advantages of viral marketing

  • Low cost. What characterizes viral campaigns is that the users do a significant part of the work for us, which drastically cuts down the costs of dispersion: it becomes unnecessary to buy advertising or space on the media. 
  • Potential of great reach. A viral video on the Internet has the ability to reach a huge international audience without us having to invest money or make any extra effort. Due to this, a small company or even a private individual can go extremely far.
  • It is not invasive. In viral marketing, the decision to participate and share always comes from the user, and so it never comes across as invasive. Like this, the perception of the brand and the interaction are significantly better, compared to more classical forms of advertising. 
  • It helps build up your brand. If we really hit the bull’s-eye in terms of creativity, we are creating content so incredible that users themselves decide to share it and, hence create a personal connection with your brand. It is without a doubt an extremely powerful tool when it comes to branding and awareness.


Examples of viral marketing

To finish off, here are some of our favorite examples of inspiring viral marketing here at Cyberclick. We hope you enjoy them as well!


  • Galaxy S6 edge Iron Man Limited Edition - Official Unboxing

Exactly what the title promises: a one-minute video of the official unboxing of a smartphone. The brand has no reservations in announcing themselves from the beginning. The secret to this example of viral marketing (which has clocked up over 6 million views) is very simple: a product so great that it turns people into fans of the brand all on its own. As one of the YouTube comments say, “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen”…



  • Android: Friends Furever

Android plays a very easy Ace: animals. In this videos we see chickens, cats, orangutans and even dolphins playing together in love and harmony, to promote the brand. I can just see the 22 millions users who viewed it all going “Ooooohh, how cute!”


  • Coldplay’s Game of Thrones: the musical

Red Nose Day is an initiative from the British non-profit organization Comic Relief to gather funds for beneficial causes. In 2015they decided to incentive donations with one of the most creative viral videos we have ever seen: a “making of” Coldplay’s supposed new project, a Game of Thrones musical.


  • Puppyhood

Redhead hipster meets adorable puppy. What happens after is an absolutely delightful video, created by BuzzFeed for the dog food brand Purina Puppy Chow.


  • Unlikely Best Friends

This video tells the inspiring tale of a man in a wheelchair and his pet, a dog who can’t use his back legs. Together, they face life’s obstacles with a smile on their faces and understand each other like no one else can… Find a few tears rolling down your face? Perfect: In the last few seconds of the video you will discover its actually a campaign for Kleenex.


And, as I want to continue offering you surprising content, I recommend you read this article -> 6 Digital Marketing trends that are owning 2016.


Alba Fraile



Ebook Native Advertising


Tags: online advertising, Digital Marketing

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