Viral Marketing Initiatives


What is viral marketing?

Viral marketing is the rapid sharing of an idea, a portion of this idea contains a marketing message about buying a product or service” (Markowitz, 2011).

Here are six tips to creating your own viral marketing message:

  1. Make it Emotional

If you are wanting to make a viral video for your company, to promote a new or existing product, first you must get rid of the traditional ways of advertising. A viral video should strike some sort of emotion for the viewer. The content must be culturally relevant and timely. “Not one viral video has ever been proven to go viral that was based on yesterdays’ news” (Yeoman, 2014). The emotion can be one of happiness, sadness, humor, nostalgia, anger, or any variety emotions (Yeoman, 2014).

The Budweiser ad below tugs at the heartstrings for several reasons, the bond between humans and our dogs, for one. The idea that dogs can have a horse as a best friend is another. At first, the viewer experiences sorrow for the lost puppy, all alone in the rain, maneuvering past obstacles in the “real world” only to experience overwhelming joy when the pup is returned home, by none other than the famous Budweiser Clydesdales!

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  1. Develop content that is both Notable as well as Unique

This next part of your viral campaign is easy—and hard. How do you take something that isn’t unique and create an ad that shows it being used in a memorable way? Remember the old Samsonite luggage commercials from 1971? Or the Timex watch commercials that showed us, their watch can “Take a licking and keep on ticking? More recently, Toughbook launched a campaign to show just how tough their notebooks are by dragging their laptops behind an ATV over rough terrain via chains. This is a perfect example of showing a product in an unnatural environment with memorable results.

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  3.   Every campaign needs to know their target market

Each company should know their target markets, but you also want to reach thatsector of the market that purchases the product. A great example is when Old Spice discovered when they began to market their body wash and deodorants to women on the premise that women want their men to smell good. It logically follows that Old Spice was able to decrease their media expenditure substantially in the following months.

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  1. Just Do It Already

Once you have your ideas, content, and message ready to be seen by the hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands, it is time to launch your campaign (Lang, 2012). This is not a time to hesitate. Just as in comedy, timing is everything (Lang, 2012).

  1. Make it Easy to Share

Your message should be worthy of a share, as well as easy to share. This is one instance where you want to lose control of your message. But not in a bad way, make sure you have the correct buttons, easy to share buttons, like buttons, and logos should be prominently displayed, easy to find, and effortless for your readers to learn more with just one click. You can’t go wrong if viewers request more information, or share the information with others. In this instance, you want the message to grow out of your control.


  1. Make your Call to Action Noteworthy

To make your CTA (call to action) stand out, use active, even urgent words to clearly tell users what you want them to do. They should include active words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotion message to take an immediate action, such as “Write Now,” “Call Now,” or (on Internet) “Click Here”. A retail advertisement or commercial without a CTA is considered incomplete and ineffective (Boag, 2009).

To create a sense of resolve and a need to act now, these words can be used alongside such phrases as:

  • Offer expires August 31st
  • For two weeks only
  • Order now and receive a free gift

Thanks for reading my tips on How to Create a Viral Video, hopefully some of the tips will help you. Get online to peruse the abundant information available, and don’t forget to go viral.

If you send an email with your favorite viral video to before June 10, 2016 I will send you a link to receive an e-book of my upcoming memoir, The Ripple Effect:  Living with Multiple Sclerosis, to be published in August, 2016.

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Works Cited

4 Tips For Launching A Successful Viral Marketing Strategy. ( 2012 , Aug 17).

Boag, P. (2009, January). 10 techniques for an effective ‘call to action’. Retrieved from

Lang, B. (2012, August). Entrepreneurs. Retrieved from

Markowitz, E. (2011, July). How to Launch a Viral Marketing Campaign. Retrieved from

Yeoman, M. (2014, June). 5 Key Viral Marketing Tactics Proven to Work. Retrieved from






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