Viral marketing is an idea that spreads and that while it is spreading actually helps market your business or cause. Seth Godin’s Blog Going viral isn’t luck or chance. Going viral is simply triggered from content, practical value, and social currency. People share things on social media they think makes them look good. Special moments, memorable events, and once in a life time trips are what most people love to share on social media. One of the most efficient ways to make consumers talk about a company’s product/service is to make them feel like insiders or create something remarkable that makes them look clever for sharing. Coke did a great job with the “Share a Coke” campaign that went viral on social media. Consumers were excited to have their name on a bottle of coke and made purchases just to feel included on social media.

Top Five Characteristics of a Viral Campaign

Exposing the Truth:

Consumers like to see results. Before and after weight loss pictures and teeth whitening pictures seem to be one of the most popular viral pictures and videos on social media. Staying fit and looking good usually sparks the interest in most consumers. Weight loss, teeth whitening, and waist shaper companies are spreading all around social media. Organizations are paying celebrities and Instagram models top dollar to advertise their product on social media. When someone popular or famous is wearing or using a product on social media, consumers tend to buy in and feel that the results are real.

Fitness Training Programs

Something Consumers can Relate To:

When the content of videos appeal to a wider audience, the likelihood is much greater that someone is going to share the video throughout their social networks. It is important to remember that people want to be able to relate to what they are buying or find a use for the product/service. When companies post share or videos of real life consumers using their products and/or services, other consumers tend to feel included and understand where he/she is coming from.


Some brands utilized the interactive capabilities of YouTube to gain viral success. Doritos allowed consumers to upload self made commercials promoting the chips. The winner was given 1 million dollars but the interactive audience help increase sales for Doritos because of participation. Hell Pizza painted an accurate picture of the inevitable 2012 apocalypse in their series where the viewer has to help a delivery man deliver a pizza to a woman trapped on top of a shipping crate surrounded by zombies.

Right Place, Right Time:

Being unpredictable is hard when going viral but it yields the best return. When someone behind the camera hit record and the other person doesn’t know they re being recorded, it comes off to be more genuine. Travis Rudolph (FSU WR) video of him sitting with an autistic boy name Bo went viral when a school police officer sent a picture of Travis and Bo eating lunch together. Bo’s mother was so excited to have someone eating lunch with her son, she posted the picture and a comment on social media saying thank you. Although Travis was just being himself and being very genuine, people across the nation was excited to see positive news on social media about an athlete. It’s rare for a brand to take advantage of situations like this because the situations themselves are rare and inherently unpredictable but a simple nice gesture went a long way and now Bo will be famous for the rest of his life.

Something New:

Creativity is key when producing a video in hopes of viral marketing success. Doing something out of the ordinary and keeping it unique is key when wanting something to go viral. Creating content that is unique makes consumers compelled to share it.




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