Internet today is filled with so much of information and sometimes trashy information that it becomes hard for information seekers to get the best results. Viral marketing is any marketing technique that induces the websites or users to pass on the marketing message to other websites or users, creating an exponential growth in the message’s visibility and effect. As social sharing has accelerated at an exponential growth over the last few years, so too has some of the websites and enterprises that have learned to leverage the full scope of social. One of the noteworthy example of such sites is BuzzFeed that has tripled its monthly visitor count over the last two years, from 4.3 million to 19.3 million. Clearly, BuzzFeed has tapped into something important to the domain of marketing that’s fuelling its massive growth. This method is known as Viral marketing, and you can replicate this method too for your business.
Reasons Behind BuzzFeed’s Marketing Success
1. Audiences Most Crucial to Business Are “Bored”
The target audience that is most crucial to their business are “bored at work”, those who have jobs and have ample of time to browse the internet without supervision. Such audiences are typically looking for content that:
- Will alleviate boredom
- Will connect with their current frustrations in life.
Another kind of audience that emerged were the consumers who use content on their mobile phones while waiting. It was found that it was this audience that was the principal driver of social sharing.
2. Certain Content Types Defined in Viral Marketing
Though these categories may not be the same for your business, BuzzFeed identified some of the content categories that were an immense success for it. These include:
- LOL: Humorous content
- Win: Content that the audience finds to be very useful, ingenious or admirable
- OMG: Content that shocks the audience
- Cute: Self-explanatory, generally animal-based content.
- Trashy: Content that makes people feel better by mocking the failures of others, especially the famous.
- Fail: Content that points out the failings of the society or individual, let’s the audience vent their frustrations.
- WTF: Bizarre or strange content that triggers the curiosity in the audience.
These are some of the examples of content types that you can use for brainstorming your content. The most important question that you need to ask yourself is “ how will this content make the readers react?”
3. Self-Identification is Important For People
It might seem logical to many business owners, that making content targeted broadly at their audience will work, but this might not be always the case. Targeting a specific audience can sometimes be extremely successful.
For example, BuzzFeed utilized such an article by aiming: “ 21 problems All Sarcastic People Understand”, which has reached 5.5 million views since May 12, 2014.
This type of post particularly attracts people who believe they have a certain characteristic, experience or opinion– in context of this article people related themselves as being sarcastic. Such posts generate interest from a lot of like-minded people, who then share it with more like-minded people, which leads to exponential growth in pageviews.
4. Social Activism Can be a Key Driver Too
It is not always the cat videos or funny things that can go viral, it turns out people also has an emotional connect towards the society. People also share content they are passionate about and want to spread ideas and their own views about it. Because they have an emotional response after reading or viewing the content, they want to share this information as well as show others that they care about the real issues and follow the news stories of the day.
5. Being Human!
While juggling for so many strategies and objectives when creating content, you must not forget the most important criteria to include: making your content human. By this we mean, you must focus on the human aspect of stories– forgetting this can make your content look robotic. While creating content, ask yourself this: “why would people want to read this?” Or even better “why would you want to read this?”
Some of the examples cited from Upworthy are: