Viral Content Marketing Campaign Checklist

By January 19th, 2017


Admit it, you’ve definitely dreamed of launching a marketing campaign that will go viral. Every business owner wants to get the boost in popularity such an accomplishment will provide, but only a few manage to succeed.


Surprisingly, there isn’t any ‘magical formula’ for viral content. What you actually need to do in order to achieve this goal is:

Viral Content Marketing Campaign Checklist

There is a lot of similar content published on a daily basis, and most of it is barely noticed. However, studying successful campaigns, such as Penny the Pirate or #LikeAGirl from Always, shows that the pieces that go viral share some common characteristics.

Discerning what they are and creating a campaign that meets these particular requirements gives you a chance to go big. Check out this infographic for a more in-depth analysis of what makes content viral.

Understand Why People Share Content

Always start your marketing campaign planning with a thorough audience research. It’s the people who will (or won’t) share your content, so your most important goal is to appeal to them. We share content that evokes strong emotions, and to go viral, a piece of content must evoke VERY STRONG emotions.

The exact kind of feeling you should focus on depends directly on the people you reach out to, so you must find out what exactly they are most interested in. You should look into various social studies and polls to see how your targeted group reacts to specific news so that you can anticipate how they would ‘welcome’ your content. This will allow you to determine your audience’s ‘triggers’, which you’ll be able to use in order to provoke the kind of reaction you need.

Choose The Best Type Of Content To Develop

Another thing the viral marketing campaigns of 2016 have in common is that they are focused on visuals. This works because it’s human nature to have a more intense emotional response to the visual information.

A detailed text with well-developed arguments, creative ideas, and/or helpful tips, will also get a positive reaction, but its chances of becoming truly popular are small. A video, on the other hand, can generate millions of views and shares, like the Dorito’s Super Bowl 50 AD, which got almost 900,000 shares immediately during launch.

Bear in mind that your video needs a catchy title to get the initial ‘hook’ into the prospect/ Although, the very fact that the content has a visual increases a person’s willingness to read it by 80%.

Create The Initial Launch Plan For Your Marketing Campaign

HOW you promote your content is just as important as WHAT it is. Even the best and cleverest idea won’t go viral if it’s only shared on your website and blog.

If you want to gain worldwide (or at least national) recognition, you must launch the campaign through every possible medium. Knowledge of your target audience is necessary as you must focus on the channels these people use. However, increase your reach to other mediums, as long as your budget allows.

Social media are the best route for going viral as sharing there is easy and billions of users assess their accounts several times a day. Check out Under Armour #iwillwhatiwant Facebook campaign for inspiration.

Prompt Sharing

Post your content on channels where sharing is easy. In fact, make sure it’s easy no matter where you publish it (read – insert social media sharing buttons on your pages).

Aside from this, you must also incorporate some form of ‘tell your friends’ message into the content. You can do this by contests, like Qwertee that has a new Facebook contest every day. Another approach is #ShareYourEars by Disney. This campaign asks the people to share their pictures through social media, and offers an additional incentive of doing a good deed as for every post, Disney unlocks a $5 charity donation.

Add An Expert’s Authority

People seek fun and interesting content, but they also want to be sure that the brands aren’t leading them on. This issue is particularly important for new businesses that don’t have a solid name to rely on.

Solve this problem by infusing your content with authority. You may add a reputed expert’s opinion or get a celebrity advertise for you. In addition, be sure to collaborate with renowned experts and public opinion influencers in your targeted area. Get them to share and endorse your content.

Come Up With Content That Reflects Well On The User

Our pages in social media are a reflection of our image, and people often use them to boost their social status in some way. Thus, you must create content that reflects well on the person who shares it.

A surefire tactic is to appeal to charity, like Disney or TOMS #withoutshoes. The latter encourages people to post their barefoot pictures on Instagram and go a day like this. For every post with a hashtag, the brand donates a pair of shoes to children in different countries. The success of this particular campaign was so huge, it migrated to other social media and collected over 3.6 million likes on Facebook. Bear in mind that aside from a tremendous amount of exposure, this type of campaign also generates goodwill and respect that can turn into brand loyalty.


‘Keep It Simple, Sweetie!’ is the most important rule of successful marketing. Developing overtly complicated content can earn you some points for being thorough, but this kind of thing won’t go viral.

To achieve the best results, you must focus your ‘primary’ content on ONE thing (idea, image, message). If you want to tell people more, invite them to your website or blog where you can provide details. The viral type of content must aim to catch the public’s attention, not explain your brand’s ideals.



About the Author:

Victoria is passionate about business and technology. She is a founder of and a dedicated blogger.

Viral Content Marketing Campaign Checklist

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