What your SME can learn from famous viral campaigns

We’ve all heard of viral marketing, as its very nature means it generates a buzz among a target audience and builds brand awareness. But a marketing team at a SME or any other business for that matter, cannot simply sit down and knowingly design a viral campaign. After all, there can never be an absolute guarantee that a promotional drive will take off to such an extent. However, there are steps SMEs can take to increase their chances of taking the world by storm, so perhaps by learning from some previous success stories, they can devise a campaign that ticks all the right boxes.
3M Boise Blitz is a good example of a company that launched a successful viral marketing campaign. In 1978, it decided to give away some of its products – in particular Post-It Notes – for free, so prospective business customers could find out firsthand how effective they were. Companies soon became highly reliant on these items, so once the offer had ended, they had no difficulty in deciding to buy them. So the lesson to learn here is that giving out items for free can sometimes pay off.Another good way to shine a spotlight on a brand might be to back a prominent and newsworthy event. Red Bull saw the benefits of this tactic when it sponsored and funded Felix Baumgartner’s freefall jump from the edge of space. This helped the brand get a massive number of mentions on traditional and online media, as well as showcase its commitment to extreme sport to the wider public.But perhaps the best example of a viral marketing campaign came in 2008 when Barack Obama was trying to be elected President of the United States. It was possibly the first time social media was used aggressively in a political campaign, with cleverly created hashtags such as #Hope engaging with the target audience and letting the electorate know exactly what he was all about.

Have a look at our infographic to find out more about what lessons you can learn from successful viral marketing campaigns.