“There is this viral content going around, we must do it so our brand will become famous!” Doesn’t this sound familiar to you as a marketer?
If the content is done right riding on a trend, it may help boost your brand’s visibility for a limited time. However, there is a low likelihood that it will help make your brand famous overnight. Being on-trend is a good marketing strategy but this does not mean that your content will go viral for sure.
Do you understand the background of the Current Trend?
Viral content is usually ephemeral, they are something that is trending for only a short period and not to stay for long. Understanding why and the psychology behind a piece of viral content may help you make a better decision if the trend is suitable for your brand.
A good example is the Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge is to create awareness and support the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (A.L.S). Many brands as well as celebrities participated and have attracted more participants to take part in the selfless act. This particular campaign has sparked donations for the A.L.S Association and created a good cause.
How much do you understand about your Brand?
Remember to always refer to your marketing objectives and brand’s defined goals and purpose. Riding on trends will definitely help boost your brand for the short term but you would want your consumers to relate and resonate with your brand for a longer period, ideally achieving brand affinity. Therefore, it is important to distinguish the brand’s long-term goal and decide if adopting the trend will help provide results and achieve the end goal.
What is the objective of following the viral trend?
Determine if the trend will benefit your brand. Often when a trend is overused, it becomes mundane and potentially repellent to the audience as they would be flooded with similar content. Your content would probably be buried and shadowed by other content in the news feed. Viral trends should be used only when the time is right and when it has something useful to offer to your target audience.
Does the trend relate and resonate with your Audience?
Viral content heavily relies on being worthy of being shared. Generally, good content needs to have the following characteristics: Relatability, Value Adding and Digestibility. Consumers are looking for brands whose content provides more value than simply just entertainment. The content should strive for simplicity. Simply making content into byte size such as focusing on just one main message may help make it more digestible.
Are you using the right channel?
Not all Social Media are created equal. Every social media platform has a different demographic. Therefore, the choice of channel plays a part in the content you will be posting. Always spend some time to analyse the platforms you will be using, and consider if your brand’s target audience is spending time on the particular platform. This will help you create a viral marketing campaign that is in sync with your brand’s target audience that uses the platform of your choice.
Here are the stats concerning age and gender distribution across Instagram and Facebook.
Does the trend sit well in your Current Content Strategy?
There are on-going trends such as Dalgona coffee, pillow challenge and fitness challenges. So now what?
It is always good to set content pillars for your brand’s specific social media platform and have a content calendar in place. Firstly, analyse the trend if it fits into the brand’s content ecosystem. Determine if the content could be tweaked and curated to fit well with your brand pillars, products or services offered. If the trend does not work with your brand or relate well with your audience, it is advisable to drop the idea. Creating aimless or thoughtless content will quickly turn off your audience and create a bad experience for them.
Do you have enough resources to produce the content?
If viral marketing is chosen as one of your strategies, make sure you have the right platform with the right content to match your target audience’s interests. Content should be relatable, valuable, digestible, and shareable. With the help of timeliness of launch, it increases the chances that your content will go viral.
Have a crisis management process in place as this will help when backlash or negative comments arise. Thus, it is always good to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Avoid riding on the bandwagon blindly or riding on negative virality which might create bigger problems which affect your brand’s reputation.
It is definitely not easy to make your brand go viral quickly and overnight success is rare. Making a brand successful is usually preceded by a lot of research and well-planned content strategy and development.
Come have a chat with us on how you can integrate a viral strategy into your brand’s content ecosystem.