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Viral Marketing Ingredients

For anyone who publishes content on the internet, having a campaign, article or video that goes viral is the stuff dreams are made of.

In the blink of an eye your content can be passed around world, many times over like a hot potato.

We have all seen viral campaigns and viral videos spread like wildfire.

Remember these,

Today I experienced this viral spread first hand and it was totally unexpected.

I noticed on Twitter that many users were complaining and commenting on the fact that Facebook was down.. an outage due to technical issues..

So I thought I would throw in my two cents worth..

Leveraging off the famous Chuck Norris meme.. I tweeted (tongue-in-cheek),

And to my surprise, this tweet TOOK OFF.. it went viral,

I don’t know how many times my original tweet was retweeted.. plus the retweeting of other people’s retweets.. but it was a lot.

The side-effect of this was,

  • getting hundreds more Twitter followers
  • thousands more visitors to my blog
  • a deeper understanding of the viral nature of things

Completely unexpected, but pleasantly surprised!

Not quite the Digg effect in the true sense of the word.. but viral to some small degree.

It got me thinking..

What ingredients make up a successful viral campaign?

After analyzing today’s tweet, I came up with eight factors that I believe can contribute to the success of a viral campaign,

  1. Timing – content is delivered or published at the right time
  2. Context – the content’s setting help to clarify the meaning of an event
  3. Humour – often the delivered content is deliberately funny or somewhat tinged with humor.. striking a chord with recipients
  4. Identifiable – people can identify and empathies with the content
  5. Relevance – the content is relevant to a particular circumstance or set of circumstances
  6. Uniqueness – the content is unique and original
  7. Platform – the platform on which the campaign is delivered, has the capability to propagate the content further
  8. Luck – plain old luck helps too!

I think the tweet I sent earlier had a portion of all of these factors.

Its essence was such that other people wanted to share it with their friends.. of their own accord.

Have you had a campaign that went viral, either intentionally or unintentionally.. or experienced a Slashdotting or Digging?

Please leave a comment below and let us know!

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