If a striking idea is spread immensely online in just a short time, this is usually due to viral marketing. But how can you animate your target group to generate masses of likes and shares? Here are five tips for effective viral marketing.
Viral marketing – sharing as a currency
Viral marketing – this form of boosting online sales is considered the be-all and end-all. What makes it stand out:
- High awareness within the target group
- Huge click, like and share rates
- Fast message spreading
Some campaigns are so eye-catching that they may be diffused outside social networks and similar Web platforms, via traditional media. This makes viral marketing fundamentally interesting for B2B business.
5 factors for a successful viral campaign
What does a viral marketing campaign need to be successfull? Fionn Kientzler, Managing Partner at the Berlin-based content-marketing agency Suxeedo and lecturer at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, sought out to answer this question. His analysis was based on 185 YouTube videos from seven industries and for 111 brands, which were clicked on at least 50,000 times in 2016.
The result of his analysis: originality and a surprising effect are the main factors. Online users are then willing to like or share, aiming to gain acknowledgement and attention from other users. Celebrity appearances or animals also play an important role in success, as well as humour. On the other hand, what turns target groups off, is a strong advertising character to a campaign.
But how can these insights be leveraged to develop functional viral marketing? Here are the most important success factors:
- Viral marketing must be emotional and make people laugh, touch them or interest them in some way.
- The target group and its’ needs must be analysed and triggered.
- It makes sense to pick up on current topics of discussion. This can be either short term, about current news, or long term such as sports events like the Olympic Games or football championships. Additional sources of inspiration can be popular YouTube channels or social media posts from competitors.
- Well-prepared, original and authentic stories can be used from your own company, product or brand universe.
- Communication from suitable influencers or the use of credible testimonials support the viral effect.
Best practice: DEUTZ AG viral B2B marketing campaign
A successful example of effective viral marketing for B2B can be found with DEUTZ AG. At the heart of the campaign is the “e-Deutz” project for the company’s Off-Highway division (e.g. construction and agriculture machines, stationary systems). The goal of the drive system specialist service: to equip existing conventional, motorised off-highway aggregates with hybrid or fully electric drive systems, quickly and easily.
In September 2018, e-Deutz was officially presented to customers and launched at a big international live event in Cologne, Germany. It was prepared with and supported by the viral campaign Get Electrified. It consisted of a four-part, documentary-style video series and accompanied the DEUTZ AG project.
The audience received a comprehensive glimpse into research, development and production, and experienced how a conventionally driven Liebherr loader can be turned into a hybrid vehicle, which customers were able to test themselves later at the event. To achieve maximum impact with a low scatter loss, and a high degree of authenticity, DEUTZ relied on targeted influencer marketing.
As a result, the event in Cologne successfully attracted customers from all over the world, wanting to attend. What’s more, the company boosted the long-term awareness of DEUTZ AG and the e-Deutz service. Success on YouTube was outstanding, subscribers increased by 238%, and it was viewed more than 950,000 times.
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