Are Viral Marketing Tactics the Right Choice for My Small Business?

When it comes to promoting your products or services, viral marketing can quickly fall into the ‘unknown’ for small business owners and marketers. But these could just complement your new or existing strategy, especially for brands just starting out with a shoestring budget.

We have compiled the questions every small business should ask themselves before jumping onto the viral marketing scene…

Do you actively keep your finger on the social pulse?

Social media is an essential ingredient in viral marketing success and having an established social following on all the networking favourites is the key to propelling your campaign to new heights.

Evian’s 2013 Baby and Me viral is perhaps the best example of making use of an already powerful social following and spreading reach beyond their 71 million YouTube hits. The poignant cocktail of cuteness and fun makes their channel a popular fixture with subscribers and each video has inspired a flurry of comments, likes and shares from users on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+. The launch of their Baby and Me app also provided an essential follow-up to the popular video.

Can you separate promotion and empowerment?


Viral marketing isn’t solely about promoting your products and sharing company news, in fact, the majority of viral campaigns don’t use any direct marketing tactics at all. The most successful campaigns are led with an ‘all about the audience’ approach, giving the products and services they are looking to promote a backseat.

Thinking outside the box and losing control of your core message to create a creative, exciting and empowering content is the route to success. Or you could go the other way completely by talking about your product too much in a satirical way, like Dollar Shave Club.

Do you have a sense of humour about your brand?

Whilst business growth and success is a serious issue for small companies in various industries, having a sense of humour about your brand and its ethos is a great way to gain views and delight wider audiences. Pranks are an easy way to make your viral a success as Pepsi MAX demonstrates in their Test Drive viral.

Do you have the power to start a craze?

The Harlem Shake videos were hard to avoid for most of 2013, and the original video inspired an online explosion. According to YouTube trends manager Kevin Allocca, over 12,000 Harlem Shake videos were uploaded within four days.

Do your viral campaign ideas inspire loyalty and challenge perception?

Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches was one of the most successful virals of 2013 and whilst the concept isn’t funny, it serves as an example of inspiring viral marketing. Again the brand wasn’t promoting a particular product, instead it focused on challenging the perception of beauty and looks amongst women.

This emotive and truly beautiful piece shows the diversity that viral marketing offers, and such concepts inspire a loyalty in not only your core demographic but a wider audience who will grow to respect your brand for more than just its products and price points.

This post was written by Brittany Thorley from Forsyth Business Centres, she helps a number of businesses reach their potential with marketing advice.


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