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5 April 2018 - Reading time: 6 minutes

The keys to viral communication

Habefast Blog Article Les Cles De La Communication Virale

“Word of mouth is the best media”. This quote from Bill Bernbach, one of the emblematic figures of American advertising, shows very well the importance of viral communication, the modern synonym of the expression “word of mouth”. What could be better than a promotion that happens automatically, by the consumers themselves? Viral marketing is one of the most powerful and effective forms of marketing in the digital age. It allows businesses to save significant amounts of money when promoting a brand, product or service. This, while ensuring large-scale communication that is difficult to replicate with other communication techniques. But is viral communication really that effective? How can it be implemented in a concrete way to trigger this viral aspect? Discover its multiple facets in this article.

The challenges of viral communication

Viral marketing, the key to online success?

Making the buzz. This is the dream of many professionals, or simply of Internet users who want to break through online in terms of popularity or turnover. Indeed, buzz marketing is often synonymous with a massive diffusion from one person to another, of a message concerning a news or a given fact, on the Internet. In the case of a company, the message most often concerns a product, a brand, or a service. Based on the principle of inbound marketing – i.e. bringing customers to you – companies succeed in making the Internet users become the main means of spreading the message, thanks to likes, comments, sharing, on social networks.

How does the buzz work?

On social networks such as Facebook, viral communication takes place through comments, likes and shares. With his actions, the Internet user recommends the product or service to someone close to him, or to other Internet users. Following a chain reaction, the increasing number of interactions generates more and more interest from new Internet users, hence the term viral. Moreover, social network algorithms highlight this virality. On Facebook in particular, if a publication receives many likes or comments in the first few seconds following its publication, it will be more easily spread by the Facebook algorithm.

As a company, you can also invest in a viral campaign, by buying spaces on social networks, by making sponsored publications. An example is the famous cookie brand Oreo, which published on its Facebook page its new milk cookie sorbet concept during the Super Bowl in 2013. The publication generated more than 2,500 comments for 68,000 views and 16,000 shares.

Nothing beats a video

Videos are currently the multimedia format with the highest number of views on the web. 80% of Internet traffic is generated by videos. Moreover, video is a tool accessible to all companies to quickly develop their brands and activities. Video communicates more information than a simple text, because Internet users will watch it more easily than they will read an article and they will more easily remember the elements communicated.

We talk about viral video in buzz marketing. The main advantage of viral video is its potential to create a general interest, which is the very foundation of viral communication. Viral video also makes it possible to bypass the need to invest in buying banners, or advertising space, and focus solely on this principle of sharing on the part of consumers.

Short videos are generally the most effective. Short videos are generally the most effective. A format of 1 minute or less is often the most impactful and the most likely to be shared by Internet users.

Viral engineering

Despite a technical name, viral engineering is accessible and easy to implement. It is a direct invitation to the main actors of viral communication, i.e. the consumers themselves, to recommend a product or a service on the Internet. It therefore consists of the integration of web sharing tools, such as an anchor button leading to a social network, or a mail contact button on a new pop-up window. Recommendation bars can even be found in the physical point of sale. We note that social networks themselves include these features, through the share buttons, or the comment section.

Social networks: keys to viral communication?

Influencers to help you in your goals

It may seem surprising to know that only one out of two marketers makes a video with the goal of viral communication. Nowadays, making a viral video is not necessarily easy. It is therefore in the interest of the company to entrust this mission to an audiovisual communication agency that will advise the company on the script to adopt and will take care of the realization and post-production of the video in question.

Another way to communicate in a viral way without taking care of the creation of the content is to rely on influencers. Another way to communicate in a viral way without having to create the content is to rely on influencers, who create the content of their sponsored publications themselves (to promote a product, a service, etc.). Their posts are usually viral if their community is engaged, which gives a strong visibility to your company. Moreover, this allows a precise targeting of the audience. For example, a fashion influencer is usually followed by fashion followers who will be sensitive to the influencer’s publications.

Beware of bad buzz with influence marketing

Internet marketing has a unique power of diffusion, on a global scale. Any average individual can become a star in a few years, playing video games in front of an audience, talking about his life, making humorous videos etc.

YouTube is the main platform for this, with videos that can generate tens of millions of views. This phenomenon represents a golden opportunity for brands. It is still necessary to know how to go about it in order to implement a good viral communication strategy. Indeed, while viral can be beneficial, it can also represent the risk of a bad buzz. A bad buzz can lead to a bad reputation for the company. It is therefore necessary to make sure that the content shared by your company does not risk generating bad opinions from Internet users. It is important to engage your audience without shocking them. In case of uncontrolled bad buzz, our communication agency can guide you in a crisis communication situation.

How to choose the right influencer for your viral communication

The example in the previous paragraph illustrates very well the importance of making the right decisions at the right time, in the perspective of a good viral communication. One of the most important points is to make sure you have a good fit or matching influencer. This refers to the match between the activities, values and interests of the brand and the influencer in question. It also requires that the audience of the latter is concerned by our offer or product. Any discrepancy in these factors can lead to bad buzz.

Which influencer marketing techniques to choose for your business?

Marketers have several marketing techniques at their disposal when interacting with influencers. Some of the best known and used include the Buzzkit, product placement, and content sponsorship. The Buzzkit consists of having the influencer test your product in front of his audience. YouTube works well for this kind of content, making the experience of unboxing or unpacking a product through video better. Product placement, also used by youtubers and instagrammers, incorporates the product directly into the video, to fit its theme. Content sponsorship is done by publishing it on social networks, or in the article of a third-party site.

The Epic Split, an example of successful viral marketing

Do you know the most viewed automotive advertising video in the history of YouTube? Well if you don’t, find out by clicking here! It’s called The Epic Split, or the legendary Big Split. Directed by Jean-Claude Van Damme, it now has more than 90 million views. When it was released on November 13, 2013, the video generated 59 million views in the space of a month. Without going into detail about the quality of the staging, this ad alone sums up the strength of the marketing influencer, in the service of a viral communication. The figures speak for themselves: the video has been shared more than 6 million times on social networks. The objective was relatively modest: to highlight the stability and precision of the trucks, but the results far exceeded the brand’s expectations. Please contact us if you want to create a viral marketing strategy.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to create a viral marketing strategy.