#social, Online Marketing

Viral Marketing Initiatives

What is Viral Marketing?

Much like a cold or flu, Viral Marketing is when there is a high pass along rate from person to person (ie: shares, retweets, comments, etc.).  Over the years, there have been many examples of successful viral campaigns, and all of them utilize a few key characteristics.    Check out these Viral Campaign Traits as well as stellar examples for each:

Viral Campaign Traits & Examples

  1. Current – Old news is just that, old and forgotten. Viral campaigns are trend-setters on new-news which is why being current tops the chart of traits for a viral campaign. Take for example Planet Fitness who capitalized on one of the 5th worst power outages in NH this week with offering FREE visits to their NH facilities for shower, power and to use their equipment.  This social reaction filled a current need for those without power and, helps Planet Fitness to showcase their clean gym facility.


  1. Relevant – Relevancy can either be related to your target audience or more general in nature to attract a broader audience. Animal Adventure Park reached a broad audience and topped You Tube charts with April the Giraffe  as viewers anxiously awaited the birth of the baby giraffe (and then the name of the baby).  Here are their impressive campaign metrics:
  • 232 million live views
  • 6 billion minutes of live watch-time
  • 2nd most viewed YouTube History in 66 days
  • Top 5 most-watched moments for a live event on You Tube


  1. Creative – Creative marketing requires making new connections, with a focus on the unexpected. Housecleaning is what most considers a boring chore which is why the Clean  snappy, tongue in cheek and buzz worthy Valentine’s Day Video Ad was creative for this cleaning supply giant.  The Mr. Clean You Tube Video garnered these impressive metrics with its creative spin on cleaning every nook and cranny in your home:
  • 11,700 impressions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in ONLY 1 Minute.
  • To date, there have been over 17,500,000 views of this video.


  1. Purposeful – There is a difference in purpose and purposeful as it relates to marketing. Being purposeful focuses on a problem or challenge and uses sale of products and services to create positive change. As we are coming up on Black Friday, it comes to mind the story of REI  who took chance a few years ago with #OptOutside.  This campaign encouraged people to go outside and enjoy the beauty of the world instead of shopping on Black Friday. This has been so successful; other companies have joined in this effort and REI has used #OptOutside consistently to showcase that their brand is focused on the great outdoors.


  1. Shareable

Social Media is no longer just for the tech-savvy, it is a platform to leverage the internet to inspire millions to follow a story, share it on their own feeds and participate in conversations (and debates).  It should come as no surprise that one of the most shared campaigns has been surrounding President Trump.   There is a Huffington Post  titled “An Open Letter to My Friends Who Supported Donald Trump” which was shared a total of 2.2Million times across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Domain shares.

The fun part about Viral Marketing is that you never know what will take off, what will speak to the masses, and how far it will reach the depths of social media.  There are so many examples of viral campaigns, what is your favorite one and why?

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