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Viral marketing is unfortunately a type of advertising that often eludes any attempts to formulaically replicate the success of others. Campaigns that are explicitly designed to be successful using viral marketing strategies that have succeeded in the past are often seen as fake and therefore fail to go viral. As such, one of the best viral marketing strategies is to take risks on untried methods of generating interest. Truly, the key to a successful viral marketing campaign is to create a product, service, or advertisement that is so compellingly good that it would go viral without any additional help.
When people set out to figure out the best viral marketing strategies, their first thought is to look to the past. In other types of advertising, this can be helpful, but it is usually not possible to duplicate the exact conditions that led to the success of other viral campaigns. Also, once a viral marketing technique has been used, it is difficult to make the same strategy work twice.
Beyond creating an incredibly compelling and interactive campaign, the best viral marketing strategies have to do with how to get a viral campaign started. This typically involves spreading the word or generating interest among a small group of people who are influential enough to spread the advertisement to a much larger group. Many companies attempt to make use of others' resources and get free advertising through social media sites, particularly those that work by listing a number of recommended websites. Another strategy for generating initial interest is to connect the online advertisement to the real world by using some form of traditional advertising that connects to the online campaign.
Choosing the best viral marketing strategies involves having a sense of what will be popular in a specific environment. In some cases, absurdity and humor are the best paths to creating a viral advertising campaign. It is important to note, however, that some videos are subtler and develop followings because they are easy to turn into phrases that can be repeated. Videos that take traditional marketing approaches can be successful viral campaigns if they are genuinely humorous, but finding out what a specific group will find funny requires significant amounts of research and creativity.
Beyond the traditional type of viral marketing that exists purely online, some types of interactivity can help a campaign go viral. Contests and other giveaways commonly attract a large number of potential customers, and many customers spread news of the contest to friends. When taking this route, it is actually often best to make a contest that requires visitors to create content relating to the product and judge the contest based on votes, as every vote represents a view of the ad. This method has a high potential to go viral if the prize is large and is extremely efficient because customers create the ads themselves.