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What are the Different Types of Viral Marketing Campaigns?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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It is hard to determine what types of viral marketing campaigns will exist in the future because truly genius viral marketing campaigns are so unique and exciting that viewers distribute advertising on their own. Campaigns that have already been done are less likely to go viral because viewers recognize them as advertising rather than entertainment. By looking at what viral marketing campaigns have been successful and considering the current attitude of online communities, a business may be able to come up with a truly unique type of campaign.

In the past, several types of viral marketing campaigns have been successful. Campaigns that are so funny or entertaining that people redistribute advertising on their own and voluntarily select to view the ads and related materials are almost always successful. Making ads that may have less to do with the product and more to do with the entertainment value of the ad can be a successful strategy but risks being completely wasteful if people do not like the ad. This type of success is difficult to predict because people like unusual and strange things.

Making games or blurring the line between real-world and virtual events can also be good strategies for creating successful viral marketing campaigns. These strategies make viewers want to look for more information about what is going on and may strike potential consumers when they do not expect advertising. Using online games provides access to more people, but using real-world meetings can be more fun for participants.

Interactive marketing schemes also have the potential to go viral. When potential consumers can interact in a very direct way with the company or the advertisement itself and understand that a human may respond to their interaction, people are more likely to pay attention. Various social networking sites provide ways in which people can interact with advertisements and also have the benefit of informing others when they do interact. This not only promotes positive feelings about a product or brand, but also spreads advertising somewhat discreetly.

As new websites and products develop, advertisers are always coming up with new types of viral marketing campaigns that can be used to promote a brand. For example, it might be possible to create an unexplainable event, such as an alien sighting, and exploit interest in that sighting for promotion of a brand. Websites that allow users to interact with a real-world machine or person who represents the brand or serves as advertising could also be popular. Viral marketing is limited only by the savvy of the advertisers, and a truly successful campaign will be entirely unexpected.

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