In today’s competitive business landscape, it feels like a constant battle to get your solutions in front of potential customers. If you’ve ever imagined witnessing your business go viral, we don’t blame you. After all, every entrepreneur’s dream is to be at the forefront of their customers’ minds. And viral marketing sounds like a surefire way to get there.
Well, you’ve seen those viral campaigns online — generating all the buzz and boosting brand awareness. You wonder how good it must feel to be at the receiving end of those viral marketing campaigns.
At its core, viral marketing is any form of marketing that encourages consumers to engage with a product or brand. From millions of Facebook views to thousands of Twitter retweets, virality sure paves the way to unparalleled exposure.
There’s no question about viral marketing’s potential to boost brand recognition. But what exactly is viral marketing, how does it work and is it relevant to residential home services?
In this article, we’ll look into these queries and uncover the #1 thing people get wrong about viral marketing. Keep reading.
What is the # 1 Thing People Get Wrong About Viral Marketing?
There are many misconceptions about viral marketing and the best viral marketing campaigns. We’ll go over a few of them and reveal the most prominent of them all.
First, all you need are good advertising skills and high marketing creativity.
If that’s all it takes, then all good advertisements should have made the rounds online. Trust me, every viral marketing video or online ad has a hundred others like them. However, a drizzle of luck is also needed to make it to the big leagues.
Secondly, you may think that viral marketing does not apply to all businesses across industries.
It’s a valid sentiment, especially since most viral campaigns on social media are mostly from consumer-facing brands. However, the truth is that viral marketing could serve all sorts of businesses looking to increase their online visibility. It does not discriminate among businesses, and even residential home services could take full advantage.
But here’s the thing: no matter how dedicated you are, not all marketing attempts become viral advertising campaigns. A viral marketing strategy works best when:
- It truly resonates with your target audience
- Provides them with value
In the case of residential home services, there’s another element to complete your viral marketing attempt — humor. Think about it, residential home services sell externally triggered grudge purchases which means people buy out of need, not want. Customer don’t like that fact, so humor serves as the pacifier that calms your customer’s raging seas.
Let’s look at one of the most viral marketing examples from an equally successful residential home service business: Morris-Jenkins. The Bobby and Mr. Jenkins commercial series is one of their most viral marketing campaigns driving the company’s sales. How? By combining humor, expertise, and authoritativeness all within a brief 30-second commercial.
Among all misconceptions, the number one thing most people get wrong is that it’s all about the views. While viral ads are wildly successful, it’s important to remember that it’s never about getting as many views as possible. Ultimately, it’s all about driving sales and generating leads for your business. After all, what good is 100 percent engagement if you’re getting no conversions in the process?
To be successful with viral marketing, it’s important to have a strong understanding of your target audience. You need to think strategically about your content and how it will resonate with your customers. By tapping into your customer’s underlying felt needs, using humor and strong messaging, driving viral success becomes within reach.
Viral marketing tactics work best for highly social industries and rely on word-of-mouth recommendations to reach consumers. Residential home services fall into that category. Wizard of Sales® can help you strategize your killer marketing campaign that drives engagement and actually converts. Book a call.
So, What Exactly Is Viral Marketing?
We’ve talked about the biggest viral marketing misconceptions, but we haven’t gone down and dirty into what it really is.
Viral marketing is a marketing strategy for producing engaging campaigns, leading to online buzz and extensive word-of-mouth promotions. By creating virality, businesses leverage the power of online and offline social relationships to increase brand awareness and drive sales. People will willingly pass them on to their friends and family upon exposure.
Viral marketing can manifest in many ways, including:
- Viral ads
- Viral email marketing campaigns
- Viral marketing videos or images
- Viral contests
- Viral giveaways
There is no one magic formula for creating successful viral content. More often than not, the industry and target audience influences the viral potential of businesses. However, if executed correctly, viral marketing can be an incredibly powerful tool for driving engagement and growing your business.
While there’s not a single formula, here is what often constitutes viral marketing campaigns:
Trendy and Short-Lived
Viral marketing campaigns often rely on capturing the zeitgeist of the moment, using trends and pop cultural references to captivate. As these trends fade over time, viral marketing campaigns must constantly be updated or risk their appeal.
Additionally, viral content has a limited lifespan due to its nature as fleeting. This makes it important for businesses to strike while the iron is hot in order to maximize reach and engagement.
However, viral marketing can also have long-term benefits if done strategically and thoughtfully. Unlike traditional forms of advertising with limited reach, viral campaigns are capable of reaching millions of prospects from multiple channels.
Here’s the thing: viral content is never forced. They must seamlessly be entertaining and value-packed, and people must correspond to them naturally.
That is why it is an effective and efficient means of reaching a large audience with minimal investment. Viral campaigns rely on social sharing and word-of-mouth exposure rather than paid advertising or other conventional methods.
Think about some of the dumbest viral trends we’ve seen through the years. For instance, “pineapple on pizza debate” or “blue-black vs. white-gold dress experiment” are two simple examples. No one paid ads to forcibly get these trends out in the open. It happened organically through engagement.
Many popular online campaigns are because of paid promotions. However, can you really say it’s trending when you’ve paid your way to popularity? Not really. Viral campaigns cut through the noise by harnessing the power of organic promotion with relatively little promotional effort.
Bold & Daring
Virality is all about taking chances, and viral marketing campaigns require a bold and daring approach. Whether it’s launching an unconventional idea or pushing the boundaries of social norms, you need a spark. Committing to viral marketing requires business owners to be unafraid to think outside the box and take risks.
This can be a scary proposition for many businesses, especially those in more traditional industries. Why? Attempting to perform viral marketing can result in a two-fold outcome:
- The campaign is well-received and then pays off through good sales numbers
- The campaign backfires, goes viral for the wrong reasons and tarnishes your brand
The most recent viral bold-and-daring marketing campaign is from All Star Mechanical. His brutally honest HVAC ad treaded over political waters and created rounds across the country. The local publication reads:
“I can’t pretend like everything is ok. Gun fetishes are being prioritized, women are no longer in control of their own bodies. The earth is heating up.
Black and Brown people are still being killed, brutalized, or otherwise harassed. Honestly, at this point, who gives a S— about HVAC. But if you’re hot, give us a call.“
To a different audience, it may sound like it’s virtue signaling to get a reaction. However, one may infer that since Michigan is a blue state, everyone shared the same sentiment.
The point is that successful viral campaigns often require businesses to take a stand on issues important to audiences. Or, experiment with new ideas that may seem controversial or shocking at first glance.
If you want your campaign to succeed, you need to embrace this quality. Don’t be afraid of thinking big, dreaming bold and pushing the envelope.
It Might Draw Non-Targeted Prospects
Another fact about most successful viral marketing campaigns is that they attract beyond the intended audience. Look at Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercial. It was originally intended for women with male partners, but the rush in sales was gender-neutral. This is one quality of viral marketing that’s both adored and dreaded.
Allow me to explain why.
Drawing all sorts of prospects significantly spikes your impressions and engagements. This is good for publicity and brand awareness. However, when you consider the conversion percentage you’re getting, you will notice it plummet. Because you can entertain anyone, but only your audience will ultimately buy your solutions.
Here’s the rub: this reality applies to every other business model except residential home services.
Because anyone, regardless of demographics, requires home services. Everyone is a potential prospect, whether that’s plumbing, heating, roofing or air-conditioning. With viral marketing, you can organically reach audiences beyond your budget’s capacity.
Is Viral Marketing Appropriate for Residential Home Services?
Absolutely. It only seems odd because viral campaigns we commonly see look off-brand with residential home services. However, with a good strategist, you can concoct a viral marketing campaign that speaks to your brand image. It all comes down to understanding what viral marketing is really about — not the views but sales.
Wizard of Sales® is an master strategist that has helped residential home services plan successful marketing campaigns. If you’re looking for ads that actually convert, don’t hesitate to book a call today.