Khamisi Hamisi

Viral Marketing & Tips On How To Go Viral

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Viral marketing has become a respectable and most importantly, very effective means of marketing among businesses worldwide – that’s if it is done correctly and respectfully.

Correctly and respectfully? What does that mean? It means not abusing the system. It means using viral marketing tactics to spread the word about your business, your product, and your service without offending others or being self-serving.

However, viral marketing is inherently self-serving, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. To be truly effective, viral marketing must include a give and take approach. You must engage others, take part in a conversation, and give as much as you get. In other words, don’t expect your message to spread itself.

Viral marketing takes time, careful planning and well-thought-out execution.

It has, for lack of a better word, an incurable need for attention.

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3 Main approaches to viral marketing

1.) To Share.

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Social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are in fact products of viral marketing themselves. While their sole purpose is to allow (and encourage) users to share information, they too must share their service via their users. It’s simple, really.

Their users believe in them and enjoy their websites so much, that they share those websites with others. Knowing this and trusting this would take place, these social media powerhouses have become multi-million, some billion-dollar businesses thanks to, you guessed it, viral marketing.

2.) To Add Value.

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Adding value is not a characteristic unique to viral marketing. It is a common marketing approach across the board. For hundreds of years, business owners have understood the importance of offering their customers “more”.

For instance, buy this product and receive this additional product for free. You get the picture. So, this notion of adding value applies to your viral marketing in the same way.

However, rather than simply applying added value to your products and services, make value-added offers to those who share your message. For instance, send this message to an additional 10 people, and receive a free product. Incentivize and you will see results!

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3.) To create buzz.

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Similar to sharing, creating buzz can be extremely effective. How is it different? While sharing refers to others literally sharing information with friends (i.e. Follow me on Instagram? and more!) creating buzz is more about spreading the word.

Consider how gossip spreads, or the way in which gossip magazines create stories based on hearsay. The idea is to get people “talking” about you and your business in a positive way so that they begin to encourage others to become customers, sign-up or carry on the conversation on their own.

As you can see, viral marketing is about more than inundating your audience with your message. It’s about strategic planning and taking an approach that puts your business in a positive light while enticing others to not only become customers but to spread the word as well.

Viral Marketing Psychology

Understanding People

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It’s a simple fact that no matter how hard you try, you can’t please all the people all of the time. But if you are smart, you can implement policies and use techniques that will help you, and any employees you have, to please most of the people most of the time.

This skill will translate to good word of mouth and customer experiences that will allow your viral marketing campaigns to be successful.

Why please your customers?

Some people will ask why they should try so hard to please every customer. Why not say that resolving their issues or solving their problems is enough, and leave it at that?

Well to answer that, here are a few facts that you should keep in mind both pro and con for pleasing customers at any cost:


” 68% of the customers who quit doing business with a company do so because they don’t feel cared about. Compare this to the 14% who just don’t like the product or service.

” Of the customers who use your product, four out of 100 will be active complainers and will tell at least ten others of their difficulties or problems.

” Of these four complainers, over 90% will stop doing business with the company and tell at least nine others about it.


” Of those who are handled correctly, from 80% to 95% will come back and, statistically, may refer to as many as five new customers.

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” Trying our best to please every customer enhances our outlook on life and makes us more pleasant to deal with.

How do you accomplish pleasing your customer?

First and foremost, you have to know where your customers are coming from. The types of customer attitudes you are likely to see can be broken down into four distinct groups, listed below.

It is important to note that the attitude of the customer in no way reflects upon the personality of the customer or the way we should think about them. A customer is the only reason a business exists, and pleasing them means that you have to like them to come across as friendly and helpful: so remember, as you judge the customer’s emotional state, do not judge the customer at the same time!

Spread the word, not the SPAM

Don’t make the fatal mistake of being mistaken for SPAM among the social media circles of the World Wide Web. “But I’m not a SPAMMER,” you say? Well, you may not be a SPAMMER, but being mistaken for one is equally as detrimental to you and your business.

So, if you’re not a Spammer, how would you get mistaken for one? Easily. Too easily, in fact.

In the world of viral marketing, there is a fine line between frequent communication and excessive updates. If you cross that line, you will become blacklisted among peers and customers alike, which is bad news for your business.

To avoid overdoing it, consider the following: If you wouldn’t care, why should they?

In other words, with every Instagram post, you must be clear, concise and strategic. To balance these elements is the true test.

Regardless, your goal should always be to capture the attention of your audience and if you can do that, you have a great chance of going viral.

So get out there and spread the word! Leave the SPAM to the can.

Creating a Viral Marketing Campaign

Creating a viral marketing campaign, while not difficult, does take careful planning. You must be strategic and clearly define your goal (or goals) as well as the means you will use to achieve them.

Here are a few simple steps to follow that will guide you through the process of creating and devising your viral marketing campaign.

  1. Clearly define your goals.

    What is it you are trying to achieve? Are you trying to attain a certain number of click-thrus? Are you trying to grow your customer base? Or simply attract visitors to your site? No matter what the goal, you must know what it is before you can achieve it.

  2. Choose which outlets you will use.

    Do you plan to employ social media to apply your viral marketing messaging to? Will you focus on your blog as a means to get your message across? Or will you submit articles to multiple directories in hopes of driving traffic? No way is better than the other, but try to choose at least 3 means of viral marketing, ensuring that each approach is unique, yet compliments the others.

  3. Carefully craft your message.

    Once you know what your message is going to be, it will be much easier to know how to apply it depending on the outlets you plan to employ. In other words, say you set out to write an article. Once you know the title, you can then craft that title into 140 characters or less for Twitter, and post a slightly longer description on Facebook or come up with a good image for Instagram

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Do you see how this all weaves together so beautifully? That is why viral marketing has become such a strong force to be reckoned with in and among the online business community.

Furthermore, It truly is a powerful way of communicating, of advertising and of doing business. Now, more than ever before, we have the ability to communicate in real-time in such a way that carries a single message to millions within seconds.

While marketing, in general, has its limitations, the possibilities are endless. It’s up to you to make the most of your messaging and turn your target market into paying customers. And remember, it’s not only about them.

It’s about who they are willing to share your message, your product, your business with. That is the essence of viral marketing. Keep this golden rule in mind and you will be on the path to success… or to going “viral” as they say.

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Khamisi Hamisi is a digital marketing consultant, podcast host, mobile video creator, and poet. He loves working with startups and businesses looking to scale up. He is a critical thinker and creative problem solver. Moreover, he loves coming up with strategies that help grow businesses online.
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