If you’ve been on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter this week it is highly likely that your feeds have been showered with a viral campaign, videos of your friends and celebrities dumping buckets of ice water on their heads. It was former Boston College baseball player Peter Frates’ idea to use the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Frates, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2012, together with fellow ALS patient Pat Quinn started the challenge in July. In a matter of weeks the campaign has indeed gone viral – meaning the video, and associated cause are household names for at least a short period of time. If you mention the video to a group of friends, likely someone knows what you’re talking about. People everywhere are accepting the challenge and donating to the cause.
Viral – an unpredictable, fickle, and highly sought after ideal in marketing and internet fame. Whether you are marketing for a nonprofit or your business, here are a few steps to make your campaign go ‘viral’
1. Make it Interesting – No one shares boring or unexciting content. One way to get people talking is to create something that make them look clever or interesting for sharing it. People often share content because they want to look smart or in-the-know.
2. Make it Emotional – Stories that evoke emotions are the ones that work bests. Audiences are able to connect with and feel a part of a viral campaign.
3. Make it Interactive – Make audience involvement critical to the campaign. When audiences feel like fans or friends, they will join in on the fun and spread the brand.
4. Make it Easy- In order for an audience to be interactive the need to be able to share the viral campaign with little effort. Allow your audience to share the campaign via any social network they want. This is one of the reasons the ice bucket challenge spread so quickly. Audiences are spreading the challenge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TV, basically everywhere.