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Viral Marketing Campaigns: How to Plan for Success

Viral marketing is quickly becoming the industry standard for new products. The peer to peer promotion of viral campaigns is unmatched. But you can’t just produce random content and hope for a win. Viral marketing campaigns should be planned out like any other marketing effort.

Planning your viral promotions can seem complicated. Do you want to have your product featured in videos? Do you need more peer-to-peer conversations? A plan is key to the success of an ad campaign. The first decision to make is if you want to have a passive or active campaign.

Targeting Groups or Individuals


For a campaign strategy, it’s essential to decide a market segment you want to target. Your two main choices are abundant, diverse groups, or smaller, more targeted groups of individuals. When targeting groups, expect to produce high amounts of content. So to target these groups often, viral campaigns turn to automation. Automation used to be a costly process, but modern advances make it easier than ever!

If a campaign is focused on individuals, you need less content. However, this content is harder to generate. Often the best way to market to individuals is peer-to-peer contacts. This kind of marketing campaign creates lots of responses but takes time to do right.

Passive Viral Marketing Campaigns


Passive viral marketing is the idea that consistent touchpoints over the internet will provide results. One example of passive marketing is email flyers. These automated email systems send out constant promotions to anyone from their target markets. Most automated marketing is passive online marketing.



Because this marketing strategy relies on sheer numbers, it provides a great mix of potential new consumers. Passive campaigns are valuable to inform people about a new product and generate users. Passive marketing is a numbers game. Because of this, more touchpoints means more users! But there are some risks to passive marketing.

One big drawback to these campaigns is their ability to generate interest. While the sheer numbers make them successful, most automated ads don’t translate to sales. Because of this, these ads also create less loyal customers who may only buy a product once and never return. You also have to be careful with automated ads. If someone receives too many ads, they might become annoyed. This outcome is the opposite of what a company wants its ads to do!

Active Viral Marketing Campaigns


Active campaigns focus on tailoring content specifically for individual niches. Because they focus on smaller groups, these ads can be much more detailed and focused. An excellent example of active viral marketing is to share buttons. Many websites will add a feature to share products via social media. So with the addition of a simple button, people create peer-to-peer reviews for your product! All active ads are focused on individuals.

The main issue for active campaigns is their narrow reach. The tailored approach means your audience is smaller than average. This niche means that you’ll tap into smaller market segments and slower adoption of the product. This can make it harder to get your campaign noticed. This being said, these active campaigns are still incredibly good at creating a brand.



Active ads create more loyal customers by serving a specific niche. Although there are fewer users, they are more likely to stick with the product. Active ads can also increase user engagement. By creating a community, dynamic ads can grow themselves.

Examples of Viral Marketing


Most viral marketing campaigns are classic examples of marketing to your niche. The main difference is these ads are all designed to create a peer to peer engagement. One perfect example of active campaigns is social events. Deals for people who promote social experiences improve the overall response of customers. Similarly, personal invitations produce more interactions. Only personalizing flyers creates extra interest. Both of these strategies create a community aspect for a product that helps build loyalty.

Unlike active campaigns, passive ads rely on numbers. Examples of these campaigns are marketing tactics that focus on reaching everyone you can. An excellent example of this is automatic product recommendations. Some e-commerce sites will recommend products you might want after purchase. These ads aren’t specific to any consumer but rely on cross-selling tactics to succeed.


Viral Marketing Campaigns


Viral marketing campaigns require appropriate planning. So a company must decide if it wants to target groups or individuals. When focusing on groups, passive methods work best. For individual campaigns, tailored active viral strategies are effective. Passive tactics get many more hits, while aggressive campaigns are more persuasive. Both approaches are valuable to viral marketing strategies. If you want to learn more about viral marketing, contact Kallen media via our website.

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