Since modern consumers are more savvy than they used to be, attempts to create new marketing approaches must be more elaborated. As you can see, even ads, considered to be a crucial tool of marketing , lose their effectiveness. Thus, marketers are faced with a new problem: old marketing approaches are no longer useful. The problem is particularly relevant for digital commerce because of its rapid development and lightning fast adoption of new features. Luckily, there is a reliable solution called viral ecommerce, and it is fully described below.
Nowadays, customers are bombarded with advertising messages: they get tons of unnecessary information not only through ads on the Internet and in mobile apps but also receive SMS/MMS messages with various propositions. So, it’s not surprising that their curiosity has given way to boredom and distraction (while some of them became more savvy as mentioned above). Such conditions form a very creative environment, where ecommerce marketing begets new technologies and approaches aimed at capturing the attention of indifferent customers. Such methods produce guaranteed effectiveness, at least within a short period of time before a new revolution in the industry occurs.
It seems that traditional ads are not going to pass away as a reliable marketing tool, but their influence on buyers has been significantly reduced within last years. At the same time we can witness the rising of a new trend – viral ecommerce. It is special approach to ecommerce marketing with the emphasis on viral content.
Despite viral ecommerce is a new trend, viral marketing is known for about 30 years. With the explosion of social media, especially in the last decade, it has become a leading marketing strategy for many companies worldwide. But what is the purpose of viral marketing?
The primary purpose of viral marketing is to put your brand on the map. If you have done everything right, brand recognition will be maximised within just a single campaign. Usually viral campaigns are aimed at inviting, inspiring, and entertaining customers. Often, they get a reward for their interest as well.
The same is about viral ecommerce, since it is based on the principles of traditional viral marketing. As for differences, they are related to some core features of ecommerce. For example, instead of capturing attention to offline brand, viral ecommerce tends to bring new traffic to a website. Of course, the final goal is the same: an attempt to increase sales.
The success rules
Below, I describe general success rules and advices related to viral ecommerce. They are not mandatory but will show you the true path.
Make your message worth sharing
Your marketing message should not only be easy to send and share, it should be worth sharing. Since customers will never post content they don’t like, your viral videos, pictures, games, or even a whole website should impress to the core. It is also necessary to create your message with the conditions of your target market in mind. For example, a viral marketing campaign in Facebook can be different from one in Twitter. I am talking about social media only, as it is the core environment for viral ecommerce.
Friends Furever is an Android viral video that is worth sharing.
Propose a freebie
It is essential for every viral marketing campaign to offer free items, as they always attract the attention of potential customers. Giveaways are used by both small digital shops, big ecommerce merchants, and brick-and-mortar stores. ‘Like/share/repost and win something’ – social media services are overwhelmed with such offers. If you need an example, check Giveaways by Android Authority.
Keep it simple
“Simple and attractive” is the best motto for every marketing marketing and viral marketing is not an exception. If your business is not aimed at geeks, of course. Simple campaign helps to avoid misunderstandings, so your message spreads easier. The following Tweet illustrates the rule.
Almost everyone wants to be admired by others or at least by friends on Facebook. Help your customers achieve this goal with the aid of your viral content. If this doesn’t make any sense to you, here is a short explanation of the idea. Your potential customer posts your message on his account. This action is noticed by others and if a piece of content is worth sharing/liking/retweeting your customer gets approval from his friends, who share, like, or retweet the message depending on a situation. This opportunity to be admired by others through social media motivates people to spread your content. And it is only the tip of an iceberg, because there are tons of other ways to make your viral content work.
How about this viral video? Does it motivate you to tell friends about a real bionic arm?
Use as much resources as you can
Being creative in making viral ecommerce business plans means you should use all available resources. Try to spread your viral content through various social media services, utilize your website, and go offline if it makes sense; set up more network connections, find new partners, and work with different specialists. It is also important to analyze the experience of your competitors, as well as companies which are far from your target market. There are thousands good examples of successful viral marketing campaigns, so you can easily use them while creating your own viral ecommerce strategy.
Note that viral ecommerce is possible nearly everywhere.
Don’t try to spread your message everywhere
In spite of the previous rule, sometimes it is extremely necessary to concentrate on a single environment, segment, or audience. Let’s look at the following example. Create a viral ecommerce campaign for a particular environment, for instance, for Pinterest. Start the campaign and get the first results. Find out how you can improve your content and what changes are required by other environments, segments, or audiences. Improve the campaign and run it again.
There are several forms of viral content. Images and articles, infographics, music and videos are the most shareable ones. Games, web pages, and whole websites are less popular, but still very effective, for instance various mobile games dedicated to Hollywood movie premieres. And if it is hard to imagine a game as a heart of a viral ecommerce marketing campaign, an online store (or at least some of it’s pages) can be turned into a piece of art, like Luhsetea did, and visitors will share a new amazing ecommerce experience with friends.
Remember! Whenever a user is blown away by the content found on the Internet, he or she feels the necessity to share it with others, who will probably behave the same way. Thus, the content becomes viral.
Features of Viral Content
Now, I’d like to draw your attention to the features of viral content. The understanding of its nature will help you create your own stunning viral ecommerce campaigns.
Viral content and the emotional level. Inspiring warmth, longing, and excitement, viral content will engage your potential visitors to learn more about your ecommerce website. It is also worth mentioning that triggers that cause bad emotions are widely used in viral campaigns, but you should be careful with them, otherwise your customers will experience too much ire, abhorrence, or grief, becoming unable to hear and share your message.
The vitality of viral content. The vitality of viral content is based on engaging a receiver into action. Therefore, bland content often fails, while provocative one stimulates users to share it with others. Sometimes a nonsensical but provocative picture can be more successful than a boring but precise infographic.
Humor as a key to success. Humor is a leading force of customer attraction when you deal with viral content. It often leads straight to success especially in combination with cats – just remember one of those cat videos on YouTube. The content that is actually funny attracts pretty well, even if funny notes are a part of serious content.
Keep it up with the times. The Internet audience is always changing. Sometimes, new trends exist only several months, so it is extremely necessary to keep your viral ecommerce campaigns up with the times. Try to understand what can be exciting now, what is already old and boring, and what will be in trend later today, since this will help you develop a successful viral marketing strategy.
Been there, done that. If content is not unique, it won’t be viral. Your potential customers will consider all your efforts as “been there, done that” stuff. Thus, being relevant and amusing is not enough for turning into viral content.
KISS principle. Once again: keep your content simple. All you potential customers are always in a hurry, so they don’t want to spend a lot of time reading your message. The destiny of your viral content is usually determined by just one click; therefore, never forget about KISS principle.
Search engine optimization is another robust topic related to ecommerce. You can find more information about SEO on our blog here – SEO on Firebear – but its interconnection with viral marketing and viral ecommerce is described below.
Sounds senselessly but by ignoring SEO, you can achieve the best SEO result. In case of viral content of course. For instance, you create a mind blowing article but omit SEO optimizations. This piece of content becomes viral, and you get tons of backlinks, improving a SEO climate of your ecommerce store. It seems to be a viral SEO – a set of tactics aimed at search engine optimizations with the aid of viral content.
Besides building backlinks, viral SEO has several other goals. For instance, you can use it to gain traffic to your website or increase the average onsite time (if there is enough content to engage your visitors). What other viral SEO goals do you know? Leave your thoughts in a comment field under the post and don’t confuse optimizations based on viral marketing with illegal manipulations.
As for content in case of viral ecommerce and SOE, it can be divided into three groups: hygiene content, which is aimed at gaining search engine traffic; hub content, which tells customers about your brand; and hero content, which reaches maximum audience through viral distribution. Since every ecommerce business has its unique requirements, there is no perfect proportion of these three types, so you should create your own formula of success.
Even by following the aforementioned suggestions, you can fail with your viral ecommerce campaign. It is quite difficult to make content spread as wildfire, as there is a chance that your target audience will not notice your message in a rapid flow of information. Thus, you should always check what works in your particular case and what is useless.