In a world of endless scrolling, it seems impossible to break through the noise with sponsored or co-branded influencer content. Audiences are savvier than ever and maintain high expectations for the content they're served, particularly in celebrity and influencer campaigns.
Viral content happens because it can connect us when we all feel disconnected. Whether audiences are consuming it, creating replica content, contributing to the conversation, or further distributing it, consumers are primed and ready to steer content towards success- brands just need to tap into the elements that make up viral content.
But before we get into those details, it's also important to understand what 'viral content' is and what it means for your campaign.
For brands, viral content means creating something bigger and bolder than what currently lives on their social real estate. It's making that breakthrough video or social moment that drives exponential growth and expands business, fueled by engagement. Viral doesn't have the same meaning for every brand, but the end goal remains the same: driving awareness at scale, lowering Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), and driving higher conversion.
Always start with a plan. While viral content for creators seems like pure luck (cue @doggface208's on a skateboard singing 'Dreams' and sipping Ocean Spray), what's not always visible are the many hours of planning/attempting/creative experimenting spent to make the next piece of "it" content. To compete in the space, brands need to work twice as hard to produce the same striking material that effectively and seamlessly delivers critical selling points for a product or service. Having a plan means you can strive for success with clear objectives, so even if the views don't rack up to a million or more, you are still driving people down the funnel and connecting with the right audiences. Start with clear objectives, straight forward messaging, and dedicate the appropriate amount of time and resources to a thoughtful strategy that will guide you from the start of the race to the finish line.
Understanding how to connect with your audience will make it easier to decide what the content will be and who should be in it. Questions to ask yourself early on in the planning stage are: Is your brand celebrity-driven, or does your audience connect more to real people? Are they serious, philanthropic, or comedic? Where do they spend their time? What resonates with them? What triggers a reaction? Do they respond well to short-form content or longer-format content?
Find answers to these questions with a glance at your current content to understand what's been successful so far. What programs resonated with your community, what didn't work, what sentiment took place in the comments. Often what's not working is an excellent indication of what will in the future. Looking back at your content will help develop a checklist of do's and don'ts to stick to when mapping your content and finding influencers.
Traackr is a one-stop-shop for checking all the boxes on whether your partner is a great fit and is the essential way to start your search. Once you have developed a shortlist of creators that fit your brand's criteria, you can take it to the next level with questions like:
Finding influencers to tell a story or create a moment with your brand is essential. It can make or break the content. Ensuring your content goes to the right people is even more critical for creating viral content. Using tools like Traackr allows you to create both subjective and objective decisions about your talent selections, allowing you to follow your gut and back it up with hard-hitting data.
Once you have made the selection, take the time to understand how best to use them by studying their social channels and top-performing/bottom performing content. Having an analytical eye when digesting your influencer partner's content is a critical step to ensuring you are setting yourself up for success. Research and understand what works and what doesn't on their social pages. It will provide you with answers to questions that may not have presented themselves to you just yet.
With everyone "bored in the house and in the house bored," content creation is at an all-time high. The influx of content means there are many opportunities to trendjack something to your advantage. Depending on the objective, it might make sense to upcycle content that worked in the past or hop on a trend and add your own spin. However, if you feel you are trying to reinvent the wheel, it may mean you need to start from scratch and pave the way for a new moment to stand out.
Unfortunately, having the goal to produce viral content doesn't guarantee the content will go viral, b you have to be prepared to roll the dice. Be ready to make tough decisions when crossing the finish line and stick to the plan. While it's the talent's job to ensure they deliver on the brief, it's up to the brand to ensure the content stays on track for success.
Has your company succeeded at creating a viral campaign? What strategy did you use?