Did you hear about the 26-pound cat that recently became such an overnight viral sensation that the website of the animal shelter where the cat was available for adoption crashed numerous times? The local fire department even offered to adopt him as its first feline member.

Becoming a viral sensation is every marketer’s dream. Many have attempted it, but only a few have succeeded. What does it take to become an overnight success?

Viral marketing

Viral marketing is favored by many marketers because it costs little, if anything, heightens brand awareness, instills credibility of one’s brand, and dramatically escalates leads. The Morris Animal Refuge was lucky with Mr. B. They happened to hit upon the right things. With some effort, you might be successful as well.

As stressed in previous articles, knowing as much about your customers is key here. What content reverberates with them? Look at Facebook and see what’s most talked about in your industry. Check out Google Trends and YouTube on what’s trending. What are the hottest pages and top scoring links on Reddit?

Go to Instagram and hashtag your product or service. Where does it rank? Look into the same on Twitter for relevance and popularity. Understanding what your customers see when they search—and creating content that best mirrors it—will heighten your recognition factor.

Be like Sherlock

Here’s where it helps to be a sleuth because you need to find out what content has the potential to go viral. It’s worth investing in finding out which keywords rand viral content resonate best with your target market.

Like nonprofits in a capital campaign, do a pre-launch and begin loading up your arsenal for the big blast once you’re ready. Sometimes holding a contest among your employees and most loyal customers for signing up and agreeing to share your new announcement can give your launch a huge boost.

Post the results of the contest on your social media sites, especially Facebook Live, as well as in emails to your customers. Offer free samples to the public before your launch and solicit reviews which should also be published.

Utilize your influencers to sample your new product and to start getting the buzz out to their publics. And prepare your bloggers to publish news about your launch as soon as you’re ready to go public. And finally, employ branded hashtags to obtain more coverage

The big day

The big day has come and you have your Public Relations plan together. Publish your content on your social media channels employing the hashtags you found to be most relevant. Send out an email blast to your customers. And be sure to empower your co-workers by asking them to share your social media posts.

Ensure that your bloggers and influencers are also on your same timeline. And finally, don’t forget the media, both daily news as well as those publications that cover your industry. Give them a piece of the action, too.

As usual track your progress and results and be flexible. You may find reason to change your focus and direction depending on your findings and comments.

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Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations: 5WPR is one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.

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