Marketing and Sales

Viral and Guerrilla Marketing

What is viral or guerrilla marketing?

Guerrilla or viral marketing campaigns aim to strike the consumer at a more personal and memorable level. This technique plays heavily on the element of surprise. It sets out to create highly unconventional campaigns that catch people unexpectedly in the course of their day-to-day routines. They make a far more valuable impression with consumers in comparison to more traditional forms of advertising and marketing. This is due to the fact that most guerrilla marketing campaigns aim to strike the consumer at a more personal and memorable level. The goal is to inspire individuals to share the campaign’s message to friends, family and other individuals to create exponential growth.

How can you use viral marketing for your business?

Think about how you can do something so interesting, crazy or unique that you attract the attention of newspapers and TV news stations. This could be a marketing scheme, a video you make, a photo or an article you write. The goal is to create something that will go viral, something that people will share with all of their friends. Think about the risks involved in your marketing stunt before you do it! This is a place where your creativity can go a long ways to getting your business name out there.

All viral marketing examples — deliberate or accidental — have three things in common: the message, the messenger and the environment. Each part must be leveraged to create a successful viral marketing campaign. Viral marketing campaigns may be created by any size of business and can stand alone or be a part of a larger traditional campaign. The campaigns themselves may utilize a number of tools, such as videos, games, images, email and text messaging, free products, appealing to the emotions of users or viewers, raising awareness to a worthy cause, and making such products, ideas or media easy to consume and share. Viral marketing often relies on the help of an influencer, who has a large network of followers.

Pro Tip

Viral marketing can be less expensive than traditional marketing campaigns, yet grow faster — especially with the help of social networks as a "force multiplier." Since it can receive so much traffic in a short time, it can also lead to mainstream media attention. However keep in mind that social media can also cause viral marketing efforts to misfire, as messages are altered, misconstrued, considered spam or called out for missing the mark. Viral marketing success can also be hard to measure.