What is viral marketing, anyway?

To kick things off, here’s a quick definition of viral marketing:

Viral marketing is a style of promotion that relies on an audience to generate the message of a product or service.

Marketing is considered “viral” when it reaches the point where it’s being shared by the public at large rather than just its target audience. If achieved, your message will be in nearly everyone’s social media feed.

How does viral marketing work, though?

Well, much of modern viral marketing on social media can be illustrated by the popularity of memes. Although not necessarily tied to a specific product, how memes spread goes hand in hand with the principles going viral.

Think about how seemingly random phenomena like Baby Yoda or “OK boomer” take over your social feeds out of nowhere. Memes get shared and promoted like crazy because they resonate with people, all the while outsiders involve themselves with meme trends via “likes” and shares.