#Asia Want to be the next Chewbacca mask lady? Try these tips out for size


Be clever, be emotional; but for the love of god, don’t overthink it


A solid marketing strategy plays a significant role in any startup’s success, particularly in the era of technology and digitalization. However, it can also be the main source of expenses.

In 2010, a term ‘growth hacking’ was introduced to the public. Essentially, it is a marketing technique that is used to attract potential customers at a relatively low cost using technology implementation. Since then, plenty of marketers and start-up entrepreneurs have been using the strategy as a way to answer a key question:

“How do I acquire new customers while trying to keep the cost low and grow my customer base?”

An example of growth hacking strategy would be viral marketing. Think about a virus that keeps on growing exponentially if it is placed in the right environment. Fast multiplication happens when a virus uses its resources to increase its tribe. The term viral in viral marketing is exactly like viruses.

It is defined as a marketing strategy that encourages individuals, usually though not always target market profiles, to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential distribution in the message’s content, exposure, and influence.

Pay undivided attention when creating a viral marketing strategy focused on the following three aspects: content, exposure, and influence.

Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, defines the viral engine of growth as when customers contribute to the overall marketing effort for a company. Therefore, a good viral marketing success can be measured through the quality of content itself and how willing people are to share that content.

Which brings up the question everyone wants to know. What makes for a good viral marketing strategy and why?\

Allow and promote sharing as part of your product

Sharing is what viral marketing is all about. The easier it is for a campaign to be shared, the better chance it has at creating opportunities for marketing content to be distributed without any cost for the company.

For example, maybe allow people to download and embed the content to their social media walls or permit people to publish links or share through email.

All in all, the replication of the message should be effortless. The more an audience shares, the more publicity for the startup.

Clever idea, quick execution, and clear messaging

Ensure a good brainstorming session when you are thinking of ideas for marketing campaigns. Write down the project ideas.

When an idea makes sense, ensure that it is relevant in delivering a clear message to your audience. Once you have decided upon an idea, ensure a fast execution. For example, even though it is as ‘simple’ as a story on the blog, if the content and design are ‘blog-worthy’, it can get more much traction even after hours of publishing.

Understand the audience

Engaged users will share only when they think others might appreciate what they share. So, before drafting any viral strategy, make sure the content can activate the customer base properly.

Sharing starts with thoughts like: “This is interesting and I like it. I think Diana might like it, too.”

Give it an emotional touch, but stay simple

Viral marketing uses strong emotions as part of its main core strengths. People either need to feel happy, grateful, touched, sad, or angry when they see the campaign.

However, remember that viral marketing campaign is essentially a container of the message. Be it a website launch, a blog post, or a video, your ‘container’ should be simple and easy to be shared.

So, who have done it right?

Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” is an uplifting promotion video generated record-breaking online interest, resulting in more than 114 million views per month. The message, targeted to women, is clear: “you are more beautiful than you think”.

The video is not more than 3-min long, with heartwarming quotes and punchy words spoken by the video’s participants. As one of the world’s leading beauty product brand, Dove understands its audience and is able to create a strong content that caters to its target.

Spotify uses the power of auto-share linked to Facebook to tell the social media world what users like to listen to. As a thriving start-up in music industry, Spotify understands that music is meant to not only entertain but also be shared. This objective aligns with the audience’s motivations, which leads to the success of more than 75 million users to date.

Indonesia’s Tiket.com in fact started with viral marketing from the get go. Launched in 2011, Tiket.com blasted its soft launch day by picking 11-11-11 as the ‘good’ date and it promoted itself by introducing a competition with movie and plane tickets giveaways for the winner.

It was also already available on smartphone mobile browsers as well. Although it is not clear the direct result (i.e. exact number of website views following the competition, number of applicants, transactions) of Tiket.com’s initial move, the viral competition is an excellent way to spread the word out particularly for a new player in the market. People who heard about the competition most likely were intrigued to check out what Tiket.com is as a result of the company’s viral marketing strategy.

Tiket.com soft launch giveaway includes vacation packages to Bali and movie tickets

Building a brand that people love starts with a big vision, taking daily steps toward the vision, and paying attention to the product and marketing message. As a part of developing your brand, viral marketing is a great way to be on other people’s radars and get noticed while spending as little money as possible.

As long as you have a relevant and creative idea that is valuable for your business, all it takes next is an execution and sharing optimization.

Photo courtesy of  Pixabay.


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