How To Create a Social Media Ad That Goes Viral

December 1, 2022
Talk Agency
There aren’t many situations where people actually want to say they’re ’ viral’. But viral social media ads are a different story. They're like the holy grail of online marketing - the elusive goal that every business aspires to achieve. And better still, nobody needs to stay 10 feet away with a mask on.

When a social media ad goes viral, it spreads like wildfire, reaching millions of people in a short span of time. This can have a tremendous impact on a business, increasing brand awareness, driving traffic, and ultimately, boosting sales. 

But creating a viral social media ad is no easy task. It requires careful planning, research, creativity, and strategic implementation. So in today’s blog, we look at how to create a viral social media ad that can take your business to new heights.

Understanding Virality in Online Marketing

Before diving into the process of creating a viral social media ad, it's important to understand what it means for an ad to go viral. Essentially, a viral social media ad is one that captures the attention and interest of a large number of people, prompting them to engage with and share the ad with their own networks. This can result in exponential reach and exposure for the ad and the brand behind it.

The advantages of viral ads for businesses are significant. They generate buzz, create brand advocates, and increase brand visibility. Moreover, viral ads have the potential to reach a massive audience at a relatively low cost compared to traditional advertising methods. These factors make viral social media ads an attractive option for businesses looking to generate hype and boost their online presence.

Examples Of Successful Viral Social Media Ads 

"Ice Bucket Challenge" by ALS Association 

The Ice Bucket Challenge became a global phenomenon in 2014, raising awareness and funds for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) research. Participants would dump a bucket of ice water over their heads and nominate others to do the same, sharing their videos on social media. The challenge went viral, with countless videos being shared across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, helping the ALS Association raise over $115 million.

"Puppyhood" by Purina Puppy Chow

Purina Puppy Chow's "Puppyhood" ad is a heartwarming and relatable video that resonated with dog lovers. The ad showcased the bond between a young man and his new puppy, highlighting the joys and challenges of puppyhood. It struck a chord with viewers, connecting emotionally and leading to millions of views and shares on social media.

Optus Sports - "Kicking Goals with Euro 2020"

Optus Sports ran a successful viral social media marketing campaign titled "Kicking Goals with Euro 2020". The campaign was designed to coincide with the UEFA Euro 2020 championships and was highly regarded by Twitter Australia as a standout brand campaign. Optus Sports effectively capitalised on the excitement of a live sports event to engage audiences through digital platforms.

Research and Planning

The first step in creating a viral social media ad is to identify your target audience and choose the appropriate platform(s) to reach them. Understanding your audience's preferences, interests, and online behaviour is crucial in crafting an ad that resonates with them. Use market research tools, social media analytics, and audience insights to gain a deep understanding of your target audience.

Once you've identified your target audience, set clear objectives and goals for your ad campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or boost sales? Having clearly defined goals will help you maintain focus throughout the creative process.

Next, it's time to brainstorm creative and unique ideas for your ad. Think outside the box and come up with concepts that are attention-grabbing, relatable, and shareable. A great way to spark creativity is to study successful viral ads in your industry and beyond. What elements or strategies made those ads go viral? Take inspiration from them while adding your own unique spin.

Crafting the Ad

Now that you have a solid plan in place, it's time to bring your ad to life. Start by developing a compelling headline or hook that immediately captures the audience's attention. This should be something that piques their curiosity and makes them want to learn more.

Next, create a compelling story or narrative for your ad. Storytelling is a powerful tool that helps evoke emotions and engage the audience on a deeper level. Whether it's through humour, inspiration, or relatability, make sure your ad tells a story that resonates with your target audience.

Visuals are another key element in creating a viral social media ad. Incorporate images or videos that are eye-catching, visually appealing, and relevant to your message. People are more likely to engage with content that is visually appealing, so make sure your visuals support and enhance your ad's message.

When crafting the written content for your ad, use persuasive language and emotional appeal to connect with your audience. Focus on the benefits or key selling points of your product or service, and highlight how it can make a difference in their lives.  Here’s how to write compelling copy like a pro.

Implementing the Ad

Choosing the right social media platforms for your ad is crucial in maximising its reach and effectiveness. Consider where your target audience spends most of their time online and which platforms align best with your objectives. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are some popular options to consider.

  • Optimise your ad's format, resolution, and dimensions as per the platform's requirements. This ensures that your ad looks professional and is displayed correctly on different devices. Yep, this really does make a huge difference to its success.
  • Use targeting options to reach your desired audience effectively. Narrow down your targeting criteria based on demographics, interests, behaviours, and other relevant factors. This will help ensure that your ad is shown to the people who are most likely to engage with it.
  • Setting a budget and allocating resources for your ad campaign is essential. Determine how much you're willing to spend and how long you want your ad to run. Monitoring your ad's performance throughout its duration and making adjustments as necessary will help you optimise your budget.
  • Schedule your ad to run at optimal times for maximum visibility and engagement. Consider factors like your target audience's online behaviour and the time zones they are in. Running your ad during peak usage times can increase its chances of being seen and shared.
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Monitoring and Optimisation

Once your ad is live, it's important to track its performance using analytics and monitoring tools provided by the social media platform(s). Pay attention to key metrics like engagement, click-through rates, conversions, and reach. 

This data will provide valuable insights into how your ad is performing and help you make data-driven adjustments to optimise its performance.

Consider testing different variations of your ad to identify what resonates best with your audience. This can include testing different headlines, visuals, or calls to action. Split testing allows you to compare the performance of different ad variations and determine which ones are most effective.

Promoting the Ad

To give your ad the best chance of going viral, consider leveraging social media influencers or brand ambassadors. These individuals have a strong following and can help amplify the reach and visibility of your ad. 

Collaborating with influencers who have an audience that aligns with your target market can significantly boost your ad's exposure.

Another way to encourage audience engagement and sharing is to incorporate social sharing buttons within your ad. These buttons allow users to easily share your ad on their social media profiles, increasing its reach and potential for virality.

Collaborate with relevant communities or groups that align with your target audience. Engaging with these communities and sharing your ad within them can help generate buzz and increase the chances of your ad going viral.

Go Viral, Just Talk

If you need help creating a viral social media ad, Talk Agency is here to help. Our team of creative experts can guide you through the process, from market research and ad creation to optimisation and promotion. 

Talk to us today to start your journey towards creating a viral social media ad that can take your business to new heights.

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