4 Viral Marketing Strategies to Attract Millenials and Gen Z

Lassarina Ho
Content Marketing
August 22, 2020
May 12, 2021
19
min read

What are Millenials and Gen Zs looking out for? 

Viral marketing reaches wide audiences at a low cost and generates active discussion about the brand. Social media is the ideal platform for viral marketing campaigns as it facilitates the sharing of popular content. With the right influencer and a touch of creativity, brands can easily trend on social media and capture the attention of consumers. 

Yet, creating a viral marketing campaign is not that easy. Most viral marketing campaigns are  accidental rather than intentional and brands have to be on a constant search to find out what resonates with their audience. With Millenials and Gen Zs forming the largest audience on social media, it is especially important to know what appeals to them.  

Struggling to find the recipe for viral content? Here are some tips on how to create viral content to attract Millenials and Gen Z consumers on social media! 


1. Start a Hashtag Challenge 

Contest and giveaways are one of the most common tactics brands use to increase awareness on Instagram. Hashtag challenges have a tendency to go viral with well-known challenges like the ALS #IceBucketChallenge, Pepsi’s #pepsicanbalance and Guess’s #InMyDenim. Not only can hashtag challenges give your brand a boost quickly, they often leave a lasting impression on consumers too! 

One of the most successful hashtag challenges in 2019 is the #RibenaLightChallenge. Playing a pun on the product’s name, @ribenasg collaborated with Singaporean influencers including @debbwie, @naomineo_, @jazephua, @syarif.ig and @speishi. The goal of the challenge? To take a picture of anything and make it seem like it’s floating. With over 90k total engagement from its campaign, Ribena successfully grabbed consumers’ attention and was able to differentiate its new product from the original.

With more and more popular hashtag challenges on Tiktok and Instagram, brands should consider using this wildly successful tactic. And as always, tapping on popular influencers can help you get started by engaging their followers so as to generate awareness of your hashtag challenge.

2. Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

If you pay close attention, it is hard to miss out this trait among all the viral marketing campaigns on social media --  Creativity. For any campaign to go viral, it is important for your content to stand out from the rest. 

New digital mobile service provider, @gigaexperience, recently launched a #DitchYourGlitch campaign in June with @melissackoh, @sethluicious, @heylookitsdionne, @roxannejy and @xiaxue among many others. Followers saw a “glitchy” and unloadable post on these influencers accounts which led to a ton of confused comments about what was really going on. 

The big question mark left in the air successfully drew a great amount of attention to the #DitchYourGlitch campaign, making it viral instantaneously. Shortly after, influencers revealed @gigaexperience which aims to get rid of glitchy posts by offering the fastest network connection.

But, creating thought-provoking content is not the only way to launch a viral marketing campaign. @pizzahut_sg collaborated with @sgagsg, to come up with a sweet and funny pun for its heart-shaped pizzas on Valentine’s Day. 

Want a “Pizza my Heart”? With an innovative product and a catchy phrase, the post got over 18k likes as consumers reacted to the cheesy pizza puns. Similarly, brands can consider adding humour to their campaigns and throw in a pun or two.

Tip: Content that goes viral often triggers an emotional response in people. By appealing to consumers’ emotions, especially the positive ones like laughter and amusement, creating viral content for millennials and Gen Zs is no longer a difficult challenge!

3. Video Content is The King of Content Marketing

The rise of Tiktok is one of the top content marketing trends to watch out in 2020. According to Adweek, TikTok generated “the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter” in Q1 2020. 

Video content is expected to be the future of influencer marketing, especially as short-form videos continue to gain traction on social media. 

Highly unique and creative content on Tiktok encourages users to be themselves which resonates with millennials and Gen Z’s search for authentic and relatable influencers. Dettol’s Tiktok challenge even comes with a unique song that users can dance to. According to AdAge, the wildly successful #handwashchallenge got an impressive 9 billion views in just 4 days!

To ride on the wave of user-generated content, Instagram recently released Instagram Reels. A new kid on the block, it is targeted to recreate Tiktok’s viral videos trend. The new short-form video editing and sharing feature on Instagram allows users to create 15-second entertaining videos. 

Tip: With Tiktok banned in India and an imminent Tiktok ban in the US, more consumers will be turning to IG Reels in the coming months. Hence, brands should consider familiarising themselves with IG Reels so as to launch viral video campaigns in these markets.

4. Trendjacking 

Content discovery is an important process of creating effective content by knowing what your audience is interested in. In particular, a viral content marketing strategy needs content that resonates with your audience. 

So, what is trendjacking? Make a quick guess and the straightforward answer would be to hijack a trend. According to MultiView, trendjacking happens when brands and organizations notice something that is gaining a lot of attention online and then interject themselves into it. It is a strategy closely related to real-time marketing which focuses on current relevant trends. 

The #10YearChallenge is a prime example of a trend which took social media by storm in 2019. Brands had happily hopped on the bandwagon to compare how they were like 10 years before versus how they were like in 2019. For @digibankid by DBS in Indonesia, the post helped to demonstrate the technological transformation of the brand. Compared to 10 years ago, customers can now conveniently transfer money via the digibank app instead of a physical machine. The creative post also helped to increase awareness of its electronic banking solutions. 

 

Beyond being involved in online trends, relating to trends occurring in daily life can make a significant impact as well. With QR codes disguised as SafeEntry checkpoints, Circles.life “wanted to create a fun way to subtly get netizens to scan the code and get updated on its eSIM launch”. To spread awareness of its campaign, Circles.life also partnered with SGAG which resulted in over 30,000 likes on Instagram.

Overall, the trick to create a viral marketing campaign is to produce relatable content that audiences will share with their community. And marketers have to realise that’s more than just creating great content. 

To encourage sharing behaviour among your audience, it is important for brands to keep their ears to the ground. After all, whatever is happening around us might be the next million-dollar viral marketing idea!

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