You know, there are probably thousands of people who have tried to discover the secret of viral campaigns and viral marketing. If any one person could unravel this great enigma of online marketing, that person would become an almost instant millionaire. What anyone can do is just test their ideas and see how it performs, and that is really all that anyone does. Here are several timely guidelines to get you off to a good start in this potentially explosive-results area of marketing.
If you get an idea that you even think could take-off in a viral way, then do not drag your feet on it. The apparent reasoning behind this notion is that somebody else may beat you to the punch. So, just putting it together and making it live is best just so it will not take up too much of your time. Always test before committing in a large scale way so you do not waste resources. If it has some movement, then you can roll it out to other places. The most successful viral marketing campaigns out there were never even planned, they were simply executed without wasting too much time. There just is no need to make your creation look perfect, and it really does not matter.
The shocking factor is something that can always be leveraged when you're creating a viral marketing campaign. Everyone has a different idea of what shocking means, and so you never know what it will take to make it go viral. When there is an emotional spike in somebody, they almost instinctively want to spread it. And there isn't an actual limit to how far you can go with this, because people do love going through the extremes. You just need to make sure that you first figure out how you can benefit from such a viral marketing campaign, and connect it to your product/service. Ultimately viral marketing is all about getting more exposure to your own brand, without which it's baseless.
There really is no target audience in the sense that you are used to thinking about because anything viral can pull anyone in. Almost all people tend to react the same way except for maybe those professionals who may not. We have seen viral videos work pretty well such as one in which an actress was the central player, but maybe it was viral because she was in it. If you wanted to get feedback, then do a small poll or ask some friends what they think. Realize that it is very difficult to do this on purpose, and it takes experience and knowledge of psychology, we feel, to do it with intent.
It is a challenge to produce viral campaigns that become truly viral, but you can often score on smaller scale successes. You can improve your expertise in this area with solid study and experience.