3 Tips for Creating a Viral Campaign

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Everyone wants their campaign to "go viral." After the success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, it's hardly surprising! The ALS Association raised $220 million from the campaign, not to mention the enormous amount of awareness and engagement.

Of course, creating a "viral" campaign is easier said than done. But, you can set up your campaign for success with these elements:

  • Share a story. A great story moves people to action and your advocacy campaign needs an engrossing story. Take it a step further and ask your advocates to tell their stories! Depending on how quickly you can act, you can connect to a news story. The Salvation Army in South Africa tapped into the epic #TheDress debate and made international news by connecting their mission to a trending story.
  • Create a hashtag. Every campaign needs a unique hashtag. A hashtag ties your messages together. And it makes it easy for your advocates to identify and connect with you. A bold, brash hashtag helps you stand out from the digital noise.
  • Set a clear ask. Your ask doesn't need to be small, but it does need to be clear. Your call to action can be big, like asking people to pour buckets of water on their heads, but it has to be simple. Whether you want someone to sign a petition or share their story, make it obvious what action you want.

Unfortunately, there isn't a guaranteed way to spread your advocacy campaign like wildfire. From budgets to international events, many other factors can help or hinder your efforts. But by incorporating these tips, you can give your campaign a boost from the start.

Has one of your digital campaigns gone viral? What made it resonate with your advocates? Tell us in the comments! And, for tips on managing digital campaigns, check out the resources at the Digital Advocacy Institute.