The 3 C’s of Viral Marketing

Posted on November 5th 2011

The 3 C’s of Viral Marketing

ImageViral marketing. Is it worth your time, money, and effort?

It can be. If you have the right Content, Community, and Catch. Or, as we call them, the 3 C’s.


There’s so much content on the Internet that it can be hard to compete for even basic awareness in a consumers mind. You’re in a fight for attention with the Old Spice guy, streaming TV shows, and Internet cats. Having strong content is crucial.

What does your video, infographic, giveaway, or ad campaign have going for it that will give it the edge online? One thing’s for certain: your content has to be valuable and beneficial to your target.


As with anything, knowing your audience is crucial. What’s your target market? What are their interests and what do they do look at online?

The second part of community is having a solid online network of people to share your content with. Social media is saturated with links, posts, tweets, updates — you name it. If you don’t have a core network of people to get your posts rolling, it’s going to be hard to get your campaign off the ground.


How do you make your content stand out? What’s the title? How do you keep someone from scrolling past your content? How do you get them to follow your links and engage with your content and brand?  No one knows what the next big thing will be online, but anyone can make a sizable dent in their target market if they utilize the right methods.

We encourage you to keep an eye on the top viral marketing campaigns for inspiration. How can you use similar elements in your campaigns? What do you think makes for successful viral marketing? Let us know your comments.



John Luginbill


Author, speaker, marketing strategist and CEO of the marketing firm THE HEAVYWEIGHTS. My passions at home include a wife, children, family, friends, seeking justice, helping those in need, avid learning, and all the usually family activities and sports.
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Posted on November 5th 2011 at 6:25PM

I would say CURIOSITY, in addution to the 3 i right ?

Posted on November 6th 2011 at 1:44AM

i would suggest to add a one more C

1. Communication - Has to be as simple as possible. Specially the message and the way it needs to be replicated.


If you think this is valid, then would like to have inputs from your side.

Posted on November 7th 2011 at 2:58PM

I completely agree. Simple, precise communication is the foundation to your content. Thanks for your comment, Nikhil.

Posted on November 6th 2011 at 8:23PM

The 4th C I would add is Campaign. Just like how politicians campaign for votes. If you have good content and you want it to be seen then you are going to have to promote it. The best advertising is also great content, so if you're content converts there's no reason why you can pay for some traffic to get the momentum going.

Posted on November 7th 2011 at 4:47AM

It's not a C but luck must play a big part I would think.  I don't think any marketer has the ability to produce a viral campaign each and every time, therefore there must exist a fair amount of unknowns that help turn something viral over which we have little control.

That said of course, I think you cover the things we do have control over pretty well.

Posted on November 7th 2011 at 2:54PM

Thanks for your feedback, it is greatly appreciated. All of the below are important components for viral marketing strategies and I look forward to hearing more input.

Posted on November 14th 2011 at 11:50PM

One other "C" I would add is Control. Good or bad word of mouth, companies need to be in control of their viral marketing campaigns. One other possible "C" is compensation. May be it is a specific case, but we all like to be compensated or rewarded for successful referrals.