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Viral marketing can be a very lucrative part of a business’s overall marketing strategy. However, using this form of marketing also comes with its challenges. One of the most debilitating is website crashes. If your business depends on your website for revenue, downtime or crashes can be your worst nightmare. 

In this article, we will cover viral content and its benefits for marketing. We will also be looking at the link between viral marketing and website crashes and the steps you can take to minimize the chances of crashes. Some of these steps can be as simple as using a residential proxy from a provider such as Smartproxy, whereas others can become more technical. Continue reading to find out more.

What Is Viral Content?

social media marketingViral content spreads very fast across social media and gets a lot of engagement from those who see it. This online content can be in the form of an article, image, or even a video. If you take a moment to think about those random cat videos that appear in your news feed that have been watched and shared millions of times, that is viral content. Or if you think of Psy’s Gangnam Style music video that took the world by storm a few years back, that is another type of viral content. Now, can you just imagine if you were able to create viral content to promote your business or products? The amount of traffic you could generate by implementing this as part of your marketing strategy is mind-boggling.

Using Viral Content for Marketing

Viral marketing is not an altogether new topic, but many businesses have not explored it. However, a few examples of viral marketing from companies prove what can be done with a bit of creativity and know-how. Viral marketing is a business strategy that uses social media platforms to creatively promote a product or business by producing content that others will want to share and interact with.

One example of an effective viral marketing strategy was Zoom’s virtual background challenge. The now-popular video conferencing platform introduced the challenge in March 2020 when lockdown hit. This competition encouraged users to get creative with virtual backgrounds on the platform while working remotely. Aside from the prizes available to be won every month, this also became a fun competition. It led to Zoom adding 50 000 new customers to the platform in one month and was the most successful viral campaign in 2020.

Reddit is one of the best platforms to use for viral marketing. The platform is so popular that it has become famous for breaking websites because of the generated traffic. People have even referred to this phenomenon as the ‘Reddit Hug of Death.’ In the past, it was also referred to as the ‘Slashdot Effect.’ This is one of the reasons why so many posts on Reddit have deadlinks. The target servers just can’t handle the traffic load.

The Link Between Viral Content and Increased Website Crashes

Unfortunately, viral content can lead to website crashes if you’re not prepared for the sudden and drastic increase in traffic. Nobody wants their website to crash. Getting your website up and running can be time-consuming, and because users can’t access your site while it’s down, it can cost your potential clients and revenue. It also creates a negative user experience which means users are less likely to return to your site even if you get it back up and running. This is why it’s essential to prevent these issues before they happen.

Why Do Websites Crash?

There are many reasons why a website could crash. Any action that prevents the site from serving data will result in a crash. Some of these actions include:

  • A sudden influx of visitors (Reddit Hug of Death or Slashdotting)
  • Bugs in the website code
  • Loss of power to your website server

How to Avoid Crashes?

There are a few ways to avoid crashes related to a sudden influx of visitors. For one, you can use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up your site and make it easier for users from all over the world to access the site. Another way is to use a residential proxy for your company. That way, when you or your employees use the bandwidth for other reasons such as site testing etc., you do not slow down the website. Another step is to ensure you use a scalable architecture when building and hosting your website. This will enable you to easily scale your website when the traffic increases to manage the influx.

Final Thoughts

While most of these platforms aren’t directly aimed at content marketing, they can be very useful in your efforts. However, should you wish to start a viral marketing campaign on Reddit or a similar platform, we suggest conducting a series of load testing before launching the campaign to ensure your website can handle the potential increase in traffic without resulting in a crash. Doing this, along with using a CDN, residential proxy, and scalable website architecture, should minimize crashes from a sudden increase in traffic.