When you consider viral media, you probably imagine all the big brand campaigns that made news headlines. These were already famous brands like Skittles or Pepsi or Apple. But then you wonder, as a small business owner, can I create a viral phenomenon?
I call successful local viral efforts hometown heroes. And they most certainly exist! You don't need the whole world to stand in awe (though, of course, that'd be nice), you just need the people you want to reach to know who you are. This could be in one city, or zip code or maybe around the world but with a specialized niche.
Some viral campaigns shouldn't even have large aims, they need to be very specially targeted to reach a certain person or location. I've seen lots of successful small town push campaigns. Think about your home city. What local brands does everyone recognize? Ever seen a fun marketing effort that accumulated some buzz just in your industry? Those are all successful viral campaigns even if they didn't make it onto all the blogs.
The point here is you can use all the tips the big dogs get, just make sure you really localize your target market. That's where the power is. How well do you know your audience, and are you actually resonating with them? If you research that and finance the effort based on the size campaign you want, you should be on your way to creating some word of mouth advertizing (online!) for your business.
Have you seen some localized viral campaigns? How well did they work?