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We piggybacked on memes and went viral

Updated: Nov 25, 2023


The company I work at went viral today. Not by a coincidence. We make icons.




The Wins


1. Earned 900+ backlinks overnight and it's on the road.





2. Hit the front page on Hacker News.




3. Which in turn, got us a featured in many design and dev resource websites such as this one. Influencers started adding us to their directories.




I wondered if I could create a surprise and delight campaign with these influencers who organically promoted us.


To test, I offered to create a custom drawn meme as a thank you.



And it resonated! People had some really niche asks for memes. Which our design team turned around in less than 24 hours.



Scale the Piggybacking

Memes inherently are a viral product and very share-worthy. I wondered if I could 10x the success of the test above. In our monthly email newsletter, I usually send out new product launches.


But this time around, I wanted to piggyback on our users.


I launched a giveaway: Spread the word and win a free custom meme




I wanted to keep things simple:


❌ No dev overhead. No complex referral marketing programs to integrate.

❌ No money or tacky incentives. Designers are really fun people, and have a true love for life. So didn't want to incentivize with money or credits which doesn't feel right, and can even be a headache to manage.


And it blew up.


People started tweeting about. Adding it to their directories. Sharing with friends.



It made its way to our company Slack for recklessly being shared across the internet. ❤️‍🔥





I'm pretty proud of this piggybacking campaign.




This is a classic case of piggybacking, and a win I'll remember for a long time. 🌈


I'm a small team, with a tiny budget. Our freemium business model doesn't support high CAC channels. So, I have to be creative and punch above my weight. The constraints led me here.


Thanks for reading.


Btw, I'm trying to better understand who my audience is. If you've got ten minutes, I would love to do a user research call: toption.org/10-minute


Best, Khushi



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