Definition of Viral Growth Rate

Viral Growth Rate refers to the rate at which a piece of digital content, such as an advertisement or social media post, spreads and gains popularity among users through shares and engagement. It is commonly used to measure the success and impact of a marketing campaign. A higher viral growth rate implies rapid and wide dissemination of the content, increasing its visibility and potential audience reach.


In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), the phonetics for “Viral Growth Rate” would be:/ˈvaɪrəl ɡroʊθ reɪt/

Key Takeaways

  1. Viral Growth Rate measures the rapidity at which a product or service gains new users through existing users’ referrals, creating exponential growth in its user base.
  2. A higher Viral Growth Rate means a product or service can spread more quickly and efficiently, reducing customer acquisition costs and enabling it to potentially outpace its competitors.
  3. Factors influencing Viral Growth Rate include the product’s ease of use, its shareability, inherent incentives for users to invite others, and the overall quality of the user experience.

Importance of Viral Growth Rate

The Viral Growth Rate is an essential term in digital marketing because it measures the exponential growth of a product, content, or idea as it gets shared among users through social networks and various online platforms.

This concept is crucial as it helps businesses and marketers identify the success of their marketing campaigns and the extent to which their content, product, or service can self-promote, which in turn, drives customer acquisition, brand awareness, and sales growth.

Achieving a high viral growth rate means that the content reaches a broader audience, making it more likely for people to identify with the brand and ultimately influence consumer behavior.

Therefore, tracking and understanding this metric allows businesses and marketers to optimize their marketing strategies through better engagement and referrals, leading to a stronger online presence, increased traffic, and overall business growth.


The viral growth rate is an essential metric for businesses and marketing teams that helps measure the success and potential of digital marketing campaigns. The purpose of this metric is to gauge the rate at which a piece of content or an idea reaches a larger audience, primarily driven by social sharing and word-of-mouth.

By monitoring the viral growth rate, marketing professionals can make informed decisions about which campaigns or content pieces are likely to resonate with target audiences and generate the most traction. This information enables businesses to optimize their marketing efforts, ensuring adequate resource allocation, and increasing the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes, such as increased brand awareness and higher sales conversions.

Evaluated on an ongoing basis, the viral growth rate also serves as a valuable tool to identify trends and patterns that contribute to a campaign’s success, such as shareable content, effective promotional tactics, and audience behavior. Armed with this knowledge, marketers can replicate or adapt successful strategies in future initiatives and stay ahead of the competition in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Additionally, tracking the viral growth rate can highlight potential issues or shortcomings, allowing teams to fine-tune their approach or pivot their strategy when necessary. In summary, the viral growth rate provides invaluable insight and direction to digital marketing professionals, ultimately ensuring a higher return on investment and more impactful marketing campaigns.

Examples of Viral Growth Rate

Dropbox: Dropbox showcased a high viral growth rate when they introduced their referral program offering additional free storage to both the existing user and the new user. This incentivized users to invite their friends and colleagues to join the platform, and as a result, Dropbox’s user base grew exponentially. It is reported that their growth rate increased from 100,000 users to 4 million users in just 15 months, around a 3900% increase.

Candy Crush Saga: The popular mobile game, Candy Crush Saga, experienced a significant viral growth rate by leveraging social media platforms, particularly Facebook. The game was designed to encourage players to invite their friends and share their progress on social media, leading to an increase in new users. Candy Crush Saga quickly became one of the most popular mobile games and has now surpassed

7 billion downloads since its initial release in

The Ice Bucket Challenge (2014): This social media campaign was developed to raise awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Participants were encouraged to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads, share the video on social media platforms, and nominate other people to do the same. The Ice Bucket Challenge went viral with millions of people participating, including celebrities and public figures. As a result, it raised over $115 million for the ALS Association, and its viral growth rate showcased the impact of combining digital marketing with a social cause.

FAQ: Viral Growth Rate

What is Viral Growth Rate?

Viral Growth Rate refers to the rate at which a piece of content, such as a social media post, video, or advertisement, gains popularity and spreads across various platforms or audiences. It is typically measured by tracking the number of new users, shares, likes, or views within a specific time period.

Why is Viral Growth Rate important?

Viral Growth Rate is important because it helps businesses and marketers gauge the effectiveness of their content and strategies. A high growth rate indicates that the content is resonating with the target audience and has the potential to reach a large number of people in a short amount of time, thereby increasing brand awareness, engagement, and potentially, revenue.

How to calculate Viral Growth Rate?

The Viral Growth Rate can be calculated using the following formula: (New users or actions / Total users or actions) x 100. This gives you the percentage of new users, shares, likes, or views compared to the total number of users, shares, likes, or views.

What factors contribute to a high Viral Growth Rate?

Several factors can contribute to a high Viral Growth Rate, including the quality and relevance of the content, the level of engagement (e.g., comments, shares, likes), the appeal and shareability of the content (e.g., visually captivating, strong emotion, or humor), and the effective distribution and promotion of the content through various channels and influencers.

How can Viral Growth Rate be improved?

To improve Viral Growth Rate, focus on creating high-quality, engaging, and shareable content that resonates with your target audience. Additionally, ensure that your content is easily shareable and distributed across various platforms. Utilize analytics to track and measure the performance of your content, and leverage data insights to refine and optimize your content strategies for better results.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Viral Coefficient
  • Sharing Channels
  • User Acquisition
  • Retention Rate
  • Word-of-mouth Marketing

Sources for More Information

Reviewed by digital marketing experts

More terms

Guides, Tips, and More