The Unhinged Guide to Relationship Marketing: Lessons from Duolingo's Viral Charm

Duo Is Giving Eclectic Grandpa and I’m here for the unhinged marketing tactics. Let's see what we can learn.
Mikayla Luna
3 min read
two men looking at a path

Have you seen Duolingo’s viral posts?

I mean the Las Vegas weddings?

The “my only real friend” song.

And of course the sexy photoshoot on the roof? (It’s giving eclectic grandpa and I am here for it.)

Yes, this owl is going viral on all social platforms, and let me tell you, the unhinged marketing genius behind these social strategies deeply understand who their customer is.

They're not just throwing memes into the void.

Every viral tweet, every crazy TikTok video, every image that makes you do a double-take... it's all rooted in deep knowledge of their audience's pain points and aspirations.

They've mastered the art of blending humor with utility, leading millions to say "What in the world are they selling?"

But here's the kicker: This doesn’t work without a home base.

Imagine Duo without the app.

Just an owl in some boxers with nowhere to send his adoring fans. Kinda sad, right?

The Marketing Journey

Let’s dive into this marketing journey for a second.

Your potential client is moving through 3 stages of a relationship with you.

Stage 1: Curiosity

Here is where it all begins.

When your potential client is in the curiosity stage of a relationship they are looking for someone who can help them do 2 things:

  1. Survive & Thrive (aka understanding their pain points)
  2. Increase their standing in life (aka understanding their aspirations)

This is where Duolingo is crushing their social media strategy.

It’s causing people to go, “I’m curious about who you are. What exactly do you do?”

This is when they move into the next stage.

Stage 2: Enlightenment

In this stage of a relationship with your potential client, you have piqued their interest and they want to know more.

One of the best ways to help them understand more about you is by sending them to a website.

A website that shares:

  1. Exactly what you do
  2. How you solve their problem,
  3. Your process
  4. How you’ve helped others solve this problem

Because Duolingo has laid the foundation before going full throttle into this social strategy, they have a website where curious people can go to learn more about their offering.


Your website lives in the enlightenment stage of a relationship (and as you’ll see, is apart of the commitment stage too). If you need a website that clearly defines your offers and acts as that home base for all the marketing tactics you’re thoughtfully implementing or planning to implement, let’s huddle up.

Stage 3: Commitment

Okay, now this is where the rubber meets the road.

At this point in the relationship, you are on bended knee, with your virtual ring, asking “will you buy from me”.

Your potential client has all the information necessary for them to make a decision and commit to you.

The key thing in this stage of a relationship is to ask for the sale. Be brave.

This is why you’ll see Duolingo consistently making it easy for you to sign up for their app.

The commitment.

Understanding the stages of a relationship, helps you practically break down these viral sensations.

The Key Takeaway

Good marketing creates curiosity.

But if you don’t have a way to covert that curiosity into action, well, then what are you even doing?

So let me help you build that home base - aka your website.

I promise, no rooftop photoshoots required—unless that's your thing, then I'm all in.

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