In this article, we are going to talk about the four elements that are at the core of what makes content go viral, or basically what the messengers, the message and the environment need to do to send a campaign through the roof.
While it is true that much of what has become viral since the term “viral” began, there is a very relevant aspect of said content that people tend to forget about: where the content is housed. That is, any website can potentially go viral if the content on it allows for it, but when this happens it is actually a matter of luck and unintentional. If you want something to go viral, you need to add viral levers to it to increase the chances.
In the early days of the internet, viral content needed a viral website to be strikingly unusual. Nowadays, a viral website just needs to be responsive, be search engine friendly and host trending, high quality content.
Regarding trending and high quality content previously mentioned, your website will be next to nothing without content. Not just any type of content, mind you, but content with the highest possibility of going viral. Content that will not only make people want to share it with their friends, but content that they feel needs to be shared with the whole world if possible!
Viral content needs to be understood as content that not only targets a niche audience, but that caters to a large number of people from different subcultures. An example of non-viral content would be if you have food recipes, because food recipes will only be of interest to food minded people.
It can, of course, go kind of viral within a certain audience, but its outreach will not go further than that. An example of viral content is celebrity gossip, because celebrities inundate almost every aspect of popular culture, and word about something that a celebrity did will undoubtedly land on the news feed of anyone with a social network account.
Viral content can also be miscellaneous stuff that is so out of the norm that it deserves to be shared, like new tech products, scientific discoveries and news pieces.
To summarize, Viral content needs to meet the following criteria:
- It needs to touch an emotional chord within people, be it joy or sadness
- It needs to drive intense curiosity
- And It needs to be about something recognizable
Social media is, without a shadow of doubt, a giant force behind making something go viral. This is because social media makes it really easy for content to spread at a really fast rate among different groups of people, with each group reaching out to other groups of people until a piece of viral content is all over the place!
Any marketer can leverage social media to spread content like there’s no tomorrow thanks to the very nature of the ways in which social media channels work and the options made available to them. For starters, once you get a piece of content out there and it reaches people with high social networking potential, these highly social individuals put it out for their contacts to share.
Then, your content becomes an unstoppable tidal wave that it’s not easy to contain! In a matter of mere hours your content will easily become a worldwide sensation! On the other hand, most social networks give you paid advertising options that you can use to give a little boost to your viral marketing campaign or to outright promote it in an aggressive manner.
No matter your approach, if your content is high quality and qualifies as viral, social media will take it out there, guaranteed.The clearest examples of social networks putting viral content on the map are Facebook and Twitter. Facebook, of course will help a great deal because it is the most popular social network on the planet, and Twitter works for viral content thanks to the fast-paced way in which content is shared across the network.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that if you are intentionally making viral marketing, then you should monetize it. Viral marketing is designed to drive as many people to see your content as possible, and monetization can be a really easy task to pull off. That’s mainly because you will be taking these people to the same place to consume your viral content: your viral website.
The main way to monetize your viral website is by in-site advertising using a platform such as Google AdSense to insert ads in your viral website. People visiting your website on a daily basis will see ads targeted at them, click on them and earn you money.