How To Go Viral

If you’ve ever shared a cute kitten video from YouTube, or shivered through the Ice Bucket Challenge before nominating your friends to do the same, you’ll know the power of a compelling viral marketing campaign. If you want the same kind of success for your own brand, don’t just leave it to chance; here’s how to put in the groundwork to create some truly shareable viral content.

Be realistic

First, a warning: genuine viral sensations can’t be guaranteed or predicted. You can never quite know how the public will react to a piece of content; whether it will be shared and enjoyed so much it’s picked up by the mainstream media, or simply enjoy a modest reaction before sinking down the news feed. In any case, you probably don’t need to create a full-on global sensation in order to benefit from a viral marketing campaign; what’s important is that your content gets shared within the right circles, among people who will respond to and remember your brand.

Know the characteristics of viral content

Although it’s impossible to predict whether a post will go viral, you can certainly make sure you increase your chances. The big viral successes of the past few years may be diverse, but there are certain characteristics they often have in common:

  • Emotional impact. Your viral content needs to have something in it that chimes with people’s emotions, whether it simply makes them laugh or prompts them to reassess their values.
  • If people can identify with your video (or meme, or blog) in some way, they are more likely to share it with others – especially if they have friends they think will relate to it, too.
  • While there’s certainly a place for timeless humour and classic cuteness, many viral marketing campaigns ride the zeitgeist. They succeed because their time is right; they address issues currently in the news, mimic a popular song or TV show, or reach out to people in a way that captures the spirit of the time.
  • Social media viral video doesn’t tend to be lengthy or overly complicated; instead it cuts to the chase to make an instant impact.
  • Call to action. People need prompting! A good viral marketing campaign is likely to include a call to action, asking people to share the video, create their own or perform some other action that will raise brand awareness.

Make it easy to share

Possibly the most vital aspect of any viral campaign is to make sure it’s easy to share – and to give people a reason to do so. The technical side of social media video sharing is really important; if it’s too difficult to share, people simply won’t bother. At Shoot Systems we offer a foolproof way to upload and publish photos and videos, that’s simple for anyone to use.

Our final tip on how to go viral? User-generated content, such as green screen photography created and uploaded by individuals themselves, will increase your chances. It lends itself to sharing because it’s genuine and personal; people primarily use social media to connect with friends, not corporations.