Four Tips to Help Create Viral Content

4409It’s no secret that in today’s digital world, the best and most effective kind of content for promotion is viral content. Many viral videos have no sort of marketing plan behind them and are created simply for entertainment, but the value of viral marketing for companies is incredibly high. If you have a video or image that goes viral, it could end up on the front page of Yahoo or with millions of YouTube views in a matter of days. Creating some viral content could also drive thousands, if not millions, of Internet users to your website from While there truly is no way to guarantee that the content you’re creating will go viral, there are things you can do that increase the odds that your video might go viral.

Go Crazy

The most successful and quickly spreading viral videos were things that were totally original, entertaining, and in many cases just flat out weird. For a truly successful viral video, you need to have all that and more. Try creating a bizarre character to appear in your viral video, somebody that is relatable yet outlandish and somewhat unbelievable. Think something like the guy from the Old Spice commercials. The best viral videos become a part of culture, so if you’re able to create culture your video is just about bound to go viral.

Follow Trends and Be Timely 

A successful viral video becomes part of culture. And the best way to create some kind of culture is by following different cultural trends and being the first to hop on them. Maybe there’s a recent news event that you want to parody, which is trendy and timely. Or maybe you want to make fun of a new fashion trend. Whatever it is, keep it relevant to the present and you’ll have a better shot of your video going viral. Search engines usually give higher rankings to content that’s current and timely, so you may benefit in your Google ranking by creating content that’s current.

Don’t Try to Fool

If you aren’t authentic with your viral marketing, you may face serious ramifications. In the past, companies have tried to disguise viral marketing campaigns as fan sites or fan videos, and when it gets discovered people usually are upset. Be honest about who you are in your viral campaign. It’s very possible to have heavily branded content that still goes viral.

Make it Shareable

Once a video goes viral, it could have millions of views and shares in a matter of hours. A successful viral video, article, or image is easy to share. Maybe it’s followed by a hashtag on Twitter or is quickly able to be spread with a “share” button; whatever it is, it needs to be easy to share. If it’s a video embedded on your website, the chances of it going viral drop dramatically since it’s not as easy to share. Make your content very easy to share, and you’ll have better luck at going viral.

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About Shawn Hartley

Creative technologist by day. VP at Corporate 3 Design in Omaha. Proud father and husband.