The Art of Going Viral

The Art of Going Viral

The Art of Going Viral

Viral: The word itself has practically gone viral these days. But what is “Viral Marketing”? How does one create a surefire viral video these days?

In truth, there is a nearly limitless supply of incredible content on the internet these days. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Imgur and countless other websites play host to millions of great ideas every day. There are select few items that go viral, so much so that it is on everyone’s lips within days of being shared. While it is nearly impossible to dictate what will go viral, there are ways to make sure your idea gets the attention it deserves.

There is a law, Metcalfe’s Law, which calculates the value of a network. Essentially, the network effect says that the value of each potential sharer is proportional to the number of individuals he or she can connect to. This is important for marketers because by creating and joining strong networks, they are given opportunity to see incredible Return on Investment through the use of viral marketing. Though there is cost associated with promoting content, the ROI on a truly viral video or photo will outweigh the cost exponentially.

There are two key ideas to see content go viral:

1. The content must be worthy of going viral.

2. The content must be shared on a wide range of strong networks to reap the benefits of these networks.


Are you truly desperate to create content that will go viral? Your content should meet at least one, if not more, of the below criteria:


1. It makes people stop and think.

2. It is different or isn’t something that mainstream media would generally cover.

3. It agrees with most people’s world view.

4. People will smile when they see it.

5. It contains drama.

6. It is embarrassing.

7. It’s sexy (though still safe for work)

8. It is incredible or simply unbelievable.

9. It gets in touch with people’s emotions.

10. It is down right hysterical.

Here are some examples of some outstanding Viral Marketing campaigns in recent history.


Old Spice.


Old Spice started a campaign a few years back that touched on many of the key ingredients to viral success: It made people smile, it was sexy, it was different from typical advertising and it was incredibly funny. With the success of these commercials, Old Spice continued to make new, original content, including these outrageous commercials with Terry Crews.


Old spice continues to enjoy great viral success to this day with their marketing and has brought a fresh face to their product that has the attention of a new generation.


This past Holiday Season, WestJet created a video that turned into a viral sensation. Watch the video if you haven’t yet seen it.


This powerful video also contained many of the above criteria. It made people stop and think, it was different and had not been done before, people smiled when they saw it, it contained drama, it was truly incredible and got in touch with the emotions of everyone that saw it. This was easily the most talked about video this past holiday season.


So there you have it. You’re well on your way to creating your very own viral content. Don’t be upset if your video isn’t viewed by 10 million people in one week, there is no true formula to becoming a viral sensation. Though with some effort and some luck, who knows what you can accomplish.

We’ll leave you with this week’s most viral video. Enjoy Hero Cat!



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