Creating and marketing viral content for your business is something that many people will attribute to luck. This is blatantly false. Companies that develop viral videos have specific formulas and strategies that they follow to focus on creating viral content. These strategies will hit certain triggers that trigger a viral response from viewers.
This article will outline some of those formulas and strategies to help you develop viral content for your business.
Defining Viral Content
This first step is to identify viral content as many definitions are floating around the internet. The definition of viral content that this article will use pertains to content that is widely circulated around the internet from one user to another.
That definition eliminates marketing campaigns that have multimillion pound Facebook or YouTube buys. Instead, viral videos rely on users organically sharing the videos with each other. Some of the best viral content will even get picked up by cable news networks across the world.
Three Traits that Most Viral Videos Have in Common
Notice the word “most” in the above title?
That is because not all viral videos share the same traits. However, the vast majority of viral videos will have at least one of the following traits. If you want to create viral videos for your brand, then ensure that your videos have the following traits.
1. Elicit an Emotional Response
You want your video to elicit an emotional response from the viewer or target audience. In fact, almost every viral video will elicit an emotional response from the viewer. This emotional response will often lead to the viewer sharing the video.
Emotional responses are why cute cat and baby videos often go viral. However, successful viral videos can elicit responses other than happiness. In fact, some of the most viral videos will elicit an angry response from the viewer.
Keep in mind, viewers watching your company’s video and angrily sharing it with their network likely is not good for your brand. However, some brands thrive on the angry, or outrage, viral nature of their content.
Other emotional triggers that can be utilised in a viral marketing campaign include sentimentality, relief, nostalgia, and humour. Nostalgia is an especially powerful emotional trigger for viral content because many viewers will share a common bond. This common bond makes viewers more likely to share the video with their peers and network.
Relief is a little more difficult of an emotional response to elicit successfully. However, many companies will mention the ways their product can be used to solve problems. This will not usually lead to a viral video on its own. However, a humorous delivery of an otherwise boring video can lead to a strong enough emotional release to create a viral video for a viral marketing campaign.
2. Have a high production value
Again, this is not a requirement. However, most viral videos will have high production value. This includes high definition video, good sound, and sharp video.
People will generally not share low-quality videos. Exceptions exist if the content elicits enough of an emotional response. Still, you do not want to associate your company with low-quality content as that will make your company look poor in the eyes of the viewers.
3. Offer Practical Value
Offering practical value to your viewers is another thing that most viral videos will share. Viewers generally do not want to watch generic and boring videos. Instead, they prefer to view videos that provide some sort of practical value to their day to day life.
This value should not be in the form of an information dump either. Rather it should focus on giving the value to the viewer in the smallest bits possible to help them more easily comprehend the information. If a viewer can easily comprehend a complex topic, then they are more likely to share the video within their network which ultimately increases its virality.
Many times, people will want to know something complex such as subjects relating to science or economics. However, the only information available is in the form of long-form content that has no emotional response. Creating viral content in that niche often involves colourful infographics and condensing the video into practical bits.
This step can occur in just about any niche. It is not only limited to educational niches. Some examples would include fashion advice in an easy to understand format, the value on how to solve a particular problem with software, or even how your product or service will improve the life of the viewer.
Videos that offer practical value have a tendency to become extremely boring. The best way to overcome the boredom involves humour. In fact, a video that delivers practical value in a humorous format has a much higher rate of success than other types of videos.
Finding Ideas for Viral Content
Now, finding an idea for viral content might be the hardest step. Usually, this involves browsing through other sites in your niche and searching for viral content they have created.
You can sometimes find a concept that worked for a competitor and adjust it for your own video. Keep in mind, if it looks too similar, then it will have the opposite effect of the one you wanted. This often results in viewers viewing your brand negatively.
Other ways to generate ideas would be to look at your customers. Look at the questions they ask, the problems they have, and maybe some of the jokes they have about the industry. You can use that information in your video. Oftentimes customers love it when companies release a video that mentions the jokes or the problems that they suffer.
This shows that they care about the customers and usually elicits a joyous or humorous response. This, of course, lends itself to going viral. Combine this with humour and practical value, and you have the steps to create a viral video.
Overall, creating a viral video is not nearly as difficult as you might think. It just involves thinking about the wants and needs of the customers combined with eliciting an emotional response. Most of the viral videos will use humour of some sort as well. Gathering ideas for viral content is also not difficult for those that are especially tuned to their market.