Although going viral seems simple enough to understand, many argue over what defines viral content. But we can all agree that viral marketing is marketing worth remarking about.
For instance, some argue that content with 100,000 views is the benchmark for viral content. In the meantime, others maintain that it does not matter how many views, per se, but rather how rapidly it is shared.
The general consensus is that viral content reaches a large amount of people and spreads quickly. Consider two different posts that have two million unique views.
One post achieved its views steadily over three years. The other post gained views in three days. Even though both posts have the same number of views, the velocity of reach with the latter post indicates that it has "gone viral."
What Are The Types of Viral Content?
There are several types of viral posts that use different mediums to convey a message. When creating a viral content strategy, evaluate which type of media will align with the target audience in order to gain more mileage.
Articles can sell products, describe current events, or share practical advice. Articles are shared generally when someone is trying to prove a point or assert their individuality.
For instance, after Russia invaded Ukraine, many shared the Wall Street Journal or New York Times articles to spread awareness and express solidarity with a particular side.
Videos are a powerful tool to reach many people. Many videos use compelling imagery and are able to convey emotions quickly.
The most-watched video on YouTube is "Baby Shark" by PinkFong which has more views than Earth has inhabitants.
Images can spread through the internet like wildfire. A recent example in the United States is a photo of a father who is a coal miner and his son attending a baseball game.
People shared the image because they considered it to be heartwarming and a symbol of the American Dream.
Audio can go viral also. From songs to sound-bites, audio can reach its way through internet culture rapidly. For instance, the song "Oh No" by Capone has become a phenomenon on TikTok often played alongside funny videos.
Other Digital Content
Other types of content can go viral. For instance, a website, meme, social media post, research paper, email, or any other type of digital media has the potential to spread rapidly.
Benefits Of Viral Content
Viral content creates high brand awareness with little to no overhead. By creating viral content, a brand does not have to focus on creating a lot of backlinks or heavily invest in advertising.
Instead, internet users do the work for them.
With the increase in brand awareness, content like viral videos helps to remove pressure off a sales team because potential clients will already know about the product or service.
Moreover, viral posts have the potential to build instant customer relationships while improving both trust and the company's image.
Viral posts instantly raise the status of a company and give access to global markets. A viral content strategy allows a brand to extend its reach.
Viral Marketing: The Science of Virality
A viral marketing strategy allows a brand to extend its reach into new demographics beyond its target audience. Going viral can create more followers, more buzz and more value for your company.
In order to create viral content, one must have an understanding of what it takes to go viral.
A viral post will speak to a large portion of the online community and stir the right emotions. Making content that will go viral is not an easy feat.
Establishing Marketing Goals
The first step of a viral marketing strategy is to determine your marketing goals. First, evaluate how many people you would like to reach with your content and what audience you would like to speak to.
Common metrics to keep track of are
- Return On Investment
- Cost Per Lead
Measuring A Campaign's Marketing Goals
After establishing marketing goals, you can look at key metrics and evaluate the success of the viral content. Moreover, decide what the optimum reach is for a specific amount of time. Some common key metrics to evaluate are:
- Google Analytics
- Ruler Analytics
Additionally, save all data to a dashboard or CRM to see what works for your content and your brand.
As your content receives feedback, read the comments to get a sense of which ideas get the audience interested.
Since creating viral content is a difficult task, start small by focusing on a niche online community or regional market. Hopefully, your site will one day reach millions or even the entire world.
As your brand grows, it is important to never stop testing and evaluating your strategy. Media and online content are always changing and top content is cognizant of this fact.
Keep an eye on both your metrics and worldwide trends.
Why Measure Marketing Effectiveness?
By using metrics and establishing clear goals, you are more able to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy and determine whether you are creating interesting content.
Furthermore, goals and metrics offer a window into how to expand your brand in order to go viral.
Perhaps there is an issue with the type of content, the medium on which it is shared or the emotions which is portrayed. Key metrics allow you to diagnose potential issues and improve your content.
Viral Content On Social Media Outlets
Social media allows people and businesses alike to connect with one another. As the modern town square that contains politicians, businesses, athletes, artists and consumers, social media is a tool for selling products and promoting your brand and message.
Facebook virality can be determined by evaluating the percentage of people who, after viewing your content, share it to their Facebook page or feed.
When a person shares content to their feed, all their friends have the opportunity to share as well. This drives both traffic and engagement.
A tweet can equally go viral. There are no hard and fast rules that define a viral tweet. There are several metrics on twitter such as likes, retweets and replies that all offer other Twitter users the opportunity to see the post.
Most often, a viral tweet has hundreds of thousands of different engagements regardless of the type.
Instagram offers better metrics than both Facebook and Twitter.
Uniquely, Instagram offers analytics sections that measure engagements per follower, follower growth, comments received, reach, most engaged hashtags and referral traffic.
YouTube and TikTok dominate video social media at the moment. However, both platforms use different strategies to increase reach.
YouTube generally promotes content from well-established creators. Therefore, it may take a while as a new creator to gain a follower base. Virality is measured by a video's view count per hour.
On the other hand, TikTok broadcasts a video to 300–500 random users based upon their interests and past content.
The amount of time each user spends on a particular video will determine whether TikTok will show the video beyond the original set.
Viral Blog Post
Blog posts are becoming a more popular media form in recent years as people strive to acquire all the answers to particular questions.
A Blog post is more suitable for long-form content that conveys a lot of information.
Viral blog posts generally create emotions within a reader.
Good quality content is more shareable.
Creating content on various social media platforms or branching out to long-form blog posts can introduce your brand to new subsets outside your target audience.