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What makes contents go viral?

Produce Contents that go Viral

Produce Contents that go Viral

There is no such thing as as “Viral Video” or a “Viral Content”. You produce the Right Content, with Good Timing and Proper Placements, and the chances of your contents getting viral become high. A trigger, a catalyst, right medium are must for the Chain Reaction to take place.

Wish, there was a proven formula! In absence of one, the best ways to understand what works and what doesn’t is to see what has worked and what has not worked in the past. Based on our study of some successful campaigns of the past, the following are essential ingredients for a content to generate enough curiosity and sharability:

Takeaways – A content that is rich in tips that can be immediately applied to your work has a great quotient for like-ability and sharability.

For example, we studied some tweets of ObjectiveMarketer users, and we found that the tweets that received the more number of Retweets consistently  (a measure of viral messages on Twitter) were those that had some  tips or tricks of the trade. Like this one from Trey Pennington, whose Tweet “How to Set up Google Analytis for Facebook” was on a wild fire the day, he tweeted this.

How to set up Google Analytics on Facebook Page

How to set up Google Analytics on Facebook Page

Relevance How relevant and timely is your content will lead to the “immediate absorption” of the content, and “the race to share it first”.  For example, this humor video with sarcasm about the BP Oil Spill Scandal received more than 10.4 million views, only on YouTube. This of course fits in the category of humor – but, mind you – timing is the most important element with humor!

Controversy And, not just for the sake of it.  It is essentially putting across a point of view, and suggesting why the stated is not acceptable. It also depends on the tone, the questions that you ask, and the issues that you point out, that makes for a controversial yet, relevant content. Calling it debatable is a better presentation of this kind of content.

A case in point could be the defense for HP’s ousted CEO Mark Hurd, coming from his close friend, and Oracle chief “Larry Ellison”.  What makes this news (apart from the details of the news) is the statement from Larry Ellison:

“The H.P. board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago,” Mr. Ellison wrote. “That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn’t come back and saved them.”

Now, this statement makes it indeed quote-worthy and debatable! In today morning’s San Jose Mercury news itself, there were two columnists discussing this from two different angles. That is the power of sparking a question, or picking from a flame from fire somewhere.

Humor It is the most over-rated category of contents. If we look at the Top Categories of videos that are shared from YouTube, humor is not necessarily in the top 3.

Top Categories by Share on YouTube

Top Categories by Share on YouTube

But, the truth is, humor spreads fast! It is a great way to tell a story, tell someone that you are wrong, and still not be beaten for that.  Humor is the best bet, if you are not sure about which emotions to tickle.

If you want ONE example of how to use humor and good content – to promote interesting content, you must subscribe to the GoDaddy Channels!

Purple Cow The last tip for today is borrowed from  the very popular Seth Godin’s concept of “Purple Cow”. Who stops by to look at a white cow, every one would, if it were purple! Try something different, unique …larger than life. Share a content not readily available, or about something that not everyone can experience.  Through your story, share an experience, which is real, but, feels surreal.Try updating your message with “Just did Bungee Jumping” and see the comments you get” compared to “Ate Cereals for breakfast”.

Larger than life experiences

Larger than life experiences

So, what is your content strategy? Do you have a story that went really wild online? Share with us!

larry ellison defends HP CEO
  1. September 8, 2010 at 10:59 am

    This is an excellent article on the whole Viral paradigm & the icing on the cake for me was the youtube pie chart – thx for sharing!

    If you care to read another perspective on the same topic you might enjoy this:

    Mike | @pop_art

  1. October 4, 2010 at 3:08 am

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