Viral is defined as usually as “being spread rapidly,” or “shared from person to person.” Coming from its origin word of “virus,” this term was thrown around in a rather negative connotation up until the past 5 years or so. Nowadays people from all around the world wish to go viral. The 15 minutes of fame has shifted from auditioning for reality TV shows to making cute, funny, stupid, or fantastic internet content.
Something I get quite a bit more than everything else related to marketing, is the question “How do I make my (insert thing here) go ‘viral’”? That’s the new craze, the new fix. Creators, business owners, and tweens in their bedrooms all scour the internet in hopes of finding new ways and that 1 trick to make their stuff go viral, but it’s not that simple…
To put it simply, your content, your brand, your business, must BE viral. What I mean by that is you must think 3 steps ahead of your product. Imagine your later growth, look at your core audience, and think about how the people in their circles will view your content. The people who are sharing your content are the ones who are already sold. They are bought in to your ideas, what matters more is getting their at least 150 friends on Facebook or 50 followers on twitter to share your ideas. You can do this by making your content “shareable.” What makes sharable content is the ability to be understood on some level, or in other words people have to be able to quickly identify the why. Why your content is good, or why your product is the next big thing, and lastly why your brand deserves their time. A good example of this is any video on Facebook. For some reason we all have that one friend that shares a billion videos, it could be babies, it could be puppies, or it could be something political. The important thing is that that content is “SOOOO cute lol” or “very insightful.” People come to click on those posts because they have something, they offer, a response; they make people feel. The videos themselves give a reason to be shared. They have something. If Jimmy Fallon’s content is funny, other people will think so too, and so on and so on. If a cats with babies video is cute, other people will think so too, and so on and so on. This content have something that people get and people know other people will get too.
Now It sounds a lot like I am saying that you need to have a gimmick….and well…I kinda am. For lack of a better way of phrasing it, you are not special, and if you are, you’re lucky. BUT for the rest of us figuring out what you can offer to your clients or customers is important to understanding how people will make you go viral. That could be a number of things from the people in your company, to your unique style, the great music you make, the culture you promote, or hey maybe you just do excellent work! Whatever makes you different will help you go viral. Figure out what is unique about you and your brand or content, and run with it. From there, people will come.
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