“Viral” is one of the most sought after statuses in the marketing and advertising world because aside from total awesome-ness. It means loads of other people are sharing content for you… and who wouldn’t want that? When we put a lot of effort into our work, we want people to appreciate!
However, maximizing your channels to reach your target audience and beyond requires, you guessed it, a strategy. From planning to production, numerous hours are spent over the tiniest detail with viral campaigns. Each element is thought of months prior to the launch date. To help your business along with its journey to becoming the next trending topic, here are five steps to consider for creating viral content.
1 Package it Correctly
In order to maximize the reach of your content, it must be correctly placed and in context. If you look at successful viral campaigns such as Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, their brand utilized YouTube as the means to carry and spread their message.
Viral campaigns are always in the right mediums and on the right channels. Think about it as if you’re wrapping a present. You have to choose the right wrapping paper. Is it a birthday present, baby shower, or is it Christmas? Each event requires a different kind of encasing. Is your content better suited to be in video form or an Infographic? Would it be more powerful alongside black and white photography or will you choose to highlight brighter colors?
As creators, we must fist decide how and where we want to deliver our work to the consumers.
Think about what platforms will best represent your message because you don’t want to be that friend who uses red and green ribbons for a birthday present. Another important item to consider is how you want your audience to interact with the content.
Engagement is one of the most important factors to going viral because it shows people are interested in what your business has to say. Rather than focusing on becoming viral, gear your campaign towards engagement. How can consumers chime in on the message you’re delivering?
Here are some various platform statistics to consider when deciding where you want to focus your efforts:
Facebook beats out YouTube when it comes to overall impressions
80% of pins on Pinterest are re-pinned
Nearly 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day
83% of the world’s leaders are on Twitter
Instagram averages over 3.5 billion likes a day
2 Emotions are Important
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘content is king.’ So when it comes to developing your content, a huge factor to consider is what message you’re delivering. How does what you’re saying make a difference in the lives of your consumers? Why should they care?
Lots of campaigns that go viral are centered on powerful messages. Take Chipotle’s Scarecrow for example. Their YouTube video went viral because of amazing animation combined with a haunting take on one of the society’s largest problems in the food industry: mass production. They displayed company morals in the ad, addressed an issue directly related to consumers, and promoted a game they developed. Take it from Chipotle and try integrating a message into your viral content marketing strategy to more deeply resonate with your audience.
Let’s be real. Not all content that goes viral walks the moral high ground. Some of the most popular items on the internet are cat memes and prank videos! Humor is a great way to entice and draw an audience in. One of the best campaigns to display this tactic is Evian’s babies.
Time and time again, this luxury water brand incorporates these cute cheeky kids into their commercials and people love it! Incite emotions with your content and choose the path that seems right for your campaign.
3 Be Different, be Bold
Sometimes you need to agree, to disagree. Not everyone will be pleased with what you have to say or how you’re going about saying it. But not everyone is your target audience. There will be those who do not support your campaign and that’s okay. The internet is a magical place, but ideas are imitated too often.
Create original content that is unique to your business. A first rate version of yourself is always better than a second rate version of someone else. One clothing brand that prides itself on being different and having a unique style is Desigual. Their brand constantly leverages outrageous patterns and bright colors in their pieces. Although they are different, they still play by certain key roles within their industry.
Their Instagram features their latest clothing items with intense prints and bright color palettes. Although they have bold statement pieces, their photos are still balanced because of the plain backgrounds. Find the balance that speaks to your brand. Be different, but stay within your industry boundaries!
4 Go Beyond Expectations
People get excited over things they’ve never seen before. On top of being original, be unpredictable. What is your campaign’s ‘wow factor’? Ikea made a spoof of an Apple commercial a year ago and it was an instant sensation.
The video features their 2015 catalog with their Chief Design Guru introducing it as a “Book book.” It’s funny, witty, and showcases their brand in a unique, unexpected way.
Throw your consumers a curveball! Figure out how to surprise them and discover a way your brand can exceed expectations.
5 Quality Matters
Above all else, one of the best ways to help your content go viral is quality. All images and videos should be high resolution with capturing photography and imagery as a focal point of your content. If your content is being presented on your website, ensure the load time is less than a second.
According to Kissmetrics, if your page takes 3 seconds or longer to load you will lose users. With advanced technology becoming more of the norm, consumers are no longer settling for pixelated images and low definition videos. Apple’s campaign, “Shot on iPhone 6,” showed how easy it is to have quality pictures just from a smartphone. Keep the competitive edge of your business alive by staying updated. Viral campaigns from big name companies like Nike always feature high-quality photos.
On social media and other outlets, they continuously show quality as one of the priorities. Our work must also reflect the same principles. Take a lesson from these giants and take the route which shows your business values quality.
- Choose the right wrapping paper! Package your content correctly
- Emotions help consumers connect to your brand
- Be different! But still play by the rules
- Exceed expectations, be unpredictable
- Quality over quantity
Kristina Petrick is a creative storyteller and content creator for Aumcore.com, a digital marketing agency. Working with an exciting team of innovative technologists and creative designers, her experience has grown across multiple industries for some of the world’s most distinguished brands and small businesses marketing