With everyone moving their businesses online, unique social media content is imperative for brands to get noticed. The most coveted social media success for any business is the ultimate win of making your content go viral. Going viral is every marketer’s dream because the rapid increase in brand awareness helps gain the traction needed to expand a business’s reach and boost sales – instantly.
Viral content opens up the opportunity to attract new followers and potential customers. But what’s the secret to viral social media content? Having your post reach thousands of people is easier said than done, but social media marketing experts say it starts with creating content genuinely worth sharing. And if you want to do exactly this, you can always follow industry best practices on how to create viral content.
Of course, any viral marketing company will tell you there is no “hack” or sure-fire method on how to make your content go viral. Rather, familiarize yourself with the viral content playbook and select the best strategies for your unique goals. To dominate the digital space, you will need to adapt, observe, learn and experiment – and hopefully gain leverage over your competitors.
So, what is viral content, exactly, and what does going viral mean in today’s social media-saturated world? In this blog, we’ll answer these questions and more.
We’ll also take a closer look at noteworthy viral campaigns on social media to guide you on how to create viral content. Finally, we’ll share expert strategies on how to make content viral, how to leverage viral content on social media and when to get the help of professional social media marketing services.
What Is Viral Content?
Viral content includes any form of online content that is spread at an extraordinary rate. A viral post usually achieves a massive reach and high engagement on social media in the form of views, likes, shares and comments. This type of post can be an image, video or written content that catches a broad audience’s attention through its relatability, emotional impact and usefulness.
Examples of viral web content include a viral meme or themed humorous posts, viral social media posts from ordinary internet users and large-scale viral marketing campaigns from brands.
What Does Going Viral Mean For Businesses?
We’ve all seen the power of viral social media content. For the average person, going viral can mean having a random post spread online unexpectedly, opening up new opportunities and forging their path as a social media influencer. For businesses, on the other hand, viral content could result in global recognition for a marketing campaign and cement a brand’s positive reputation at a large scale.
For businesses, going viral boosts your social media marketing strategies because algorithms favor posts with high engagement. Viral web content will continuously be pushed out to newer audiences, leading to more online visibility and an improved search engine optimization (SEO) position. This is why many businesses choose to work with a viral marketing company that could make their content explode.
Keep in mind that there is no universal answer to what is viral content? or what does going viral mean? because of how unique and creative viral content is in nature. From hilarious tweets to TikTok dances (or even a pasta recipe), social media viral content can take many different forms. Similarly, a post could go viral within a specific audience or context, while another post might go viral worldwide – just make sure your internet popularity is for something positive!
3 Viral Campaigns on Social Media We Can Learn From
In the highly competitive online space, businesses eagerly put out campaigns to capture people’s attention and spotlight their brand – and going viral is like a trophy. But what really makes a successful marketing campaign? And then there’s the question of how to go viral on social media successfully.
Let’s take some notes from these impressive viral social media campaigns:
Spotify’s popular “Your Year in Music” started in 2015 and was rebranded to “Wrapped” in 2017. This feature allows users to view a roundup of their Spotify activity in the past year through a personalized video. It includes visual data presented in an attractive and dynamic video. Users naturally want to share it and show off their music taste – and Spotify benefits from the engagement. This annual campaign is an iconic and ongoing way Spotify creates viral content on social media.
The highlight of the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign was a three-minute video showing women how other people perceive them to be more beautiful than they do. This is a prime example of how a campaign becomes viral social media content through its ability to connect with its audience emotionally. Instead of promoting their core products, Dove encouraged women to feel more beautiful and practice self-love, which involves the self-care that Dove advocates. This campaign showed how viral content on social media could open up meaningful conversations alongside great engagement rates.
3. IHOP to IHOb
This viral social media campaign started with a bold announcement that the restaurant chain was changing its name from IHOP to IHOb. They succeeded with their attempt to go viral because the campaign generated a ton of buzz. Customers speculated on what the “b” stood for, others questioned if it was a permanent name change and business professionals were looking forward to seeing the outcome of this (for the most part) obvious marketing stunt. IHOP captured a massive audience by grabbing customers’ attention naturally and through articles and other earned media.
The Anatomy of Viral Social Media Campaigns and Posts
Every viral social media campaign will have different goals and audiences, but the core of successful viral social media campaigns is thorough planning and promotion. Let’s break down the success of some of the most iconic viral marketing strategies to guide you on how to make your content go viral and execute stellar viral social media campaigns.
Here Are 3 Key Elements of How to Make Viral Content
1. It Offers Entertainment Value
How to go viral starts with how to get people talking about you, which often involves attractive and engaging content. If you don’t captivate your audience with a powerful headline and visual elements from the get-go, then they won’t stick around for the core of your message. Feed into their curiosity, address their pain points, or develop something extraordinarily creative to hook them from beginning to end (just like the Spotify Wrapped videos!).
2. It Is Highly Relatable
As with any marketing plan, knowing your audience is a critical component of how to make your content go viral. Being relatable makes your content shareable. Because IHOP was a household name, changing it would have been a big deal to many people. A good tip on how to make content viral is to stay on top of social trends – what is the latest viral meme relevant to your product or service? What type of viral content would draw your audience in? Reliable analytics and tracking tools help you understand your audience’s behavior. You can also take it a step further by using data to create interactive content and provide personalized brand experiences for your audience.
3. It Evokes an Emotional Response
Another important aspect of how to go viral on social media is to create an emotional connection with your audience. The best viral content company understands how emotions drive behavior and strengthens the message using various creative formats. For example, instead of focusing on how a bar of soap cleanses your skin, Dove emphasizes self-care. Evoking a feeling makes your ad memorable because emotions are largely what makes us human. People are often drawn to feelings of nostalgia, happiness and sadness, which increases the likelihood of them sharing your content.
Bonus tip: We can’t talk about how to go viral without mentioning influencer marketing and social media advertising. Think about how one person might admire two or three social media influencers, but one influencer might have tens of thousands of followers. If you target the right influencer, you can amplify your brand reach and simultaneously hyper-target your potential customers in a very short period.
9 Quick Tips on How To Make Content Viral
We’ve covered the basics of how to go viral on social media, so let’s shift to the practical execution. Your top consideration should be to seek a social media marketing agency with a proven track record in helping brands go viral.
Keep in mind that every social media marketing company will have a different definition of going viral, varying standards for what they consider viral content and different techniques on how to go viral. But there are some industry best practices you can pattern your strategy after.
Here’s a roundup of expert-approved ways on how to make viral content:
1. Know your target audience and understand their motivations
2. Craft eye-catching headlines and use standout design elements
3. Analyze the latest viral meme and inject the trend into your campaign
4. Be original and try to be the first to launch a particular campaign
5. Ensure there is a straightforward and easy way to share your content
6. Tailor your strategy to the specific social media platform you’re targeting
7. Leverage analytics data to time your content well and optimize your campaign
8. Reach out to a social media marketing agency to connect with influencers
9. Consult with a viral marketing agency for customized social media marketing services
Remember: Every social media platform works differently, so how to go viral or how to create viral content will depend on your specific audience on each platform. Most people are active on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and LinkedIn, but reaching out to a viral marketing agency is your best bet in creating the right strategy for your business.
The Right Way To Leverage Viral Social Media Content
Chasing a viral post is indeed a double-edged sword. You can go viral for the right reasons and increase your sales quickly, or you could slip up and gather unwanted attention. To make sure your viral web content positively impacts your business, be very mindful of your intentions and highly critical in the process of creating your content so that your final output aligns with your brand management strategy.
One of the best ways to leverage your viral content is by maintaining an active online presence and consistent, high-quality posts through expert-level social media management. Trust a viral content company with the experience to handle your multi-faceted content strategy. Partnering with a viral marketing company and allowing their social media marketing experts to work their magic is the best approach for your viral marketing strategy.
Thrive Internet Marketing Agency is a viral marketing agency and full-service social media marketing company growing businesses of all sizes since 2005. Our in-house social media marketing experts know exactly how to make viral content and run successful viral campaigns on social media.
With our social media marketing agency on your side, you increase your chances of going viral and winning more customers quickly. We always stay updated with the latest trends and industry developments to keep you ahead of your competition.
Contact us today to learn more about leveraging viral social media content through customized social media marketing services.