Don’t tell me… you want a viral too? Everybody these days wants a viral for their brand or business! However let´s be honest, sometimes it’s just not possible.
Broadly speaking, there are three ways to make viral content. It’s worth pointing out that not everything can be ´viralised´ nor is everything important enough for people to share it, but for us it is the most important information in the world.
So let’s have a look at the three ways to make a viral. Of course there are variations and other strategies, but here are the ones I think are the three main ways
1. The funny one that isn’t looking for anything in return
The first is the one in which you do something stupid or funny at home, like recording your dog sleeping like a human, or recording your twins talking like adults in their own little language. You know it’s funny so you upload it, but you’re not actively looking for anything to come of it with regards to your business, and the audience knows this as well. This is what encourages people to share your content, and ultimately for it to go viral.
2. The one that doesn’t break the bank, but uses good resources and material
Another way is to create something that doesn’t necessarily require a big budget, but is something really, really original. Create content that is different and unique, something that grabs your attention as well as having an effect on your business, and you will see the benefits. An example of this is Justin Baldoni, who went all out on the creative front when he made a video of himself proposing to his girlfriend. Justin is an actor and counts a video producer amongst his contacts, therefore he has resources at hand that others of us don’t. The good thing was, with it being advertised everywhere, there wasn’t a girlfriend anywhere in the world that didn’t see the video and then show it to their boyfriend… “Look how sweet this is”.
If you’re going to watch it, you should know that it’s 27 of the most romantic and cutest minutes you’re ever going to see. You’ve been warned.
Something similar was the video Xuso Jones posted of himself singing at a McDonald’s drive-thru… something so silly that it got his name out there and ended up launching his music career. Had it ever occurred to anyone before to make up a song for ordering at a McDonald’s drive-thru? No, and that was the key to its success. (And as it’s so catchy… let’s see who can get it out of their head first…).
3. The unlimited budgets of the big firms
And finally, we turn our attention to the big companies who set aside astronomical amounts for advertising. Obviously with such a large budget and a creative team at hand, it’s possible to create virals like those seen in 2013. Get an entire airport on its feet? Mount a film set in a café? Fill the metro with music? Not a problem if you can pay for it.
We can see in the Volkswagen and Nivea campaigns below, just what amazing things can be made if the necessary means are available. As well as the millions of Youtube views it brings, through people sharing it thousands of times and uploading it on their own channels etc.
That’s not to say people with more modest budgets cannot achieve the viral they perhaps deserve. It just means we have to think a little bit harder given the limitations, and to try and come up with something that our audience has never seen before.
Before investing resources into a viral video, it’s best to stop and think to yourself: is what we’re to going to make interesting, fun or useful? In what format are we going to present it? And what strategy are we going to implement in order for it to catch fire? Only then can we ensure that it’ll be successful.