How to create viral content? – Why So Social
Viral Content is a very fashionable concept in the marketing, advertising and media industries. It is the golden grail of almost every employee of an advertising agency or brand manager. So how do you create viral content? An ideal viral should be a well-recorded video referring to current events that carry a huge emotional load.
I am deliberately not quoting any textbook definition – there are dozens of them and each of them has a lot of truth in it.
On-time, a Reference to current events
This is perhaps the most important element of viral content. Very often, virals show a topic known to everyone, an issue in a completely new way, surprising for the recipients. An example of this was the creation of Polish footballers before Euro 2016, transformed into the seventies, i.e. from the time of the greatest successes of Orły Górski. Such content definitely stood out from over a dozen interviews, analyses, and expert assessments that could be found in every medium.
Viral can be text status, as well as graphics, links,s or video. However, it is a video that is the most friendly format for viral content. First of all, it is much richer in information (image + sound), which causes more emotions.
Secondly, it is more “promoted” by Facebook in user newsfeeds, and as you know, every viral needs Facebook sooner or later, but it will hit it.
We know very well that a blurry Yeti photo or a blurry video shot with a cell phone can become viral. However, the greatest power is in blockbuster productions such as House of Cards or Game of Thrones. Yes! These are also virals. All you have to do is look at your friends’ social boards after the final of the last season of HBO production – there are plenty of dragons, fair-haired, self-proclaimed queens, and tags on Facebook everywhere.
Maximum emotional charge
Viral will not become something that is boring. Boredom is the lack of emotion. And the type of emotion doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t matter if the content is surprising, shocking, or loving. It is important that there is a lot of this emotion, “under the tap”.
And here is an important note when it comes to brands that want to create virals. They should focus on this element. Why? Because emotions help remember information such as a brand, logo, or offer. A great example is the Allegro Christmas advertisement.
And now for the bonus: the formula for viral power.
Suppose each of the 4 above-mentioned elements of an ideal viral can take a value from 1 to 3.
The formula for viral strength is as follows:
Format x reference to current events x quality x emotions
For the Allegro ad above, let’s assume the following values:
Format: we are dealing with video, so 3
Reference to current events: material released before Christmas, so also 3
Quality: well shot and executed, so also 3
Emotions: addictive story, we are curious how it will end, and it ends with a mega positive and touching accent, which is also 3
So we have the maximum result: 3x3x3x3 = 81
This is quite a stretch, so take it with a grain of salt.
What is your definition of viral content? As always, I encourage you to discuss it in the comments.
An example of industry graphics that managed to collect a lot of viral reaches 😉