Recipe for Viral Content

What is the recipe for viral content? This baffling question struck me a few weeks ago after the news went viral of a military tank-style vehicle leading police on a low-speed chase through our very own city of Richmond. Sure the tank chase is the talk of the town here, but I wouldn’t have expected the bizarre motorcade to be seen across national platforms. So, what were the necessary pieces that gave this spectacle its viral designation? I’m still not sure the answer to that one.

Tank chases aside, viral content can be a huge boost for a company or organization. Going viral means a rapid spread of your content amongst audiences organically, therefore, building awareness of your brand. Although it is a large feat, all mediums of content have the possibility of virality.

While there is no true recipe for viral content, here are a few “ingredients” that could help you get there:


  • Make your content shareable. In layman’s terms, going viral means being shared a ton. The easier it is to share your content, the more likely people will. Add a hashtag, add social media buttons, and make sure your settings allow your content to be viewed by the public. Most importantly, add a call to action. For example, please share!


  • Evoke emotion. Whether your content is hilarious, tear-jerking, or shocking, a big reaction is the goal. People are more likely to share your content with others if it makes them feel something.


  • News you can use. If you can’t come up with a creative way to evoke emotion, your next best bet is to share a skill, life hack, or other useful information. Simply put, people like to be informed.


  • Keep it short and simple. In the age of the internet, attention spans have dramatically decreased. Other content is readily available if you don’t catch your audience’s attention within the first few seconds. Keep your content brief for optimal sharing potential.


  • Timing is everything. Before posting your content for the world to see, do some research into analytics for different times of the day and different days of the week. Any social media strategist will tell you that there is a formula to it all.


  • Recycle. No need to recreate the wheel – take look at content that has gone viral in the past and strategize a way to recreate it in your own way.


Do you have a concept that you think could go viral? Give us a call!

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