Going Viral

Posted on: September 5th, 2014

megaphone man and crowd toys

How did the content on the homepage of Youtube, Reddit or the New York Times get there? Often times we believe a little birdie shared it and all of a sudden it became a viral sensation. But it doesn’t happen over night, and it takes work.

We refer to these news sensations as “going viral.” Roughly defined, going viral refers to the fact that content resonates so immensely that it catches “fire,” and ends up being the latest and greatest thing across the internet. It is when content gets referenced, liked, retweeted, republished, commented on and blogged about.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Timing: Release your content when the Internet is ready. Publish it on a Monday or Tuesday to give it the whole week to gain momentum.
  • Emotions: Share what people like. A video, blog post or picture with the elements of awe, excitement and amusement “go viral” much faster, because people are more inclined to share joy.
  • Story time: People want stories. Give your post a beginning, middle and end; a fairytale ending; a plot twist. That’s what all TV, movies, and books do because it works.
  • Length: Before you watch the funny video your friend shared or the interesting article on your newsfeed, check and see how long it is. Ten-minute videos or blog posts that go on for miles don’t hold viewers, but 30-second clips or 3-paragraph posts might. Keep your point and mission intact, but make it as short and sweet as possible.
  • Cross-promote: If you mention companies or people, send them a shout out and see if they’ll post it, too. You’ll be promoting for them, and when they share it, they’ll be promoting for you. Quid pro quo.
  • Share-ability: Things don’t go viral because people click on them; they go viral because people share them. Make it shareable with an interesting headline, nice photo and a length fitting for society’s shortening attention span.

If you have an idea that fits these criteria, we’d love to help. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to provide marketing strategies through print, web, social media and video production – all in-house. At Appleton, we want to learn about your business, empower your marketing team and be your creative resource. Your marketing goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or info@appletoncreative.com.