This Saturday is World Health Day so we thought we’d give you the low down on viral content (see what we did there?). Viral content is something online such as a video, image, meme etc. which is shared or views thousands (sometimes millions) of times within a short period. Content that’s gone viral has launched careers, created trends and raised awareness for important issues but it’s not always a good thing or something you should necessarily aspire to (who wants to be a meme all their lives right?)
So I bet you’re wondering what makes content go viral? The short answer is there’s no golden formula, believe me, I wish there was! Sorry about that, what we can share with you, however, is a few hints and tips to improve your chances of creating viral content.
First of all, we have to think about why we share any content, viral or not. Most of the time it’s something that envokes a strong positive emotional response. For example, we’re much more likely to share content about a happy rescue puppy than a serious video about animal abuse. Viral content, for the most part, is very superficial, we don’t want to think about the dark side of issues, we want to see the happy endings. Focusing on the positive aspects of serious issues will increase your chances of going viral. That doesn’t mean that all viral content is sunshine and roses though, serious issues do get through occasionally.
Secondly, you don’t even need to be original. One of the most popular forms of viral content is social media challenges which usually involve making fun of yourself for likes. Some are great like the ice bucket challenge which helped raise awareness and money for motor neuron disease. Others, however, are straight up stupid and even harmful. This is one of the major downsides to viral content, hopping on the back of a social media challenge might be the easiest way to go viral but it can cause serious harm and even fatality in some cases so, is it really worth it?
If something you create goes viral that’s great but it’s not the be all and end all. Focus instead on creating high-quality content that represents you and let the rest take care of itself. You don’t need 1,000,000 Youtube views to be good and successful at what you do.