What Factors Contribute to Content Going Viral?

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    What Factors Contribute to Content Going Viral?

    In the quest to understand the alchemy of virality, we turned to a Digital Marketer who recounts the tale of a cat video's sweeping success. Alongside expert perspectives, we've gathered additional answers that span from the power of emotionally charged content to the impact of participatory hashtags. This collection of insights, culminating with the role of celebrity endorsements, paints a diverse picture of the elements that can catapult content to viral fame.

    • Cat Video's Viral Elements
    • Aspirational Content Attracts
    • Humor Drives Razor Ad Virality
    • Emotionally Charged Content Shares
    • Controversy Fuels Conversation
    • Unexpected Twists Prompt Sharing
    • Celebrity Endorsements Boost Reach
    • Participatory Hashtags Trend Virally

    Cat Video's Viral Elements

    One time, a video I shared of my cat performing a series of tricks in quick succession went viral. It amassed millions of views in just a few days. I believe its success was due to a combination of its appeal to animal lovers, the surprise element of a cat performing unexpected tricks, and the short, easily digestible format that encouraged sharing. Additionally, it was picked up by a few popular social media accounts, which significantly amplified its reach. This experience highlighted the power of relatable and entertaining content in capturing the internet's attention.

    Abdullah Prem
    Abdullah PremDigital Marketer, Bloggersneed

    Aspirational Content Attracts

    As a recruiter in the executive sphere, most of my blog and social media content is fairly niche. I'm aiming for a very specific audience.

    But one of my copywriters recently suggested we produce a piece aimed at fresh graduates and young professionals, and to my surprise, it wound up being our most popular post ever.

    The reason, I think, is that it was aspirational. Sure, not too many people work in the upper echelons of business, but it's the dream of lots of go-getters.

    Writing for workers who aren't in need of my services—yet—gave me a much wider reach and a chance to go viral.

    Travis Hann
    Travis HannPartner, Pender & Howe

    Humor Drives Razor Ad Virality

    A prime example of viral content that comes to mind is the "Dollar Shave Club" launch video in 2012. This seemingly simple ad took a humorous and relatable approach to men's razors, a mundane product category. Its sharp wit and mockery of traditional advertising's inflated claims resonated with viewers. The video spread like wildfire on social media, garnering millions of views and propelling Dollar Shave Club to instant recognition. The success stemmed from a combination of factors: emotional connection through humor, addressing a common pain point, and perfect execution for the online platform. It all came together to create content people loved to share.

    Fahad Khan
    Fahad KhanDigital Marketing Manager, Ubuy India

    Emotionally Charged Content Shares

    Content that tugs at the heartstrings or sparks strong feelings tends to spread quickly among audiences because it creates a deep emotional connection. When people encounter such content, they are often compelled to share it with their friends and family, as it resonates on a personal level. These emotional triggers can range from joy and inspiration to anger and injustice, depending on the nature of the content.

    Public relations experts leverage these reactions to craft messages that are not only memorable but also shareable. Recognize an emotionally charged story? Pass it on and let others feel the impact too.

    Controversy Fuels Conversation

    When content touches on a controversial subject, it inevitably draws attention and stimulates conversation. The debate generated by such topics can quickly escalate, with individuals eager to voice their opinions or take a stand. This fervent exchange of viewpoints ensures that the content stays relevant and continues to gain visibility as more people join the conversation.

    Public relations strategies often harness the power of controversy to keep the audience engaged and talking. If you come across a topic that stirs debate, join the discussion and contribute your thoughts.

    Unexpected Twists Prompt Sharing

    An unexpected twist within content can captivate audiences, leaving them eager to share the surprising moment. This element of surprise can dramatically alter the viewers' expectations, prompting them to discuss the twist with others. The shock value associated with an unforeseen development in a story piques curiosity and entices people to share the experience with peers.

    By disrupting the predictable flow of information, public relations strategists can create viral loops of content sharing. When you're surprised by a twist in content, sharing it might just give someone else that same jolt of excitement.

    Celebrity Endorsements Boost Reach

    Endorsements from celebrities or industry experts can significantly amplify the reach of content by adding an element of credibility and appeal. When a high-profile individual supports a message, it automatically gains visibility amongst their followers who may trust and value the individual's opinion. This ripple effect can catapult content into the viral sphere as fans rush to view and share the authorized message.

    Public relations efforts often seek out noteworthy endorsements to elevate their campaigns. Spot an endorsement by someone you admire? Spread their message further by sharing it with your circle.

    Participatory Hashtags Trend Virally

    Hashtags that encourage audience participation are often at the center of viral content, as they prompt users to become part of a larger conversation or movement. By contributing their own content or opinions under a participatory hashtag, individuals feel a sense of community and engagement with the broader public. This interactive aspect not only fosters a shared identity among participants but also propels the hashtag and associated content to trend across platforms.

    Public relations professionals craft hashtags to be memorable and inspire action, hoping to see their message multiply across users' networks. When you see a compelling hashtag, use it in your own posts and help build the momentum.