Viral content is a huge achievement for content creators. Getting your content to go viral increases your brand visibility, traffic, and overall income generating opportunities. But for new content creators, viral content can just sound like an industry buzzword or a far-off dream.
So how do the pros create viral content?
If you're trying to get your content to “spark” and go viral, it helps to have a strong understanding of what kind of content tends to go viral.
Of course, nobody can fully predict what will go viral. Nor can they make something go viral 100% of the time. But by understanding what kind of content tends to go viral, you stand a much better chance of creating something viral yourself.
Here are a few of the main attributes of content that tends to go viral.
Human Content Goes Viral
It's rare that a factual, statistical or economical video goes viral. Even impressive data is not very often able to convert well into share-worthy content. Instead, it's usually the most “human” videos that go viral.
Human videos are the ones that connect you to an individual. For example, a singing busser in the subway station underground. Videos with babies laughing at something senseless. Incredible displays of guitar prowess by child prodigies.
These videos immediately create a “wow” factor. They don't necessarily need a “why” to share with others, because they speak for themselves.
Strong Emotional Content Goes Viral
The more emotion you can arouse in your audience, the better.
Let's take one of the world's most viewed videos – the “Charlie Bit my Finger” video. The video features a baby whose brother bit his finger; he sits there laughing and complaining at the same time.
At the time of this post, the video has an astounding 367 million views. That's more than the population of the United States!
One of the main reasons this video took off so strongly is because of how palpable the emotions were in the video. The watcher can almost “follow along” with the baby's emotions. Meanwhile, you can visualize being in his shoes. The watcher almost experiences the same joy of playing with your younger sibling as a child.
Viral Content Shares Unique Information
Another type of content that does incredibly well is informational content. Specifically, informational videos can be well-suited for share-ability. The key here is that the videos have to provide unique information that can't be found anywhere else.
For example, one video that went viral featured a science professor showing how to light a candle without ever touching the wick. By being novel, fun and informational, the audience was moved to share the content with others in awe.
Another popular piece of content that went viral was a video shared during the 2008 election. A dozen famous actors all asked people to vote to encourage turnout in November. Nowhere else could you see that collective of star power pushing the same agenda in one short piece of shareable content.
Informational videos work in many different industries. However, the most important aspect is that there's something truly unique to each one.
Target the Content to Specific Niche Audiences
Often, content with a target niche audience can go viral quickly because members in the community enjoy sharing with one another. If the content includes strong emotional or informational factors, as discussed above, it further enhance the value of a specific audience subset.
For example, political videos that are either informational or emotional can go viral just by being passed among a party's members.
New food laws, which may be considered boring to many of us, could be very interesting to restauranteurs who need to stay on top of the industry news. A video about the new laws could really take off among that specific community.
Mom Has The Last Word
These are just a few of the primary factors that go into determining whether or not a piece of content goes viral.
At the end of the day, a video going viral really just means that a lot of people want to share your content. The key, as with many other things in business, is to just create something so amazing – and relatable – that people want to share it.