April 12, 2012
Cygnis Media Editor
Viral Content – Anything Which is Shared by the Users
Nowadays, it seems that many organizations have realized the importance of having content that is “Viral”. The term “Go Viral” means, that the content is shared a number of times by the users and is well received. You, as an organization, may have a difficult time anticipating what type of content you create could go viral and provide good results.
You need to consider the users and their attributes to identify what type of content they would enjoy. Many times, the funny or embarrassing images are shared widely, but this doesn’t mean that other type of content may not be shared as much. Something which is deeply emotional might have the same connection, or in some circumstances, even better.
Understanding Viral Content:
The most difficult question is “What is viral content?” We can define it with the statement “Anything which is shared by the users for any given reason”.
- Not everything you create is Viral: If you want your content to be viral, you need to stand-out from the lot and provide something different to the users.
- Sharable content so that it touches the majority of people through interconnections: You need to make sure that your content is sharable and doesn’t have anything in it that would make the user hesitant to share it openly.
- Viral is getting the value past the investment: When your content exceeds the cost incurred it means your content is viral.
Types of Viral Content:
- Articles and Blogs
- Vlogs and Podcasts
- Interactive content (game, quiz, dynamic applications and contest etc.)
Reasons for Sharing:
- It is hysterical: The content is so funny that the user himself rolls over the floor laughing and shares the content to his connections to make them laugh. Such content normally provides the expected results, as it provides the user with a little bit of fun in the work deprived day.
- It is incredible or unbelievable: The content containing an astonishing moment which makes you think that only a super human could have performed the act. You would definitely want to share that with your friends.
- It is deeply emotional: The content which touches us warmly is most likely to be shared with our friends, as it is human nature to connect with others.
- It agrees with our World view: Everyone has different opinions about the world. If some content backs-up your opinion you would share it with your connections or at least with the like-minded people.
- It makes us stop and think: There is a moment in our life where we just stop doing everything and start seeing the bigger picture. If the content makes you feel the same way, it may result in going viral, as people like to share the important aspects of life with their connections.
- It isn’t covered by mainstream media: Latest news and gossips are one other way of getting the content viral. If the content you created is not covered in the mainstream media, it increases the chances of your content to go viral.
- It will make someone smile: We are surrounded with a lot of depressed moments in our life. If we look at a content which is simple but funny, we ought to share it with our connections as they also need to smile.
- It is dramatic: Dramatic content is something which is very popular. The gossip hits the skies when it is presented in the right way.
- It is provocative: The rude content provokes the naughty side of the user, but it should be in a limit so that users do not hesitate or feel bad sharing it with their connections.
- It is embarrassing: We all love to see someone being tormented on the past events. We all have had such moments, which we do not want to discuss about. Those little embarrassing moments are very funny to others, which imply that such content can also be viral in nature.
Enable and encourage sharing:
The most basic and probably the most essential requirement for a content to go viral is the sharing options available to the users. You need to provide simple and prompting call to action buttons available for the user to make sure that your content is being shared as per your expectations or above it.
For creating viral content of your own, you need to identify the trends on which user shares are increasing. For example, the Meme based images are now very popular amongst almost all of the age groups on Facebook. They are funny, creative, and at the same time highlight some of the issues that are present in the society.