Much like fame, going viral is something that supposedly promises to eliminate all of your day-to-day stressors. In fact, this dream is sold by many gurus out there. Convincing you to ‘just keep trying because that one piece of content might just blow up and go crazy!
But despite what’s been said, going viral is unpredictable, impossible to track, and a totally ludicrous singular KPI target.
Here are 5 reasons why developing a distinctive content strategy is more important than aiming for that elusive one-hit-wonder.
Going viral is not the Olympics, where you are competing against an elite group of world-class athletes who have been hand-picked for the team. 500 million tweets, 500 million LinkedIn accounts, and 5 billion pieces of content are all in your crosshairs every day.
The reality is there is no ‘sweet spot’ time to post, no right volume of content, and no number of hashtags that can help you on the path to viral success. In fact, the chances of something going viral is nearer 1 in a million. So to be seen, you need to factor competition into account.
THE SOLUTION: Choose the right platform for the right material Certain content performs better on certain platforms than others. Know your platform and choose the right kind of content for it. Twitter, for example, is better for PR than the likes of Facebook.
Not everything that goes viral is for good reason. Typically things go viral because they invoke a strong emotional response, like a hilarious meme or a video from the black web sparking outrage.
What is often found is that the content that turns viral does so because it gets blown out of context and begins a snowball effect.
THE SOLUTION: Develop your brand identity and stick to it Consistency is key. Eventually, you will grow an audience that doesn't just follow you but supports you. It is important that as a brand you develop an identity so that when your content starts performing well, people can learn more about you from the get-go.
Brands broadcast information to reach a selected audience. But when something spreads to a viral scale, it is predominantly down to word of mouth- something marketers and the like can have very little control over. In addition, algorithms have changed. Social media platforms have matured to such huge audience sizes that you have to pay to get the insanely large reach you could get organically 5 years ago.
In other words, if you are Virat Kohli or Amitabh Bachan who has millions of followers on social media, you are bound to gain a decent level of exposure. Your broadcast model is one-to-millions, as opposed to one-to-hundreds.
But even sharing content through word of mouth isn’t guaranteed to be reciprocated indefinitely. You can share a cool newsletter with a friend and it won’t go viral. But you can also share a photo of four lads in jeans and watch it spread like wildfire.
THE SOLUTION: Market your brand to the right audience Sourcing influencers to represent your brand that has a large following is one way to gain exposure. Other options include conducting insightful market research that ensures your brand reaches the most responsive audience.
Unfortunately, no magic formula can tell you when and how you will achieve viral success. Not only should going viral be treated as a rare phenomenon - it should be made a fact that these moments are nearly always a matter of ‘the right place and right time.
It’s also not uncommon that people pick up content that goes viral way later down the line. So irrespective of how much research is done into picking the right time to please the algorithm or the perfect posting time, it really is a total fluke when something might or might not get picked up.
THE SOLUTION: Track your insights Learn what works and what doesn't and start to figure out what content is most receptive and when. As it is rightly said that- “If something works once, do it again!”
Investing money into ads etc. is, of course, a big help when it comes to increasing brand exposure. Money helps, but it can’t buy you viral success. You can invest all the money in the world and come fractionally close to getting the right influencer or the right designer that might make all the difference. A much better solution is knowing when and where to invest your money
THE SOLUTION: Invest in digital ad spending and lead generation To guarantee the results you want, your money is better invested in the areas that can guarantee growth and awareness- like ad spend and lead gen! For more information, contact us and we can help you understand how paid spend can boost your success.
We often get brands to come to us with hopes of going viral someday. While getting viral isn't entirely impossible, having a strong social media plan will always ensure success. The greatest method to achieve the growth you desire is to put money into your brand's expansion strategy. And hey, if you ever get popular online, you'll need a strategy to back it up if you want to be successful in the long run.
Thanks for Reading!