Understanding Proven Methods Of Viral Content Marketing

October 17, 2017

understanding viral content marketing


Today’s millennial can spend as much as 18 hours a day online looking at the various types of media. The question is how do businesses make the most of that time?


Viral is one thing that most marketers strive for because it creates a buzz that is heard around the world. A good example of this is Urban Hilton Weiner, an underachiever in the fashion world until they produced a marketing campaign that went viral. Their “Pay with a Selfie” hashtag program awarded anyone who posted a selfie on social media wearing their clothes. It’s a simple concept but one that made Urban Hilton Weiner a fashion to be reckoned with after just one viral content marketing campaign.


Now, consider a new company, one that makes mouse traps, for instance. It’s a competitive market, because, let’s face it, everyone is always trying to make a better one. Coming up with a viral marketing campaign is the most effective solution, but how? Understanding viral content marketing and how it enhances brand awareness is where this mouse trap CEO needs to start.

Get Emotional

The goal is to get people to share the content, and for that to happen, they must feel something about it. A study conducted by Frac.tl marketing named certain emotions as more likely to elite a share:

  • Amusement
  • Interest
  • Surprise
  • Happiness
  • Pleasure
  • Delight
  • Hope
  • Affection
  • Joy
  • Excitement

Stay away from negative spins that foster bad feelings, though, such as anger or frustration.

Get Them to Feel Good

Along those same lines, create content that promotes a “feel good” response. A video must inspire people to share it. That’s something that comes almost automatically when the content makes them feel good. Cute and funny work, boring does not.

Get to the Action...Fast

The average viewer has an attention span of about eight seconds. If you make them wait, they will click out before you get the point across. Plan to get to the action in the first second.

Keep It Real

Don’t overthink the production. It’s nice if you provide a high-def video but not necessary. The audience will appreciate the simple approach like a smartphone video just as much.

Stretch It Out

Get the most use out of your winning concept. If the first video goes viral, then quickly follow it up with a second and third.

Share Via Social Media

Social media mainstays like Facebook offer a great platform to promote your content. After you post, share it on similar pages and with groups whose interest coincide with the message. As your post starts to make the rounds, follow it to see who is sharing and what other videos they like then go to those pages and share promote some more.

Give Permission to Share

You can further enhance the sharing power by adding a disclosure statement that gives viewer permission to share the video with a full credit. This not only promotes sharing but it plants the suggestion in the mind of anyone watching.

Take a Stand for Something

Consumers remember the brand that stands up for something they believe in despite the risks. Make it something relevant and meaningful for to you.

Make Use of a Rising Trend

Pick something trendy and go with it.The mousetrap company could show mice trapped but happy doing the Dougy. It’s a slick marketing touch that speaks to the culture just enough to go viral.

Make it Shocking

Take advantage of the shock value that people love to see on the Internet. Start with an attention grabbing headline: POTUS finds mice in the Oval Office. A shocking title is enough to get them clicking just to get the latest.

Put the Audience in Control

Put your audience in control of the situation by making your video interactive. Skittles candies invited viewers to put their finger on the screen as part of the story in their award winning viral videos. By doing so, each viewer was able to “touch the rainbow.”

Gain Leverage with the Help of Digital Influencers

It just takes just one tweet by the right someone to send a video viral. Make creating relationships with the right digital influences part of your overall marketing strategy.

Find the Channels That Matter

While you are shopping for influencers, find out what channels best serve your interests, too. Generally, StumbleUpon, Youtube and other mainstream platforms work for most industries.

Focus on Quality Content, Not Expensive Distribution

If the content is boring, it won’t matter how much you spend to make or distribute it. Engaging content will take less promotion because it generates its own hype.

Keep It Relevant

A marketing ploy by an Australian insurance agency reaped almost 1.23 million Google results when they offered Barack Obama an insurance policy that covered him if eaten by a crocodile. It was a strange approach but one that got noticed because it focused on relevant topics that mattered to viewers even two years later.

Pick a Celebrity

It’s an effective way to market to your target audience and keep it relevant at the same time. If you can get even a minor celebrity to share your post, you may go viral quickly.

Keep Them Guessing With Less Information

Give your audience a chance to figure out the message. Perhaps send clues to some of the digital influencers to spike their interest and keep them guessing.

Be Fast like Usain Bolt

This is about taking advantage of an opportunity. A good example of this in action is when Oreo sent out a tweet during the 2013 Superbowl power outage. It simply said, “You can still dunk in the dark.”

If It’s Not Broken

Keep doing what works for you, especially if you end up with a viral campaign. No need to change tactics, because if it works, it doesn't need fixing.


So, what happened to the mouse trap company looking for brand awareness? They experimented until they found that one magic marketing technique that made them go viral.


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Will Cartwright

Will Cartwright

Will specializes in digital marketing and web design with ROI as the determining factor for all decisions. Will makes use of all possible sources of traffic from the web. Focusing also on converting, closing, and nurturing each website visitor.

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