Useful Tips

What is viral content and how to create it?


When it comes to creating viral content, there is nothing more important than an outstanding idea. You can carry out production at a very high level and provide the best promotion for the content, but if the idea does not contain a viral potential, everything is gone. So is it possible to determine this very potential and predict the success of the viral campaign?

Main settings

Of course, it is impossible to predict the success of a viral advertising campaign. But there is a certain set of parameters that allows you to quite effectively assess the viral potential of the idea. So, what basic parameters should the viral concept correspond to?

  1. The idea should match the theme of the brand, product or service.
  2. It should contain a hook of emotional conviction, that is, cause a feeling of surprise and interest, which are usually an integral part of viral content.
  3. The concept should contain something original or new that could become an informational occasion. This increases the chances of getting posts on popular blogs and media.
  4. It is advisable to find evidence of the viral success of similar concepts in the past.

Next, we consider each parameter in more detail.

Brand Matching

By creating a viral campaign for the sake of a viral campaign, you have unlimited freedom in your search for ideas. But if the campaign has goals such as increasing brand awareness or increasing conversion, then the concept should be consistent with the brand. This does not mean that it should contain direct advertising or directly talk about the brand. It’s important that the idea is relevant to topics that appeal to your target audience.

For example, the Perceptions of Perfection campaign was created to promote a service based on the provision of online medical services. its target audience is women aged 18 to 34, and the problems of perception of the female body raised by the campaign resonate with this audience.

Emotional belief

Creating the right emotional response is extremely important for the distribution of content. According to the study, there are three main emotional components that increase the viral potential of an idea.

1. Positive emotions

No wonder people want to share content that makes them feel good. The study showed a strong correlation between positive emotions and the number of views received by viral content. As a result, the top 10 positive emotions were determined: fun, interest, surprise, happiness, delight, pleasure, joy, hope, love, excitement.

For example, the Perceptions of Perfection campaign evokes the following emotions:

  • Surprise: differences in the perception of female beauty in different countries were very unexpected.
  • Interest and curiosity: everyone wanted to see what the designer created from his country.
  • Anticipation: People were interested in seeing the following image.
  • Sense of controversy: some people found the images not representative of their country's beauty standards.

Evaluate what emotions your idea evokes. Are there any of the ten positive viral emotions among them?

2. Complex emotional experiences

The same study showed that most viral images evoke a range of emotions, rather than a one-dimensional emotional response. Contrasting emotions, such as fear and admiration or hope and despair, can increase sharing.

In addition, some emotions help reinforce others. These are the so-called "emotional animators." Interest, surprise, and fun behave like emotional animators for positive emotions, while empathy can amplify negative emotions.

For example, this video, where an elderly man sings to his dying wife, causes a strong emotional response. It illustrates the power of contrasting emotions, combining sadness and love, the video also evokes a sense of empathy that helps reinforce other emotions.

Does your idea evoke a complex emotional response? Does it include contrasting emotions, or at least one of the emotional animators?

3. The effect of surprise

Something unexpected, unusual, non-standard and completely contrary to common sense often has a high viral potential. Why? Surprise is incredibly effective at capturing and retaining the attention of viewers.

For example, an amazing video in which a rat carries a piece of pizza up the stairs in the subway. In the first days after posting on YouTube, this video was published by many leading media and became the object of a parody on Twitter.

Is your idea unusual and unexpected? Is she any surprise?

Novelty and originality

In order to receive publications in authoritative publications that will facilitate the mass distribution of content, the idea must contain something new and original. According to the study, publishers are more likely to publish exclusive research and breaking news.

The originality of the Perceptions of Perfection campaign was that its creators conducted a unique study, which reveals the idea of ​​the standards of beauty around the world. A global approach has allowed this idea to resonate with a huge audience, as well as gain the interest of international publications.

Pay attention, does your idea contain new data or interesting conclusions, is it connected in any way with the latest news and social trends?

Recognized Success

A connection with an idea that has already proved its popularity can significantly increase the chances of viral distribution of content.

The Perceptions of Perfection campaign is a continuation of another successful viral idea: earlier journalist Esther Honig sent her portrait to designers in more than 25 countries to get an idea of ​​local beauty standards.

Was a similar idea implemented earlier? If so, can you suggest a better implementation and / or interesting new data?

Answers to all these questions will help you evaluate and, possibly, increase the viral potential of an advertising campaign at the very beginning of the journey. But it’s important to remember that a successful viral ad campaign is the right content in front of the right audience. An outstanding idea, professionally implemented and supported by competent promotion, is doomed to success and the love of the audience, and this forecast is never mistaken.

Viral content ─ a tool of marketing strategy

The Internet is an ideal tool for communication professionals. It provides an opportunity to declare itself without voluminous financial injections. Powerful, viral text will help to conduct an effective marketing campaign.

For the first time, the term “viral content” appeared and referred to videos on YouTube hosting that “blew up” the Internet. Now “viral” is called any material that becomes an online sensation: article, video, post, infographics, tests. This is what I want to share.

Viral content - a means to engage the audience in the advertising process. It is autonomously distributed on the Internet between readers through reposts, likes, downloads, links.

Virality is a characteristic of the content that determines the possibility that people will be interested in it and want to share it.

Advantages of viral promotion:

  • Fast independent expansion on the Internet.
  • The real interest of users.
  • Wide coverage.
  • Virtually no content restrictions.
  • Duration of exposure.
  • Free distribution.

Disadvantages of viral promotion:

  • Viral content is hard to create.
  • It’s difficult to associate a material with an advertising product or company.
  • Unexpected interpretation of the contents of the “virus” can degrade the company's image.
  • Lack of control, feedback from the reader with a negative audience reaction will adversely affect the business.

The factors that will shape success are difficult to predict or detect. When it comes to viral content, unpredictability comes to the fore.

And even what shot once, the second time, may not work, may not have similar success.

Virus Content Creator Goals

Each site, except for a search traffic source, seeks to increase traffic by any means. Social networks provide opportunities to attract the attention of the audience and expand the customer base. By distributing the content they like, people participate in a business promotion campaign without delving into what is included in the ad.

Based on the needs of the market, viral marketing is focused on entertaining, building brand loyalty, showing product advantages, and selling.

Viral content solves the following problems:

  • raise the publication in search results,
  • increase conversion on the site,
  • to increase the involvement of consumers in the process.

This is done to achieve business goals: the emergence of new customers, increase sales, increase status, consolidate credibility.

How to create viral material

Writing viral content is an integral part of success. The redundancy of information tired the audience, readers became selective. Using the principles of writing viral text does not guarantee sharing. There is no single template. But there are methods that will increase the chances of take-off.

Are you not inspired by seals about cats? Do you want to create image projects that will be interesting to your audience, have a chance to diverge on social networks? Then it is worth listening to the recommendations.

Collections have the viral potential:

  • life hacks (useful tricks that save time) ─ “Magical cleaning: just to put things in order in the house forever”,
  • materials with figures in the style of “10 tips”, “5 annoying problems”,
  • collections for lazy people
  • touching texts about babies, about cats,
  • hazard warning articles: "The Blue Whale game moved to Instagram."

Principles of viral content

Emotions The material should cause strong emotions. A chain reaction occurs both with positive and negative experiences.

But the positive content of the text has a viral potential. There are many unhappy people in the world. Material that lifts the mood and inspires - helps to forget about troubles.

One of the strongest emotions is surprise. Use it to advance. Tell us about the losses caused by spending money on trifles, amaze readers with amazing calculations, they will share with friends and colleagues.

Psychological anchors. Build robust associative relationships between your environment and your brand. Look for keys that will connect the product with broader concepts: precision - Switzerland, hamburgers - McDonald's.

Society. Use opinion leaders. Ideas shared by influential people are shared faster.
One of the main components of an active position in public space is recognition. Everyone is waiting for the approval of the circle of people, which is significant for him. Participation as a value is important, everyone seeks to help others. Open charity accounts collect substantial amounts.

Practical value. Usually like what is useful and necessary in everyday life. The article should be of benefit. The mailings of Maxim Ilyakhov became viral thanks to this item. Generate traffic with valuable content. Another example is the benefit here and now. For example, "Discount for two people, if you share information."

Story . Everyone is tired of advertising. Weave the brand, your product into history (storytelling). It attracts attention. Take the time to find the right event. What you tell should attract real people, not just your team members.

Communication, interactive. Include polls in the material, ask for an opinion, give advice. Get involved in the discussion using the technique of endless questions.

Viral Promotion Tips

Relate the target audience of the product you are selling to your intended audience of viral content. Butterflies when advertising men's socks will not make the material viral. A creative idea can have a comic direction, focus on feelings and emotions, develop an urgent problem, be scandalous, shocking.

People like more than just cute, funny, or nostalgic content. They also exchange sore material if it positively affects the participant in social networks. The famous viral article by Anatoly Sharia “Why a child sleeps”, which first saw the light in 2006, is still topical.

Descriptions by A. Sharia

Will not share articles:

  • about Maxim Galkin, about Olga Buzova,
  • they read about sex well, but it’s awkward to spread it,
  • about personal problems, because when the reader likes the material, he kind of projects a certain image of himself into the world.

Ask to share the text. Perhaps this option does not look ethical. Some request is annoying. But it works: the virality of the material is increased by 30%. Encourage original sharing: “Misha, tell your friends how to take the initiative and not look obsessive.”

Give each participant the opportunity to spread their message. Put users in the thick of things, define the central protagonist. Give them understanding, give them motivation and the opportunity to have a conversation. But actions should be as simple as possible. The fewer steps, the better.

Check the material with the “Lift” test: if you do not have time to tell someone about the idea while you go up in the elevator, it’s difficult.

One of the points is the combination of material with the business, the combination of viral content with the reader. Follow the steps:

  • Headings are important. Choose the perfect title for the article.
  • Select images, if necessary, use the original graphics.
  • Creating Viral Content - Knowing That what Your customers love to read, watch or listen. Collect more data from the site and social networks. Post information, watch the reaction to find the best working techniques. Experiment with strategies, study their influence, improve content.
  • Virality is not new, but the best ideas. Content material is not always unique. Viral content producers study trends, analyze viral articles and videos. Benefit from this to have a better chance of success. But do not copy, but update the idea.
  • After completing the article, reread it and make sure that you have made it clear what you expect from the audience. Complete with material that clearly identifies expected target actions. This is a simple but powerful step to increase the virality of the text. The author shows readers how to use the content that he gave in their personal lives. And what is going on? They apply, get results and remember you.

Share the material yourself. But the tape should not look like an LJ diary or like an advertising stand - come, fly, buy.

Another example of viral content is the Reebok ad.

The slogans turned out to be so provocative that they quickly spread and spoiled the image of the brand.

Have patience. Material may not become a virus immediately. Any movement, even slow, is a good sign.
That's all. Do not forget to share the article on social networks.

Reception # 2: Creating a Video

Video is a great tool for creating a virus. On YouTube, people can share your video with friends. And they will do it if they find it interesting or useful. Video is becoming more popular and spreading very fast.

In addition, if your video is really interesting, then people will embed it on their sites. As a result, it will be watched not only from YouTube, but also from other sites. This will give you even more coverage.

Most viral videos most often:

Let's look at one example of a funny video that has become viral.

Think about which video you want to shoot.

Key issues:

  • How to make the video more memorable?
  • How to make it more funny?
  • How to make more shocking?

Reception # 3: Offer a Valuable Product or Service for Free

Who doesn’t like to receive something of value for free?

I do not think that you can find many people who refuse free.

This is why “free” is the most powerful word in a marketer's dictionary. True and the most spammed. Therefore, do not stick it everywhere. Do not offer something that is not of interest to the audience.

Most viral marketing programs offer valuable a product or service for free to attract attention. Wilson’s second law in Internet marketing is called the Law of Gifts and Sales. This means that you will start selling more after you start giving more. Having presented something valuable, you will not make a profit today or tomorrow. But if you create interest, then sales will appear after.

Free materials tend to attract people's attention. Then people pay attention to your products and services that you sell. Only after they have an interest in buying. Free materials bring sales opportunities, a subscription base, and possibly advertising revenue.

Подумайте над тем, что вы можете отдавать бесплатно?Если вы уже дарите что-то, но без желаемых результатов, то подумайте о ценности подарка.

Ключевые вопросы:

  • Что вы можете предложить бесплатно?
  • Это действительно ценно для вашей целевой аудитории?

Прием #4: Вызывайте эмоции

Контент теряет большую часть силы, если он не является эмоционально привлекательным. Чем больше эмоций, тем больше шансов создания вируса. That is why this is the most important trick. Now the question is how can you create very strong emotions?

Here are some areas that can help you:

  • create material that is filled with love or hate
  • make you considered an idiot or a genius
  • create something that makes people happy or angers them

An example of an emotional video called “Love Has No Labels” that became viral in 2015.

The emotional drive of any virus campaign must be unrealistically charged.

Key issues:

  • What emotions does your content evoke?
  • How can they be strengthened?
  • Does your content make people happier or cause resentment?

Reception # 5: Nonsense Surprise

If you want people to notice your marketing campaign, you need to do something unexpected and unusual. No one will experience emotions from what has already been seen. People want new experiences, new content.

Forget about trying to make something perfect - everyone does it.

Forget about trying to promote your product / service, relying only on excellent quality - others do the same. Do you know a lot of companies that say “We have poor quality” ?! At every corner they say that their quality is the highest quality in the world.

Think about what your competitors are NOT doing. Think about what might be unusual in your video and content.

Below is an example of a video with an unusual plot, which has become one of the best viral materials in a commercial product.

The bear is attacked by humans. Could someone expect this? No! Unexpected and unusual plot.

Think about what's standard in your niche. What is taken for granted? And turn it over. Do the opposite.

Key issues:

  • What is the most obvious in your industry?
  • How can you flip this?
  • What unusual examples from other niches can you use at home?

Reception # 6: Make Your Life Easier

The advice of doctors in the flu season is to stay away from infected people. It is not recommended to touch the eyes, nose or mouth, as viruses spread rapidly.

Everything is similar in marketing. With the only difference being that you need to infect as many people as possible. If your material is easy to share with others, upload or embed on your site, then it can spread as fast as a virus.

So you have to let people:

  • easy to share your stuff
  • easily embed it on your sites
  • download it

In addition, people should easily understand how to share your material with others. Everything you do to facilitate this process will improve your campaign. YouTube has already thought this out for you. But if you use your site, then do not forget to install convenient buttons for sharing. For example, Pluso, Share42, Yandex or other widgets.

Your goal is to arrange the Marketing Apocalypse. And here the tools that contribute to this are very useful. Yes, that’s easy. But for some reason, many forget about it, putting it off for later.

Key issues:

  • Is your content easy to share?
  • Is your content easy to download?
  • Easy to embed on a website?

Reception # 7: Down with traditional marketing

Traditional marketing promotes your product or service, showing people how good it is and what characteristics it has. Often, stars or supermodels are used for this. Here you focus on your capabilities and functionality.

Think you and your product are interested in people? I don’t want to upset you, but it’s not so. People always expect something interesting. They pay attention to what they need. On the benefits that get from your product.

Show benefits, not characteristics.

For example, GoPro tells stories that happen to their customers. In this video, a firefighter saves a kitten and shoots everything on a GoPro camera. Result: 31 million views.

People love stories. Use this instead of another demonstration of the functions of your new multicooker. Therefore, focus solely on creating a good and interesting story, not on a product or service.

Key issues:

  • Are you talking about benefits or features?
  • Do you tell stories?
  • What stories will interest your customers?

Reception # 8: Social Propaganda

Social propaganda is another powerful viral marketing technique. It’s easier to attract a large number of visitors when industry experts recommend your product or service.

Invite influential people in the industry to try your product or service, but do not directly recommend it. If they consider that your product may be useful to their followers, then they will do so.

Here is an example of how you can increase social reach. Jared Hassan posted an article on “The Best SEO Tools of 2016 Recommended by Industry Experts” on his blog. After that, he notified the experts that he would publish their recommendations. As a result, many of them shared his article on their social networks.

It is important to provide unique content that can benefit the expert subscribers. And then use this to share information. If industry experts recommend your product or service, others will be more willing to buy them.

Key issues:

  • Who are the experts in your niche?
  • What content will be interesting to their subscriber (your target audience)?
  • What content can attract experts?

Reception # 9: Persistence

One-time promotions are quickly forgotten.

People saw your stuff. I liked him. Interesting and new. You managed to evoke the necessary emotions from your readers. In general, you have captured attention. Do you think this is where your work ends? I don’t want to upset you, but any virus will not last forever. After some time, they will forget him.

What now?

When you grab people's attention, you need to act. One of the easiest ways to do this is to give people more.

As an example, take an advertising campaign in a niche of insurance. Think about how often you see ads from one company. A person may not need insurance when he first saw the ad. But after watching several versions with the same message, he will remember about this company when he needs insurance.

With viruses just as well. Several viral materials reinforce the result.

Key issues:

  • What stories can you use to create a series of viruses?
  • How can I break content into pieces?


Viral marketing techniques are constantly changing.

By implementing the above techniques, you increase the chances of creating a virus. We have also prepared a special checklist for Viral Marketing based on this article. You can download it in our blog.

If you have any of your own viral marketing techniques, share them in the comments.

P.S. You can also try our widget builder for free if you need to increase the conversion of your site and get more sales.




Friends, obviously the author of the article did not make a single viral successful video, otherwise he would not write general phrases on these topics. If you did, share your experience and not general phrases. I have made more than one viral video and can give an assessment of each of 9 points:

1. Reception # 1: Define your audience and channels - this must be done when you have a finished clip on your hands, because without seeding it, and the author obviously did not hear about it, he will never get a viral start))). Only pros need to write a script, because even they do not always succeed. And without them they will grind it to the audience.

2. Reception # 2: Create a video. The author does not even have an idea how much those best world videos that he posted are worth. He does not even understand what it is about millions of dollars (Evian). The topic of budgets is not disclosed at all. In addition, the creation should be trusted only to professionals. Otherwise, there would be so many successful viral campaigns that the author would not have to take bourgeois examples - his own would be enough.

3. Reception # 3: Offer a valuable product or service for free. The author at the same time says that everyone is sick of free and offers to offer it))) I think the virus should sell my product and not give something for free.

4. Reception # 4: Arouse emotions. This is about nothing. The script is written by the pros. Emotions cause - this is also their task. The main task is virality. And no matter how it is achieved.

5. Reception # 5: Nonsense of surprise. What is it about?)) If the video is viral, the goal is achieved. If not, it’s better not to show your surprise)))

6. Reception # 6: Make life easier for them. If people are interested, they will even take screenshots. The author probably knows nothing about sowing a viral video. And then it’s easier for people to share them, because a person can encounter a video on hundreds of interesting resources.

7. Reception # 7: Down with traditional marketing. Do people need to discard traditional marketing, which has worked for hundreds of years, and believe the author, who has not shot a single viral video and gives advice from common phrases? Dismiss!)))

8. Reception # 8: Social propaganda. What will be the virality of the video when it is recommended by industry experts? This is a direct advertisement. I’ll tell the author that virality can be achieved if you create a campaign along with popular vlogers who have millions of subscribers. These are the options for video creation packages that are offered in Compass Production and here there is a guarantee and it’s clear where the live views come from.

9. Reception # 9: Persistence. I think the author is better not to talk about constancy. Let it start first. Good viral videos cost tens of thousands of videos and startups are unlikely to be able to do them all the time. Unless of course their sales soar into the sky. Even the simplest graphic viral video that we made cost us 200,000 rubles and another 65,000 for sowing. Here it is

Something like this. I think if we write more about our experience with specific numbers, rather than retyping common phrases from the network, then it will be more useful.