You Can’t Plan to Go Viral, but You Can Prepare to Go Viral

authorShannon Correia dateOctober 31, 2021

Going viral online - that’s the dream, right? While some viral videos seem to be thanks to happily recorded accidents and dumb luck, most require a concerted effort in content creation. When your video is widely shared and watched with good engagement, it’s a big marker of success. It means your clip resonated with others. You can’t plan for which videos will reach this level of success, but you’ve got to prepare for when it happens. 

Going viral is unpredictable. Right off the bat, we can say that a more reliable strategy to use is simply to consistently create quality content to grow. That said, it is difficult. One viral video can give you a huge boost in numbers, not only on that specific video but by introducing your channel to people. That is where new followers come in and growth across your content can occur. That is why it’s important to prepare to go viral.

If you have a popular video but your social media account is not filled out in full, you’d be missing out on a massive opportunity. The attention you’re getting would then start and end with the viral video. When people click on your account profile, they should get a glance at everything they need to know and be enticed to view your other content to follow on from the video that catapulted your profile. 

There are many tips and tricks you can use to try to make a video go viral. These depend on each respective platform with different algorithms and patterns noticed across each. But there is a general technique that you can use as part of your marketing strategy with the same goal. Real-time marketing refers to reactionary videos that are hot and trending. By jumping onto a wave as it’s rising, you stand a much greater chance of going viral since the interest is already there and building. 

That, however, is no easy feat. It requires marketers to have their finger on the pulse online to notice trends in their development (which can take place within a matter of hours), and they’ve got to be able to react to it quickly. In other words, see it and provide your brand’s take on it. That said, it still needs to maintain a high level of quality and something unique. There’s no use in putting out a video that reaps in the views but results in no action. That, along with jumping on a trend too late, can actually cause damage to your brand. 

Even when you’re going this route of real-time marketing, it is important to remember the purpose of the marketing messaging. Not every trend will match your brand, and if it does, be sure that the content you create is rooted in something of value and meaning. Anything less will result in quick scroll by’s. And not every trend is a specific type of video - it could come down to having a viral sound and using a catchy caption and relevant hashtag that takes your video from 0 to 100+ in no time.

When you prepare to go viral, you’re essentially planning and strategising for the greatest chance of success. Once your team has the necessary resources at their disposal to create content, they need to ensure the workflow is seamless - meaning you can go from shooting to editing and publishing with ease. This reduces friction which can limit your ability to produce content quickly. There also needs to be a level of trust in the marketing team to produce content that is in line with the brand and current consumer culture - rather than having strict sign off’s which can also increase the turnaround time. 

Coming back to marketing research, it is clear to see how important consumer research is. With social media spaces changing so rapidly - even the context of videos has changed in that it’s no longer enough to have a mini motion picture, it needs to be polished in editing and just a few seconds long to hold attention spans - you need to know your audiences down to the T. Developing niche personas and conducting social media listening needs to be a daily activity. This will help you create content that fits their curated feeds and resonates with them. 

A brand’s social media content should also be carried, not only in terms of multi-media but the actual messaging too. People don’t want to engage when they visit your page and all they see is “buy me, try me, buy me.” Having a mix of humour, knowledge, entertainment, unusual, even cryptic content can do wonders. As long as your audience ‘gets it’ and it matches your brand voice, you’re sure to spark engagement. It’s all about being honest and authentic. 

Going viral means your content is being shared widely. For that to happen, it needs to be possible for the content to be shared by people. Be sure to have all sharing options open in the settings before posting. You want people to re-share and tag for maximum reach. This way, people are also able to interact with the content and feel part of it, rather than simply being a spectator. 

So basically, to prepare to go viral, you need to:

  • Monitor social media landscapes
  • Ensure you have a full and optimized profile 
  • Produce quality content consistently
  • Partake in real-time marketing 

So once your video begins to gain traction, people have more exposure to your brand. When they see other great content on your site, they may give you a follow to stay up to date. With each post, you need to also:

  • Monitor performances 

Creating in-depth reporting that take all factors into account is important. From that, you can draw out patterns to see what is working best for you. This will help you to tailor your strategy further and grow on your successes. 

Ready to Go Viral?

In the world of healthcare, anything viral is akin to a dirty word, so to speak. In marketing, it is like finding the fountain of youth. Sure, you could stumble upon it, but you can also map it out and make sure that when you find it, those waters provide you with nourishment beyond the first sip. Ready to go viral? Speak with us at Nexa about your social media marketing. We can take care of it all for you, or come in and help where you need it most.