Going Viral: Be unique!

Viral marketers have spent the past few years breaking down and analysing the nature of viral content.

Complex algorithms have been formulated which compare the viral potential and reach of online platforms, and there are several theories which seek to understand why videos, images or articles actually gather steam.

According to one popular infographic, content can go viral by: being funny, remarkable, deeply emotional, aligning with an individual’s world view, making us think, being dramatic, making us smile, being embarrassing or being provocative.

That’s a lot of words, so I prefer simply say that the more compelling a piece of content is, the more viral potential it has.

Obviously it can be compelling for several reasons, including the ones listed above, but I believe the key component to making something compelling is its uniqueness.
No matter how funny, interesting, or thought provoking a piece of content is, its power to go viral is greatly diminished if it closely resembles another piece of content that the viewer has seen.

We’ve had various clients ask us how to “make viral content”. My answer is always, get creative.

The more imaginative and out there you can get with your ideas, the more likely you are to successfully launch a piece of content virally. You have to appeal to your audience on a very specific level.

Make them laugh, make them think, make them cry – it’s up to you, but make sure you’re not doing it in a way they’ve seen before.

I wrote this to draw attention to one of my favourite pieces of viral content released over the past few weeks.

The Simpsons

The creators have taken the tangible nostalgic quality contained in the iconic The Simpsons opening sequence, and delivered it in a way that is unique, and therefore interesting.

The execution is also excellent, and the combination of these things makes for a video with incredible viral potential – boom: engage viral victory dance.

-Nic Simmonds, MD – Clockwork Media

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