How to Make Content Go Viral – Caitlin Virgin


Yesterday, on April 25th, Ken Westin, the founder of GadgetTrack, came to visit our class to speak about his company and life experiences. Ken was very humorous and informative. He spoke largely about GadgetTrack. GadgetTrack is a security system that greatly increases the chance of device recovery if theft occurs. The security system tracks your device, upon activation, and even snaps a photo of the thief. Ken showed the class a number of cases where phones, cameras, and even laptops were recovered. His presentation certainly made me want to go out and purchase the software! After Ken gave his speech and opened the floor up for questions, Jessyca inquired about how to make content go viral. This peeked my interest. For the purpose of this blog entry, I decided that I would research what makes content go viral. My findings were pretty interesting.

Upon research, it is obvious that viral marketing is hard to pinpoint. While people and companies can try to identify a precise method to make content go viral, there is not an exact formula to do so. I found a number of articles and videos that discussed viral marketing philosophies, all of which appear very reputable.

Check out these various views on viral marketing and form your own opinions!

TED Talk: Kevin Allocca (Trends Manager at YouTube): Why Videos Go Viral What Does it Take to Go Viral?

Despite varying opinions, there is a general list of tips companies and the public can abide by to increase the chance of making content go viral.

1. Focus on current events and trends. Keep an eye on Google News, Google Trends, and Twitter to see what peers are currently interested in
2. Make a video. YouTube and Vimeo are great ways to spread content. If relevant, and humorous enough, videos can spread like wild fire.
3. Pay attention to key words and trends. When trying to make any content go viral, make sure your ideal phrases are in the headline, description and throughout the text body. This will help optimize search engine results. Platforms like YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter make use of tags or hashtags, which can also help increase the chance someone will come upon your content.
4. Get noticed by someone big. Content often goes viral because a comedian or celebrity comes across it and shares it with their massive audience. For instance Rebecca Black’s Friday video went viral thanks to one tweet Jimmy Kimmel wrote.
5. Start a contest: “If you can give away something of value, you can get people to like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter and even require them to have to tweet about the contest or post it on their Facebook profile to pull even more people in.”
6. Use humor. As Ken brought up in his presentation, humor is vital when attempting to make content go viral. People love to laugh and share a laugh with friends. This is one of the best ways to encourage sharing.
7. Be shocking and controversial. “When strong emotion is sparked from viewing a piece of content, people naturally want to share it to see how their friends will react about it too.”
8. Use photos and visual content. The average web surfer’s attention span is getting smaller and smaller, this meaning its increasingly important to include visual content online in order to peek users interest.
9. Submit to Reddit. Reddit, growing in popularity, is one of the best ways to share content online. In just minutes, you can get thousands and thousands of views. User’s favorability increases the chance your content will be pushed to the front page.
10. Don’t be boring. Do something that has never been done before. Be creative. Don’t be afraid you’ll be misconstrued.


One thought on “How to Make Content Go Viral – Caitlin Virgin

  1. Caitlin, great post, knowing how to make something go viral is a very valuable skill to have. It would be interesting to give it a try using the ten tips you displayed!

    -Thomas O’Connor

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