“Make it go viral!”
Clients crave it. Agencies love it. But quite simply, no-one, can do it! Yes unfortunately nobody can make something go viral.
It’s an amazing, organic process that happens when we/you/us create the good stuff.
According to Urban Dictionary, the term ‘going viral’ refers to content that is shared multiple times across social networks. Considering that we’re still in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic, this should be an easy concept to grasp.
So, let’s continue with the germy metaphor for a minute: we can force a virus to spread – which pretty much counts as warfare – and which is exactly what we do when we pump dollars into budgets to get more eyes on our content. But that’s not viral. Viral is what happens when fans, followers and arbitrary people share our content, not because we pay them to but because they like it… And that’s where the good stuff comes in!
So many times, advertising plays it safe. We spend more time educating than we do entertaining without acknowledging that no one wants to learn about things – or share things – that they don’t care about, or think someone else will care about.
Also related to this is the theory of the “common man won’t get it”! The common man loves Super Bowl ads just as much as the rest of us, so why dumb down our ideas for him? And also importantly is the common man even the man we need to be talking to?
So,here are three basic rules to point us in the right direction…
1. Make it entertaining.
Whether it’s funny or emotive or just plain unexpected, we need to make it pop because we’re never going to bore people in to buying, engaging or sharing.
2. Make it smart.
Mansplaining was totally trending last year because it’s super easy to be condescending but no one likes it. i.e there’s no need to be constantly spoon-feeding our followers.
3. Make it relevant.
Maybe you like it or maybe you don’t. Does that mean your core target will? Will it resonate with them and make them want to tell a friend? If you can’t answer that, you need to find out!
When we look at it from this angle, though, doesn’t it make the task at hand seem more doable?
Now that we understand that we can’t actually make something go viral, can we agree to make it amazing in so many different ways that it gathers the momentum it needs to go viral on its own?
And there’s no need to worry about making it amazing – that’s what we’re here for 🙂