Learn how to make your content go viral – Because it’s priceless!

Did you ever wonder how, or why some movies got super popular in absolutely no time and raked in millions of views, and sometimes even better, thousands of revenue dollars? Of course you do! And more true yet, you wonder how YOU can achieve the same. Sure you do, we all want to achieve that viral effect.

There are various ways to activate people. Activate? you might ask. And yes, when people just see something, they either watch, listen or read and that’s that. You need to activate them to grab their mouse, move it down to the ‘like’, ‘share’ or ‘tweet’ button. You don’t need to do anything else than deliver something either so good, or so funny, that they just have to show it to all their friends.

What is a viral effect?

A viral effect is basically when people, and a lot of them, share some content. Either through social medias, text messages, emails, word-of-mouth or something else. If you know the term “MLM marketing”, or “multilevel marketing” where one guy recruits 2 peoples, those 2 each recruits another 2 and so on, eventually leading to a huge amount of people – it’s exactly the same here. One guy shares to some friends, they share to more friends and so on. Depending on how well your content is, it may or may not work. It has to be so good, that the first 2 or 3 lines of people share, so it gets out among as many as possible. An easy way to get the first few is to share your content on something like Reddit, where a lot would see it. And then wait for people to share it.

What do I need to achieve it?

If you look at some of the viral videos out there, some things go again. I don’t think there’s a step-by-step guide to achieve that viral effect and gain millions upon millions of views, but if you include some elements, your chances increases very well. You need to wake something in people. Something which will make them share what you show them.


Many movies on YouTube especially, go viral because simply, they make people laugh. It’s so hysterical funny that you simply have to show it to your aunt, brother, cousin, mother and many others. That one share may start an avalanche of shares, because those you’ve shared to, most likely know someone else they’d like to show it to.

This video for instance, How Animals Eat Their Food, is both funny and original. It wasn’t really seen before, so it was new. The unexpected element just made it all that more, well, unexpected and funny.

So try to be original when you create something. Think outside the box.

That’s just one thing to use to gain some sharing effect.

The element of surprise

Just like the movie above, there’s some element of surprise. In case it’s the first time you’ve see the movie; did you see that coming in the beginning? Quite a turn it took. That’s something you can use to wake a feeling in people.  An example can be a movie or history where you follow a red line from start, nothing suspicious, and then all of the sudden, it takes a turn. A turn no one would expect.

A video showing the element of surprise, is WestJet Christmas Miracle. No one would believe the ending. It is a must-see.

That is absolutely clever marketing. It’s expensive, so you’re probably not going to beat it just anytime soon, but it is a fantastic show. Makes you gain faith in humanity in case you’ve lost some.

Sweepstakes / competitions in general

Would you like to win a new bike, some money or a free all-inclusive vacation? Then just sign this charter and hit a like button. You’ve probably seen it several places, and do you wonder why you may keep seeing it? Cause it works. Even if your chance of winning is next to none, there’s still a legit excuse to join in.

Eventually someone will have to win, and perhaps it could be you? Campaigns where you have to tag people, on Facebook for instance, your chances of winning are just as great as being struck by a lightning. Twice. When showering in a hot desert singing “Baby Baby”. Not going to happen, but you still participate. All those tags, likes and shares makes the rings in the water which just keeps on growing.

Every new share starts a new drop which makes yet another ring which keeps on growing. So if you want something to go round, make a competition or sweepstakes.


You might ask “Money? That’s no feeling or anything?!” and no, it’s not. But the idea of having money does wake some feeling. But how can you turn money into something you can sell and actually making people share it?

Let’s take an example on third-world countries. Most other countries support those financially, and a lot of individuals does too.


Ho ho. This is a good one. We all know sex sells, nothing fancy there. But how do you make something sexy in a way that’s still good to show to people without ending up with softcore porn?

The Danish traveling agency Spies have a nice example for that. Sex is in the lines, and pretty obvious but in a way that’s still good to show and has a point. Also it had a competition to it, so people got a bit more engaged to it. You can see it here.

Other things you can use, are as follows

  • Daydreams. Think Lotto. What would you do if you won?
  • Fright. Those can be fun for people to send to their blissfully unknowing friends.
  • Enthusiams. Antwerp Zoo made a campaign with that in mind. You can see a video about the campaign here.


Getting the ball rolling

When you got your movie, article or what you want to go viral done, you need to help the start. Making something awesome is never enough, if no one knows about it. So here’s where you have to use your network. The more people you know, the better. Ask them to share your video, article or other on their Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or any other social platform they use.

If you have a Twitter or Facebook account yourself, share it to get it spread out to the first line of people.

But that’s not enough.

No. If you have a blog and you want a movie gone viral, write a post about the movie. Join forums related to what you want to share. So if it’s about animals, sign up to animal forums, contribute a bit and tell people about your fantastic movie or article. Do whatever is in your power to share the existence of your content to as many people as absolutely possible. Some will share it to their friends, families and foes. Others won’t.

But I got a budget!

That’s fantastic! Then you can try different approaches than just telling your friends or writing a blog about it.

You can kickstart your campaign by paid advertising.

You can buy advertisements on Facebook or pay Facebook for post promotion. That’ll send your post to your friends friends. You can buy likes. Not the most ideal but it’ll create an idea of it being popular already.

Don’t want to pay Facebook? You can buy advertising on other kinds of social medias or online medias. An online newspaper, or a very popular blogger, YouTuber or something else.

Perhaps Google AdWords. Or, if you want long-term traffic for your content, SEO optimization. That last option doesn’t give a lot of visitors right away. Instead it helps increasing the amount of visitors over time. A long-term investment.

Now, get out there and share your stuff to the world!


We’ve found an awesome infographic which basically states all this written, but in images. That’s less text to read, and more images to look at.

The Anatomy of Going Viral
[Via: Single Grain – A Digital Marketing Agency]

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