Truths and Myths About Going Viral

Every company dreams of “going viral.”

The ability to create a single piece of content (e.g. a YouTube video) and to simply wait until millions of people begin watching it and talking about it, saving thousands in paid media while gaining unprecedented publicity and interest for your company, seems almost too good to be true. Well, read on to learn some of the truths and myths about “going viral.”



Truth: No one can promise you viral content.

The fact is, nobody can promise you viral content. If your marketing company is being honest, they won’t claim that they can make you “go viral.”

Why is that?


Myth: The common belief that “If you build it, they will come.”

It might be tempting to believe that with the right amount of effort, time, knowledge and creativity (and, maybe even money), you will produce the latest meme. Going viral requires serendipity. It’s less of a formula and more of an ever-changing, imperfect recipe. It’s a recipe with far too many variables to control.

There is a lot of amazing content out there that most people never hear or talk about. Even if you’ve made the perfect piece of content for your audience and made it completely accessible and visible, luck still has a very important role to play.


Truth: It’s crucial to make great content that is not about you.

Before you can even entertain the possibility of creating viral content, make sure whatever you create is about more than your company. People have more media choices now than even before, so don’t abuse and toss away the privilege of their attention once you’ve got it.

Your target audience simply wants to experience things that interest them, and not feel bombarded by a clumsy brand message. Find out what their interests are, and deliver them in a way that will engage them.


Truth: Viral content takes insight.

Lots of deep insight. When you learn about what your audience is interested in, don’t just stop there. Viral content takes both great insight and a great idea; so, continue digging until you find something you can truly use to anchor a great idea that will cause people to take notice.


Truth: Becoming a go-to resource for great content will increase your odds.

Develop great content frequently so that you become known for it. It should be content that your target audience is not only interested in but will seek out. Nurturing an online brand for qualitative and relevant material will generate a larger audience, increasing the potential for one of your pieces to go viral.


In conclusion, “going viral” is a gamble, there are many things you can do to increase your odds, but you cannot predict whether you will succeed or not.

However, irrespective of your desire to go viral, never stop striving to make and share great content.