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Viral Content

  • Brief summary
  • Detailed summary
  • Tips to make content go viral
  • The right seeding
  • Conclusion


Viral Content: Short Explanation

Viral Content is the term used to describe content that spreads rapidly across the Internet and attracts a great deal of attention. Such content is frequently in video format, but texts, images and infographics all have the potential to become viral.

Graphic with Viral Content headline

What is Viral Content? Detailed Explanation:

Given the sheer volume of Internet content, companies find it a major challenge to secure the attention of their target audience. For many of these companies, viral marketing offers the promise of lots of attention in return for minimal budget expenditure.

Previously, company content was often distributed by word of mouth. However, the digital age offers businesses new opportunities to make contact with greater numbers of potential customers, such as “sharing” on social media.

With viral marketing, content is spread quickly from person to person like a virus, with users themselves becoming brand ambassadors. Frequently, video, images or texts receive millions of shares across Facebook, Twitter and throughout the blogosphere, such as the Super Bowl ads.

Tips to Make Content Go Viral

Viral Content sounds promising, yet what type of content has the potential to become a viral hit remains highly debatable. While this depends, of course, on what topics are relevant to the target group, several surveys identify other factors too.

Many studies suggest that emotionally charged content in any form generates a lot of attention and is thus frequently distributed on social media. In addition, very entertaining or useful content also has the potential to become viral.

Single Grain identified the following success factors for viral content:

  • Eye-catching title
  • Focus on one key issue
  • High interest value for users
  • Surprising content

According to one study by BuzzSumo, longer messages are shared more often than shorter ones. In addition, texts with images are circulated more frequently on the Internet than non-illustrated content, and with text, lists are identified as regular components of promising virals on social media, which is frequently seen on BuzzFeed.

Imgur gives an overview of the most popular viral images on the Internet.

The Right Seeding

Good content is only half the battle in viral marketing, so how should you go about distributing content on the Internet?

It’s important to distribute content across all of the channels relevant to your target audience, and an analysis of relevant blogs and social networks is essential for this purpose. In addition, companies should diversify their content via newsletters and also consider paid media.

Furthermore, seeding content via influencers is also helpful for viral marketing.

Other agencies and services can help companies spread content too. For video, there are providers like Unruly, and for text there are social distribution platforms such as Outbrain.


Viral content spreads like a virus on the Internet. Many companies are attracted to viral advertising because of its potential for gathering high-profile audience attention and its positive effect on a brand’s image.

Creating a viral hit requires a great deal of luck. Nevertheless, there are certain factors that can help companies to make their content inherently viral. Studies suggest emotional content has the greatest potential to spread virally. In addition, particularly entertaining or useful content is the kind most commonly shared. This becomes especially effective if it can take the user by surprise.


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