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Here's how to go viral… or maybe not.

We’d all like a viral hit on our hands right? Virals offer high reach at low cost and that’s tempting to any marketeer. But sadly, there’s a 99% chance that your content won’t catch on. That’s just down to the nature of the internet. We all know it’s a strange, unpredictable place.

So, we can’t promise success. But if you follow these rules, you’ll at least give yourself a fighting chance.

5 rules for viral marketing

  1. Be current: what’s everybody waiting for? What’s everyone talking about? The secret to achieving virality is being on the ball with latest trends. If you’re not sure what these are, you’re unlikely to create good viral content. So keep your finger on the pulse at all times.
  2. Don’t be late (or early): being of the zeitgeist requires pinpoint timing, because the zeitgeist is nothing if not fleeting! See something big is happening? Join the conversation ASAP. Know something big is coming up? Don’t pre-empt it, post just as it comes to a climax.
  3. Be different: create something with a message in your own unique voice, try to bring a new perspective into the conversation. Everyone saying the new Star Wars trailer looks rubbish? Be the one to point out its strengths. Or even better, make people laugh!
  4. Have a clear message: your content needs to be catchy, and that means it needs to be understood at a glance. To achieve that it needs to be named clearly and have a clear standpoint and message.
  5. Dance with the stars: love them or not, add a Kardashian to your content and you’re going to get noticed. And for other well known faces, the same thing goes. It’s a simple shortcut, but it works –  more people will pay attention.

Follow these steps and you’ve put yourself in the best possible position. But, you still need one more thing – luck. There are lots of great virals which have never achieved traction and equally other, weaker examples that have registered millions of views. The difference – luck and that’s something you can’t control.

For that reason it’s vital to focus on creating great quality content, so that whether you go viral or not, you’re on brand and meeting your fundamental marketing objectives.