The modern digital world loves buzz words and phrases. Whether it’s “thought leaders” or “growth hacks,” brands and marketers alike toss out these sometimes abstract concepts with little to no context or true understanding. At the top of this list is the big one – going viral. While plenty of brands see this as the end goal for blog posts and other content, aiming for this result at all costs isn’t always a good thing. To get rid of this problem once and for all, let’s spend a few minutes covering every angle of this process, as well as how to spread your offerings across the web the right way.

What Does “Going Viral” Really Mean?

First off, it’s important that you truly understand what it means when people start bringing up the concept of going viral. As the experts at the Fox Business Center and Kim and Penn Holderness – two successful members of the YouTube community – explain, the idea behind going viral isn’t about artificially spreading the word about your content and forcing it into the lives of audience members. Instead, the true meaning of this phrase serves as a representation of the notion that your content is worthy of organic growth and promotion. Essentially, going viral is the digital equivalent of “word-of-mouth” awareness among the people that matter most to your brand.

Any Publicity Isn’t Always a Good Thing

So if I end up with consumers talking about my content, and therefore my products, that’s the end of the story, right? Not exactly. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that forcing a viral campaign can come with disastrous results. Whether it’s awkward social media pleas for shares, or keyword-laden content that offers little in the way actual information or value, there’s plenty of ways to watch your content shift from a potential viral blockbuster to a laughingstock among your target audience members and demographics.

Going Viral on Your Own Terms

To avoid this unfortunate fate, and ensure your brand’s content reaches viral status the right way, Business 2 Community’s K.C. Claveria offers up some powerful and useful lessons regarding this process. First, skip all of the fluff. By honing in on an impactful and evocative story or angle for your content, you can quickly separate your posts from the generic masses that rely on click-bait titles and overused viral marketing “strategies.”

Once you’ve zeroed in how to build a personal connection with the viewer on the other side of the screen, Claveria suggests tossing out the notion that your content will automatically go viral. By dropping this entitled mindset and realizing that going viral the right way takes a commitment to generating exceptional content, or working with someone that can, your brand can begin to instill a culture that embraces the need for a higher standard.

After all of this, it’s time to promote the heck out of your offering. While this sounds like a bit of backtracking regarding the social media mismanagement from earlier, this tip couldn’t be further from that scenario. Proper social promotion doesn’t come off as a sales pitch, but rather as genuine interaction with audience members and related groups. By conversing regularly with these individuals on your branded profiles, your organization can stand out and let the discussion lean toward your content in a natural and unforced manner. An added perk to this approach is that after your content has run its viral cycle on the web, you’ll still have a connection with these consumers that promotes consistent and real interaction.

Going viral the right way isn’t easy; anyone who tells you that it is either misunderstands the process or is just looking for a quick click from unsuspecting readers. However, with this information serving as a helping hand, you are already one step closer than the competition to breaking the mold and truly taking the web by storm with your content.

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