Is Trying to Create Viral Content Worth Your Time?

Ah, the dream of going viral. Once you’ve done it, the ideal is that millions of people visit your website and buy what you have for sale, and you’ll get so popular that you get book deals and an interview on “Oprah.”

Okay, maybe we’re getting caught up in the fantasy, but you get the point: going viral can be a dream come true for website owners. After all, who wouldn’t want their content discovered by the masses?

What does it mean to “go viral”?

In today’s digital world, truly viral content is stuff that can be consumed and shared quickly. It appeals to mass audiences and encourages the people who see it to share it with their followers. It’s usually not very niche.

For example, here’s a video that went viral in 2019. Within two days, the video had one million views and almost 270,000 comments, according to Today.

Predicting content virality

To get a piece of content to go viral, you need the perfect storm of factors all working together at the same time. Here’s what needs to happen:

  • It needs to be a piece of content lots of people will want to share across all kinds of demographics.
  • You need to get your audience to see and engage with it immediately, so it doesn’t get lost at the bottom of social media feed algorithms.
  • You need to get it in front of the people who will want to share it and have them be in the mood to do so.
  • You need to time the release of the content so it’s just right for all the above factors.

Reverse-engineering all these factors to make sure you create something viral can be hard, if not impossible.

In fact, in the video above, the creator wasn’t trying to go viral. He was just uploading a cute video of his son. This happens a lot with viral content, so if you’re trying to create something that will go viral, know it’s often unpredictable, as explained by GetSocial. You can have all the key factors in place, and it still might not take off!

Is creating viral content worth it?

But let’s say you have a piece of content that does go viral.

For it to be worthwhile, it needs to do something for your business. After all, if a million people watch a 30-second video but none of them come back to your website, was the effort even worth it?

This isn’t a question with the same answer for everyone. If easy-to-share content gets you the results you want, then aiming for viral content could be worthwhile. For example, if you’re a video creator making money from YouTube ads that play during your video, a viral strategy is important.

But if you need an audience that goes more in-depth into your content, viral content may not be the way to go. Instead, you may want to opt for longer content. It might not get as many shares, but you’ll create a more lasting connection with the people who do view it.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t reach 7,000,000 people if you do reach 7,000 who perfectly fit your target audience and who share your content and sign up for your email list. You didn’t create something “viral,” but you did create something that could bring in a lot of customers.

Think through your strategy

Creating viral content works well for some brands but not for others. If you decide to try to create some, these viral marketing tips could help you succeed.

There are plenty of paths to success to follow if you decide creating viral content isn’t a fit for you. Try creating content that increases business-boosting metrics like newsletter sign-ups, client leads, and comments.

Deciding whether or not to create viral content will likely have a different result for everyone. Be sure you’ve thought through what strategy is best for you.


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