Viral Content: What Makes It Click?

You’re scrolling through your feed, and something stops you cold. Maybe it’s a hilarious meme, a video that tugs at your heartstrings, or a jaw-dropping news story. Whatever it is, that piece of Viral Content cuts through the noise, making you laugh or cry, and you want to tell everyone you know about it.

That’s the power of viral content. But what separates those online explosions from the stuff that vanishes without a trace? There’s no single magic formula, but certain traits seem to fuel the fire. Let’s explore the juicy stuff behind what goes viral.

Emotion: The Heart of Virality

If you want something to go viral, hit people where it counts – their emotions. Whether it’s joy, sadness, outrage, or that warm and fuzzy feeling that makes us hit “share”, powerful emotions drive online engagement. 

A heartwarming story about a person overcoming adversity is likely to inspire countless others. A humorous video taps into our universal love of a good laugh. These aren’t just pieces of content – they’re emotional experiences we connect with.

Surprise: The X-Factor

The human brain loves novelty. Something unexpected sparks our curiosity, makes us pay attention, and more importantly, wants to share the experience with others. Imagine scrolling through your social media feed and encountering a dog on a surfboard or an artist drawing with sidewalk chalk to create mind-bending 3D illusions. Out-of-the-ordinary content often sets the foundation for a viral hit.

Relatability: Finding Common Ground

Do you ever watch a video or read a story and suddenly think, “Hey, that’s so me!”? Relatable content taps into our shared life experiences. We resonate with content that reflects our values, interests, struggles, or triumphs.

Whether it’s a funny meme about the awkwardness of online dates or a story of finding true love against all odds, this personal connection makes us part of something bigger.

Social Proof: Jumping on the Bandwagon

Sometimes we share content because everybody else seems to be doing it. It’s known as social proof, and it can be a huge influence on whether something goes viral. Our brain associates popularity with value. If millions of people love something, then we’re more likely to want to join the conversation.

Remember those Ice Bucket Challenge videos? Social proof did a lot of the heavy lifting for that particular campaign!

Relevance: Tapping into Current Trends

Viral content can latch onto relevant news, topics, or memes that are circulating at a given time. It often includes clever pop culture references or plays off recent events. Picture a brand hopping on a popular TikTok trend.

By understanding what’s happening in the world around us, and weaving it seamlessly into content. The likelihood of reaching and engaging people goes through the roof.

Visual Power: Seeing is Believing

In our social media world, visual content often reigns supreme. Eye-catching videos, shareable infographics, and even attention-grabbing memes often leave us stopping mid-scroll. Don’t underestimate the power of a stunning image or an easily digestible video format to boost the virality of your content.

Even those catchy, shareable snippets from longer videos can do wonders on platforms like TikTok or Instagram Reels.

Storytelling: The Hook That Binds

Even the most visually stimulating content can fizzle out if it lacks a good story. We are hardwired for storytelling. A strong narrative structure, interesting characters, conflict, or overcoming a challenge all grab our attention and create emotional engagement.

A viral story isn’t just content, it’s an experience that sticks with us, leaving us wanting more and ultimately pushing that share button.

Practicality: Does it Solve a Problem?

Viral Content can go viral in the most unexpected ways, especially when it addresses pressing issues with practical advice or solutions, such as navigating foreclosure processes. Sharing content that not only catches the eye but also offers valuable insight into solving real-life problems can resonate deeply with audiences. 

Maybe it offers a solution or helpful information that changes how we live. A life hack can make us think “Why didn’t I think of that?”. We all have problems and we love solutions even more! Viral content with practical problem-solving aspects has the potential to connect with the audience at a fundamental level.

Controversy: Striking a Nerve

Sometimes, Viral Content goes viral simply because it stirs strong debate. Think of how often controversial subjects grab headlines and dominate social media discussions. Content that challenges conventional wisdom, or tackles hot-button issues can ignite major engagement – be it positive or negative. While controversy should be handled with care, it can undoubtedly contribute to the viral mix.

Conclusion: The Alchemy of Virality

Creating Viral Content with the hope of that elusive “viral” tag is tricky. While there’s no foolproof recipe, a strong foundation built on a deep understanding of human emotions, timely references, visual appeal, and a dash of unpredictability increases your odds. Keep in mind that just because something hits that share button once doesn’t make it technically viral. 

But if it can continue to self-replicate through shares and engagements, you might just have something special on your hands, just like those stories about unlikely animal friendships or acts of incredible generosity during disasters that manage to reach even the most isolated corners of the internet.  

And you never know, your creation may inspire, unite, or simply bring joy to those it touches – whether they live next door or in a whole different country.

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