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What Makes Content Go Viral?

Have you ever wondered what makes content go viral? It is always fascinating to see any kind of content go viral and see the impact that it can have on popular culture, even just for a short moment. While there is certainly an element of good fortune, there are a few key characteristics of content that goes viral. Viral content is something that every brand wants to strive for, as this can substantially increase brand awareness and help you attract new customers. However, not all viral content works in your favour, and we recently looked at some examples of social media PR disasters. Here are a few of the main factors that make content go viral.

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One of the main factors that determines whether or not content goes viral is inclusivity. Content that appeals to a wide group will always spread far because more people can relate to it, which results in more shares. Anything that is too niche or specific is limited in terms of reach, but niche content can also be more engaging. Similarly, viral content is often relevant and acknowledges current cultural trends and opinions. 


Emotionally-charged content is another hugely influential factor. When you think about some of the most notable examples of viral content in recent times, a lot of it has evoked strong emotions in the public. This can include positive emotions, such as joy, as well as negative emotions, like anger and shock. Emotionally-charged content will always stand out from the crowd, for better or worse, and is more likely to become viral. 


Closely linked to this, humorous content can also easily become viral. Anything that makes people laugh and puts a smile on their faces will have the potential to become viral as it is something that people will share with friends and family. This is particularly true when times are tough, such as during COVID-19 and the current cost-of-living crisis - humour can be a powerful tool for improving people’s mood, so it is easy to see why so much comedic content goes viral. 

Practical Value

Another type of content that people will always share is anything that is practical and valuable. A good example of this lately has been “life hacks”, which are simple things that anyone can do to make their life easier that are not immediately obvious. This is why when you create content, you should always have a strong understanding of your target market. Content should always address this group's needs and challenges, which will add value to their lives. This will lead to shares and keep people coming back for more content while allowing you to position your brand as a thought leader. 

These are a few of the main factors that can help content go viral. There will always be an element of luck and good timing, but there are things that you can do to make your content more likely to be shared on a large scale. This can help to greatly increase brand awareness and attract new customers, so it is always worthwhile. 

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