Viral: What does that mean? Virality in online marketing

Viral Videos – The term “viral” is ubiquitous in the context of online marketing and social media. But what exactly does it mean when something goes “viral”? Virality refers to the rapid and exponential spread of content, be it videos, images, text or memes, across the internet. Content that goes viral spreads rapidly from user to user, often through referrals, shares and retweets. In this article, we will take a closer look at the phenomenon of virality in online marketing and examine what contributes to content going viral on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube & Co.

What does “viral” mean in online marketing?

When content or campaigns are described as “viral,” it means that they spread like a virus – quickly and contagiously. This usually happens on social media and other online platforms, where users share, like, retweet or forward content. Viral content reaches a wide audience and achieves high reach, often within short periods of time. Content that goes viral can cause a brand, product, or message to suddenly become the talk of the town and generate immense attention.

What makes content viral?

Content virality is difficult to predict and depends on several factors. Here are some aspects that can contribute to content going viral:

  1. Emotional connection: Content that evokes strong emotions, such as joy, surprise, anger, or compassion, is more likely to be shared and spread.
  2. Humor: Funny content has a high probability of going viral because people like to share something funny with their friends.
  3. Relevance: Content that addresses current trends, events, or topics is more likely to be shared.
  4. Creativity: Original and creative content stands out and is more likely to be shared by users.
  5. Practical benefit: Content that offers a practical benefit or added value is shared more frequently.
  6. Audience engagement: Content that speaks directly to and engages the target audience encourages sharing and virality.

Examples of viral content

Over time, there have been many examples of viral content in online marketing. Here are some well-known examples:

“Ice Bucket Challenge” phenomenon

A fundraiser for ALS research in which people poured buckets of ice water over their heads and nominated others to do the same. The campaign spread rapidly and collected millions in donations.

“Gangnam Style” music video by Psy

A music video that became a viral hit on YouTube and is one of the most watched videos of all time.

“Distracted Boyfriend Meme

An image of a man looking at his girlfriend while another woman walks past him. The image became a widespread meme and was used many times for different situations and contexts.

Content virality can be a powerful tool for brands and businesses to achieve wide reach and capture the attention of their target audience. However, it is important to note that viral content is not guaranteed and that success is not always predictable. Nevertheless, creative and engaging content can increase the chances that it will be shared by users and go viral.