How to Go Viral, Best Creative Digital Marketing Company, Auxost, DV

How to go viral? We are pretty sure, this thought must have came across in your mind at least once. You know those things you see online that simply leave you wondering, “How did this get so many views?” or “Why is this so popular?” Well, we’re here to tell you. After an ample amount of time spent researching viral content, we have arrived at some somewhat surprising findings. For example:

-The number of views a video receives is mostly unrelated to its quality. In actuality, a video’s quality usually declines with its level of popularity.

-Videos more than three minutes in length will never, ever get viral.

But wait, there’s more to it!

How to Go Viral, Best Creative Digital Marketing Company, Auxost

What Experts Have to Say?

Numerous entrepreneurs used the science of virality to create innovative viral products. Not just one or two, but many.
So if you want to know these “secrets”, continue reading.

Kevin Allocca

YouTube Head of Culture and Trends at Google, Kevin Allocca, offers some excellent insights on what makes a video go viral. According to Allocca, while only a very small percentage of videos become viral or receive over a million views, the ones that do share three characteristics:

  • Tastemakers,
  • Communities of participation, and/or
  • Unpredictability

Tastemakers are Influential individuals who introduce the general public to fascinating topics and assist in bringing these things to light. When a tastemaker(s) starts sharing things on the internet, the process speeds up and communities begin to grow around this “phenomenon”. Communities of participation enter the scene at this point. Content spreads quickly across communities, and they can even add to it. Only original and unexpected works can get viral in a world where there is more content than anybody could ever hope to absorb. Things that stand out get the attention which is a must for virality.

Emerson Spartz

Emerson Spartz, a virality expert in his own right and founder of sites like Dose, MuggleNet, and OMGFacts, believes that the content has to connect with people, through nostalgia, humor, or emotion, for them to share with others. Getting people worked up helps in gaining a large number of shares.

According to Spartz, the factors that determine virality are Cycle Time (the amount of time it takes to share a piece of content with someone else) and Virality Coefficient (the number of people one is sharing it with). The shorter the cycle time and higher the viral coefficient, the faster virality is achieved. Cycle times decrease when you share something that helps you appear impressive to others. The current relevance and popularity of the information at that specific moment also affect its virality.

Additionally, Spartz contends that finding information that resonates with a group of people and spreading it to those that haven’t been reached by it are more important strategies for achieving virality than focusing on originality. Based on his research, he concludes that lists, sentences, pictures and paragraphs, are the most effective content types if you want it to become viral.

Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at Wharton and the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On. His name is everywhere online if you search for the science of virality. He is a leading expert on the topic of virality, and he offers the acronym STEPPS to describe the six primary factors that contribute to the success of viral videos.

  • S – Social Currency – Individuals share content that boosts their social media presence. In the end, regardless of our opinions, we are all concerned with what other people think of us.
  • T – Triggers – A trigger is an incentive that encourages others to share your work. If you post a food porn video, you could feel hungry afterwards. Here, your hunger is the trigger.
  • E – Emotion – “When we care, we share”. Emotionally charged content is typically shared by people. Positively charged content is shared far more frequently than negatively charged content.
  • P – Public –Something that is already well-liked is likely to get greater popularity. If involvement in that activity can be made public, even better.
  • P – Practical Value – Useful, practical content is quickly shared. That’s the reason “How to” videos work so well.
  • S- Stories – People enjoy stories, particularly those that evoke strong emotions in them. People will notice and spread your content if you can use it to tell an engaging story.

According to Berger, every content that goes viral will have 5 traits in common – Surprise, Interesting, Intense, Positivity and Actionable. The most shareable content will produce strong positive emotions and provide practical, actionable advice. Awe works best as an emotion. While rage and anxiety are also useful emotions, awe is a more shareable emotion than them.

Matthew Inman

According to Matthew Inman, Founder of the webcomic ‘The Oatmeal’, easily relatable and digestible content makes the base for virality. Put that in a visual form that is useful to your audience and keep it keep it brief and voila, you have a winner!

Basically, Inman’s approach creates content that people can relate to, laugh at, or feel a connection with. Not just online comedians utilize this strategy to draw in their audience; serious writers like Malcolm Gladwell do the same.

Contrarily to some research results, Inman believes that short content, incorporating visuals and building rapport with the audience should be prioritized. This does not, however, lessen the value of surprise or positive emotions, particularly humor.

So, the question is: are we underestimating the intelligence of our audience by assuming that content needs to be short and simple? Despite the fact that Inman’s success indicates that relatability and simplicity may be effective strategies, it’s important to remember that even serious and complex topics can become viral if they are presented in a captivating and unexpected way.

Seth Godin

American author, entrepreneur, and marketer Seth Godin says that only “remarkable” ideas have the potential to become viral. They can be remarkable in terms of appearance, value proposition, marketing, etc. However, they must differentiate themselves from whatever has come before. Companies should focus on innovators and early adopters rather than producing mediocre goods for the typical consumer, who, in Godin’s opinion, has gotten skilled at ignoring commercials. He refers to these people as “Otaku,” or those who have insane passion for the products they love. Otakus will travel great distances to get their favorite coffee, or they will wait in a queue for hours to get their preferred phone. They are the ones who help make things go viral.


Upworthy is a website and firm that has perfected the art of becoming viral. It obtained the same amount of followers in a matter of months that its competitors needed years to get. It made sense to research what they believe contributed to their success. The team at Upworthy claim that consumers are drawn to content that is well framed. Truly viral content will have high shares per view and high clicks per share. Facebook is the greatest venue for viral content, thus every content should be shareable to post on it.

Find and share fantastic stuff if you aren’t able to make it yourself. What makes a great content? An inspirational, relevant message and an emotional story arc are hallmarks of great content. People enjoy seeing good men prevail over evil ones. They love great production value but a great story even more. People enjoy being surprised. People adore real, raw moments. Once you’ve established a personal connection with the audience, use a heading that piques their interest to frame the information.

Josh Elman

According to Josh Elman, there are several forms of virality and different strategies for generating virality for various ideas or companies. It is impossible to approach every product in the same way. Knowing which category something falls into can help you design its features in a way that will increase its virality.

Word-of-mouth Virality – when your product is so excellent that users spread the word about it to others, causing it to become viral. For such products, make it simple to describe the product features.

Incentivized word-of-mouth Virality – It is same as ‘word-of-mouth’ but here, you also give a lil incentive to people for referring your product to their family & friends. This also helps the company and the customers equally. The customers get discounts or incentives and you get new customers.

Infectious Virality – This is effective when you can create a community around a product you currently use by encouraging other people to use it. In the end, it turns out to be quite beneficial to both sides. It works similarly to word-of-mouth, except in this case, you are also referring the product for your benefit too. You spread infectious virality through invitations. That is how the majority of social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, gained popularity in the beginning.

Outbreak Virality – Some things are so entertaining that they have to be shared with another person. This is how they go viral so quickly. This is why memes go viral, this is why the cute cat video got viral and this is how BTS got viral too.

Demonstration Virality – You flaunt it when you use it. That is demonstration virality for you. This has helped platforms and companies like Uber, Pinterest, and Instagram.

What Auxost Has to Say?

As clichéd as it may sound, but we think that content is the ‘king’. When you create extraordinary content, people notice it. Excellent content moves the target audience on an emotional level and encourages them to tell others about it.

What Works?

As mentioned above, to create highly shareable content, focus on evoking positive emotions like humor and awe. They have even greater virality potential than anger. Embrace uniqueness and quirkiness, as even egregiously bad content can go viral for its distinctiveness. Surprise your audience with controversial or unexpected content that stands out amidst the overwhelming online noise. Stay current with trending topics to capitalize on search traffic. Utilize plenty of visuals and prioritize concise lists or countdowns, as they are inherently appealing. Don’t forget the power of memes, which consistently spread rapidly across social media platforms, providing multiple opportunities for virality.

Apart from all these factors, we believe that there are two more factors at play –

The human brain is wired to recognize patterns

Your brain is designed in a way that it recognizes patterns. It’s like a survival mechanism that helped our ancestors protect themselves from danger by quickly recognizing the signs of a predator. But nowadays, our brain can recognize patterns in things that are not at all inherently dangerous.

Memes are a prime example of this type of pattern recognition in action: if you are familiar with an online meme, and someone shows you an image or video based on it for the first time, chances are good that your brain will quickly contextualize what might be going on in the news media, even if the creator of the meme doesn’t say so explicitly.

These patterns are common in nature, having been made by humans for centuries, which explains why we’re so adept at identifying them! Indeed, there are times when people purposefully make their own memes in order to later share them with others.

The right timing can make or break things going viral.

With the correct timing, you can make or break something going viral.It’s up to the audience though. If your content is made on a topic that’s trending at the moment, then it may connect with more people and be more likely to go viral based on its timeliness.

What DOES NOT Work?

  • Lengthy paragraphs – The majority of us have a five-year-old’s attention span. Do we really need to say more?
  • No Heart – Virality is driven by emotions
  • Sleep-inducing material – Content that Makes You Sleepy
  • Endless Self-Promotion – Unending Self-Promotion: unless you’re a Kardashian, try not to promote yourself too much. Consumers like content that speaks to them and their issues rather than you babbling on and on about yourself for ever.
  • Complexity – Keep it simple, silly! Viral content is often something that can be consumed on the go without stressing the grey matter of the brain too much. Of course, if you can inspire enough amazement, complex content can occasionally make you go viral as well. But in such cases too, although the topic can be complex, your handling should not.

The science behind virality tells that human psychology is at the core of virality. Viral content captivates large audiences by appealing to basic human needs like self-expression, connection, and entertainment as well as strong emotions like humor, outrage, or hope. Although the formula behind a viral smash hit may seem complex, studying the shared experience and the motive behind those experiences gives a blueprint for content that resonates. At last, virality is not about luck or randomness – it originates from an awareness of the human desire for emotion, purpose, and interaction with others in society. Provide people joyful, relatable, and moving content and the viral wave will surge.

Did we miss something?  Come on! Tell us what you think of this blog in the comments section!