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Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content


Ever wonder how some content, products, or ideas spread like wildfire through social media, achieving millions of views, shares, and likes in a matter of hours? This phenomenon, known as viral marketing, can make an enormous impact on your business if executed correctly. In this article, we’ll explore what makes content go viral and how you can create your own contagious content. Ready to ignite your marketing game? Let's dive in!

What is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing is a promotional strategy that relies on existing social networks to propagate a product, service, or idea. Just like a virus, information spreads rapidly from person to person, exponentially increasing its reach. This approach makes viral marketing a cost-effective and powerful tool to spread brand awareness.

The Power of Viral Content

The Impact on Business

Viral content can propel a brand from obscurity into the spotlight virtually overnight. It can generate a vast amount of exposure, significantly boost website traffic, attract a broader customer base, and increase sales. It's the dream of many marketers, but it requires careful crafting and a bit of luck.

Notable Examples of Viral Content

Who can forget the Dove "Real Beauty Sketches" campaign or the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge"? These are classic examples of viral content that successfully raised brand awareness and achieved their intended purposes.

Understanding What Makes Content Contagious

Viral content isn't purely coincidental. Specific factors tend to make content more shareable and engaging.

Emotional Engagement

Content that elicits strong emotions, whether positive or negative, tends to be shared more. Emotionally-charged content can create a connection between the brand and its audience, encouraging sharing.

Information Value

People love to share valuable information. Content that is useful, surprising, or interesting is more likely to be passed along.


Humans are natural storytellers, and we're drawn to narratives. A compelling story can make content more engaging and shareable.

Key Elements of Crafting Contagious Content

Several key elements tend to be present in viral content. Understanding these can guide your content creation process.

Social Currency

Content that makes the sharer look good, informed, or trendy provides 'social currency'. This is one of the primary driving forces behind viral content.


Content related to current topics, events, or trends – triggers – is more likely to go viral.

Public Visibility

Content that is visible and easy to share has a higher likelihood of going viral.

Practical Value

Content that provides practical, usable information or advice is more likely to be shared.

Steps to Craft Contagious Content

Crafting contagious content involves understanding your audience, finding a unique angle, and using the elements discussed above. It's also crucial to monitor and tweak your strategy based on performance.

Measuring Success of Your Viral Content

Success isn’t just measured by views or shares. Engagement, conversions, and the long-term impact on your brand are also significant indicators.

Common Mistakes in Viral Marketing

Understanding common mistakes, such as focusing too much on selling or forcing virality, can help you avoid pitfalls and improve your strategy.


Creating viral content is not an exact science, but understanding these elements can significantly increase your chances of hitting the viral jackpot. Remember, the ultimate goal is not just to create viral content, but to engage with your audience and build a lasting brand.


What is viral marketing?

Viral marketing is a strategy that encourages individuals to share a product, service, or piece of content, thereby expanding its reach exponentially.

How does content become viral?

Content becomes viral when it resonates with a broad audience, elicits strong emotions, provides value, and is shared widely across social networks.

What are some examples of viral content?

Examples include the Dove "Real Beauty Sketches" campaign, the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge", and many viral memes and videos.

What are some key elements of contagious content


Key elements include social currency, triggers, public visibility, and practical value.

What are common mistakes in viral marketing?

Common mistakes include trying to force virality, focusing too much on selling, and not understanding your audience.

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