Modern-day Internet users are suckers for viral content. Every day, zillions of educational, entertaining, funny, and bizarre videos/GIFs/posts take the Internet by the storm.

There may be times when you see an unexpected increase in website traffic and have no idea where it came from. What if you could recreate that surge of traffic whenever you wanted?

Every brand dreams of self-replicating viral processes to boost its brand awareness and achieve its marketing goals.

However, creating viral content still is an enigma to brands. One cannot grasp the formula for virality from a glance.

According to a study published by Wharton Business School professors Jonah Berger and Katherine L. Milkman in their article, "Social Transmission, Emotion, and the Virality of Online Content," there is a strong link between emotion and virality, whether positive or negative.‍

In retrospect, the emotional connection appears to be the most common characteristic of viral content.

How To Master The Art of Virality?

Many brands fail to decode the art of virality because they underestimate the actual components that contribute to viral content. ‘Impact’ is the correct metric that businesses need to evaluate while understanding the concept of virality.

When people have a strong, deep emotional connection to a piece of content, they will share their experiences by communicating with others.

Social sharing becomes impulsive when people cannot resist sharing their emotions like surprise, anger, fear, sadness, disgust, and joy.

Strike A Chord With Emotions

According to a study conducted at the University of Indiana, six primary emotions (surprise, fear, sadness, joy, disgust, and anger) are highly responsible for viral behavior and reactions.

Create content that brings an emotional response - positive content has more chances of going viral than negative.

Purina, a pet food manufacturer, teamed up with Buzzfeed in July 2015 to emphasize the everlasting love between man and dog, resulting in tens of millions of views on YouTube. The video exemplified innovative storytelling and was successful in eliciting an emotional response.

Disagreement elicits an emotional response, making it a potent tool for developing viral content. When people disagree with a message, they express their feelings.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, an American chain of fast-casual restaurants, created a short film with CAA Marketing - The Scarecrow. The ingenious animated ad emphasizes Chipotle's natural and fresh ingredients rather than hormone- and additive-laden goods.

The short film features frightening imagery, joyful sequences, tugs at your emotions.

The video won a Daytime Emmy Award, owing to its high-quality and powerful message opposing industrial farming.

Content that provokes two or more sorts of emotional responses has a far higher chance of going viral.

The Ohio Department of Health posted a video titled Flatten The Curve: Social Distancing Works on their Facebook page on April 9, 2020. The film reveals how efficient social separation is at reducing COVID-19 transmission.‍

The video begins with what appears to be hundreds of mouse traps filled with ping pong balls, all stacked on top of one another. Then one ping pong ball is dropped into the mix, setting off a chain reaction that sends ping pong balls flying across the room.

The video received 123 million views and 1.8 million engagements and even impressed J.K. Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter, tweeted about the video, saying, "This is such a memorable, effective bit of imagery."

Target The Right Audience & Right Channels

The first stage in a viral marketing campaign is to understand the target audience and learn where they spend the most time online. Content or messages do not go viral on their own; they must be delivered to the correct audience. As a result, invest time getting to know your target audience.

There is a need to appeal appropriately in a sea of socially active clients with more diverse interests and affinities.

Address to the relevant audience while sharing an exciting opportunity for them.

Knowing the correct channel to sell is also crucial since if you utilize the wrong medium, you may not reach your target audience.

Dove introduced their "Real Beauty Sketches" campaign, which targeted a particular demographic. The Beauty Sketches campaign features a forensic artist, trained by the FBI, who drew sketches of regular women, not hired actresses or models, based on their descriptions of themselves. The artist then produced drawings of the same woman based on an explanation given to him by a stranger.

The campaign focused on ‘body image issues’ and resonated with women. Millions of people relate themselves to the women in the video, and it went viral.

Harness The Power of Videos

Videos are more likely to go viral than other types of content because they generate more user involvement. Video content is more easily comprehended and clearly explains the objective of a product or campaign to viewers. Create videos with "viral" material that is relevant to your target audience.

●  According to Oberlo, the most popular platform for sharing videos is YouTube (88 percent), followed by Facebook (76 percent), LinkedIn (66 percent), and Instagram (65 percent).

●   Research by Social Insider states that in the year 2020, 15% of all content on Facebook was video content.

●   Twitter gets 2 billion views on video each day.

●    Over 10 billion videos are seen on Snapchat every day, according to Social Media Week.

●    According to Ad Age, on average, American users spend 46 minutes each day on Tik Tok, resulting in 37 billion video views per month.”

Dollar Shave Club video is a perfect example of viral marketing, where the company had spent just $4,500 on making the funny and gimmicky video. The video generated 12,000 new orders within 48 hours. And that's the power of video!

Viral Giveaways: Offer Valuable For Free

The most potent terms in a marketer's dictionary are "free" and "discount." The same applies to viral marketing campaigns in which brands use valued products or services to attract customers' attention.

Wilson's Second Law of Web Marketing, dubbed "The Law of Giving and Selling," asserts that to sell something, you have to give away something first.

Pizza fans were ecstatic when Domino's Pizza announced its "Pizza Time for a Year" promotion on Facebook.

The announcement of the giveaway helped Domino's Pizza to boost engagement on their Facebook post.

To participate, users must first sign up on Facebook. When the giveaway begins, the users will receive a notification. A user's email address and phone number were necessary during the registration procedure.

Domino's Pizza was successful in attracting traffic from its Facebook page to its website.

The key takeaway from this campaign is how to use a giveaway to increase website traffic while also generating email and phone leads.


The secret sauce of virality is not to get overly concerned about getting viral. Brands need to concentrate on providing value, staying current with trends, reciprocating, empathizing, inspiring, and evoking emotional relationships with their users.

In today's world, where petty things go viral, brands must aim for quality. The effects may take some time to materialize, but they are well worth the wait.