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Blog Post

Why Going Viral Isn't a Real Marketing Strategy

Updated: May 11, 2023

Over the 17 years we've been in business, we've talked to hundreds if not thousands of clients about their marketing strategies.

Some who come to us are brand new to marketing and don't have a strategy at all, others may have a general idea of how they plan to promote their business and drive traffic, and then there are those who say their plan is to "go viral."

Going Viral is an Outcome not a Strategy

Despite what some marketers or influencers might have you believe, having your content "go viral" is something that can happen to a small percentage of accounts, but it's definitely not a guarantee.

Since it's not something you can plan for, or easily replicate for long-term success, it's not a real strategy. Yes, you can chase trends on social media, and try to create content that you think for sure will be a hit with your target audience, but the truth is, a lot of the time, it's pretty random.

Example of a video "blowing up"

I have a personal TikTok account for our animals called Hogs, Dogs and Frogs that I setup and run for fun. I enjoy trying new things and creating content that I find funny. If people like it, great, and if not, that's fine.

One of the videos I created was "Things you should know before getting a mini pig." I kind of threw this one together with a few facts that I wish I had known before getting a mini pig that I thought people would find interesting.

I chose a random funny song as the background, included some text on my various video clips, and added TikTok voice to the text.

It doesn't have millions of views, but we're currently at 24.1k views and I consistently get notifications that it has been favorited, liked, or that there's a new comment.

I wouldn't say it's my funniest or most clever video, so I was admittedly surprised that this one got the attention that it did, which is my point with hoping that your content will go viral.

You Never Know Which Video Will Have the Response You Want to Have

While planning to "go viral" isn't a marketing plan, here are 5 things you can do to ensure your content will be useful and resonate with your audience:

  1. Establish your voice (figure out what type of personality your account and content will have and try to stick to it)

  2. Know your audience (social media provides insight on who your audience is, what time they're often online, and the type of content they engage with - keep this in mind when you're considering what to create)

  3. Post consistently (sets expectations of when new content will be shared so they can come back to watch more later)

  4. Share what they're interested in (see which videos perform the best to get an idea of what content your audience likes to see and create more that's similar)

  5. Create content that you enjoy (if you hate creating a certain type of content, it's going to be tough continuing to do it even if it's popular, so make sure you don't mind doing it)

Going Viral for the Wrong Reasons

If you start to stray from the above 5 tips, there's a chance that your content will reach the wrong audience. Sure, you might have reached a new audience, but if you haven't created a positive impression, and they won't like any of the other content you created, is it worth your time? Probably not.

Creating Useful, Authentic Content

Instead of chasing the latest trend with the hope of going viral, focus on creating content for your target audience that they will enjoy or learn something new.

If one of your videos ends up blowing up and being a hit, great. But if it doesn't, that's okay too because you'll have a library of great content for the right audience.

Your business may never get its 15 minutes of fame, but you can consistently create quality content for your audience to enjoy!


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