Manufacturing Virality

why is virality important?

The primary goal of influencer marketing campaigns is to create content that goes viral. Attaining virality is a challenging feat. Even though the majority of your posts might not achieve this level of engagement, the handful that do can generate substantial returns, making up for your investment and possibly exceeding it by a considerable margin. A post’s virality, gauged by its performance on a given platform's algorithm, is proof of its value. High value content is evergreen, meaning it can go viral repeatedly and therefore be repurposed indefinitely. So what you have with a viral post is effectively a continuous source of revenue.

Viral influencer posts maximise your reach while minimising your costs (low CPM and CPA). This obviously generates a huge profit. On top of this, the power of a viral post goes beyond a single occurrence. By continuously repurposing and replicating viral content, you can essentially generate an infinite stream of revenue.

6 strategies to guarantee virality:

1. Controversy

The first way you can generate virality is through controversy. When aiming for controversy, you should try and make a video that is as polarising or confusing as possible, making people feel compelled to weigh in and share the video with their friends. As a result, your video will be boosted in the algorithm and your reach will increase significantly.

2. Playing into strong emotions

Another effective strategy for achieving virality is by provoking strong emotional responses from your audience. For instance, a video featuring a cute puppy might elicit feelings of warmth and joy, which in turn prompts engagement and consequently enhances the video's performance within the platform's algorithm. Therefore, during the planning phase of your videos, it's essential to identify the range of emotions your product or brand can inspire in viewers. Once you've pinpointed these specific emotions, incorporate triggers for them into your videos to maximise the emotional impact.

3. Punchlines and reveals

The next strategy for producing virality is to use the "watch until the end to see X" structure. However, it's important to ensure that the punchline or reveal isn't the sole focus of the video. Instead, it should serve as a bonus feature, seamlessly woven into the video’s overall narrative arc. Also, by incorporating unexpected details, funny turns and editing gimmicks, you can effectively hook the viewer's attention, forcing them to stay until the end. A prime example of this format in action is seen in high-performing unboxing videos, where the content inside the box is revealed only at the end of the video.

4. Sex factor

Integrating a subtle element of sensuality can significantly enhance a video's potential to go viral. This isn't about creating a 'thirst trap,' but more about vaguely hinting at intimacy or desire. For instance, the video could take the form of a street interview with provocative questions like 'does size matter?' or a playful interaction such as a woman asking 'kiss or slap?' Or, it could be as simple as a shirtless man asking for opinions on 'abs versus dad bod'. You get the gist... The video basically needs to gently pique the audience's curiosity and appeal to their natural inclinations, without being overt or explicit.

5. Absurd humour

Another strategy to generate virality is by starting your video with something 'outrageous,' using non sequiturs, or humorously presenting implausible claims as fact. Consider a TikTok video where you casually mention 'playing video games on your PS6.' Whether viewers are aware that the PS6 doesn't exist or not, they're likely to head to the comment section. They may ask questions, play along with the joke, or share a reaction once they realise it was a joke. When you deliberately express a far-fetched or nonsensical idea with pretend sincerity, the unexpected contrast between content and delivery catches viewers off guard, creating a comedic effect that prompts reactions in the comments and heightened engagement overall.

This can be expressed in dark humour. For example, an influencer recently went viral with a post promoting pore strips for a skincare line. The influencer begins the video by talking about how hard the last year has been for them, casually mentioning the fact that they survived a school shooting and swiftly moving on to talk about their partnership which aims to help ‘strip away the stigma of anxiety’ as part of mental health awareness month. This is funny because it subverts expectation, creating a sense of incongruity or absurdity. There is a stark and abrupt shift from the gravitas of a serious, traumatic event like surviving a school shooting to discussing a partnership promoting pore strips in the context of mental health awareness. The association of 'stripping away' the stigma of anxiety with the use of pore strips seems inappropriately trivial in light of the influencer's experience. The unexpected switch and the incongruous pairing of grim subject matter and seemingly carefree tone are what makes the video humorous and therefore viral.

6. Something super relatable

Relatability taps into the shared experiences of specific groups of people. Your brand likely appeals to certain demographics, and you need to identify these key groups before creating your video. The content should resonate with experiences and feelings common to these particular demographics. For instance, if your brand resonates with couples, you might illustrate a relatable scenario involving a couple's argument and subsequent reconciliation, with the boyfriend buying his girlfriend flowers as a peace offering. To uncover what your niche market might find relatable, consider what common frustrations, qualities, and experiences unify them.