Just 3 Steps and You’ve Gone Viral!

In a time when everyone is looking for their 15 minutes of fame, the internet has yet again provided us with an answer.

The growth of social media has allowed for the rapid acceleration of shared content among users. While this has provided me with the opportunity to find my spirit animal in a chicken nugget-loving hillbilly by the self appointed name of King Curtis, it has also provided marketers the opportunity to dramatically increase their reach through going viral.

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King Curtis, you keep doing you! 

Going viral is now a well known concept whereby an electronic word of mouth is utilised in order to spread a message. Word of mouth is said to be 7 times more effective than traditional forms of advertising. However, its reach only extends to a few people, thus having an electronic word of mouth can ensure a trusted and effective message is spread to a large audience.


But when 48 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, how can you guarantee YOUR message will go viral?

YouTube’s trend manager Kevin Alloca believes the answer lies in 3 key principles.



Tastemakers are the ones who help the communication go viral, by sharing fresh and relevant content through various social media channels. The benefit of tastemakers, is that they tend to be highly influential individuals with a large following. This generates a widespread WOM and sense of awareness, thus accelerating the spread of the message and achieving a viral effect.


Seeing as it is the audience who defines the popularity of the message, it is crucial that the message comes across as memorable and interesting. Having a message that provokes emotion, creativity and participation gives the audience a point of discussion. One of the most memorable viral messages (and honestly I’m so sorry to bring this up again) was the ‘Blue or gold dress’ photo. Viewers tirelessly debated over the true colour of the dress, only adding to the popularity and reach of the photo (and my insanity). The photo also had the ability to be parodied in many creative ways, thus engaging the audience and gaining popularity.

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Dunkin’ Donuts tackling the big issue



Lastly, in order for the communication to stand out, it must be unique and unexpected. With so much content online, it is easy for a message to get lost. Keep the communication relatable to the audience, yet distinctive to other videos.


So theoretically according to Alloca, we can all have our 15 minutes in the spotlight!

Do you think that Alloca’s key principles can ensure a viral message, or are there other factors that need consideration? Let me know in the comments below!