Can You Really Make Content Go Viral?

Last Update: Dec 21, 2016


I'm very certain, every time someone watches a cat video they say to themselves, how did this video get so many views? How does any video go viral online? Is it really possible for any video to go viral? Can anyone perpetually make a video go viral online? These are questions that most people ask when trying to make their own video go viral or just wondering in general.

In case your wondering, yes you can perpetually make a video, an image or a post go viral depending on your strategy and your approach to the overall campaign. My team and I have done plenty of research on this and we have done quite a few posts testing to see how they fair in the sea of other viral videos out there.

Based on our research, we found that people who have gone viral (mostly on accident), are ones who post content that relates to a specific audience. This is a fundamental understanding when it comes to posting anything on any platform. But this is especially true on Facebook. If you were to create a post about video games, then naturally, you wouldn't tag your grandparents or people you know who aren't into video games. Therefore, you must make sure you're placing your content in front of the right audience. It's also useful if you post universal content that either most people can relate to or everyone can relate to.

There will be online marketers out there who will tell you that viral content is unpredictable and that content is totally dictated by random events online. This means that these people don't truly have any experience within this aspect because they haven't done any research on the matter. The bottom line is, if you want to have the best chance at going viral, you must experiment with your content.

Let's explore a few examples from posts Geek Hibrid did in the past:

1. Bed Underwater

This post was a pretty successful post. We did this one in December 2015 and we wanted to see how people would respond to this particular post because of the epic nature of the image. As you can see, visually, the post is very unique and draws attention to anyone scrolling by. Ask yourself how you feel about this post. Does it draw you in? Would you stop for at least a second and look at it? I'm sure if you seen an image like this you would stop and savor it for a moment. We boosted the post on the general audience outside of our followers and people were liking, sharing and commenting within 10 minutes.

It's usually a good thing once this starts happening. The key thing when trying to weigh out your viral campaigns is to find out how much activity the post gets within 10-15 minutes. If you don't get anything, there's a good chance your post won't catch the bug. On the other hand, if you start to see a few likes showing up minutes after you start the campaign, there's a great chance your post will catch the bug.

2. Beer Article:

We knew that most Americans drink beer and are passionate about drinking their favorite beer. We also know about the many reports of beer causing liver issues and causing accidents on the road (along with other alcoholic beverages). So that prompted us to search for studies and information talking about the positive effects of drinking beer. We found some studies and came up with this headline for the article.

We started the campaign on August 22, 2016. We ran the campaign for a week. The results were really good. The moment launched the campaign on Facebook we seen 6 likes and 5 shares. This was clearly a big hit. At the end of the week, we ended the campaign and our results were 161 shares and 717 reactions. Not to mention 440 clicks to the article on the Geek Hibrid site.

3. Afterbirth

This is an interesting post that we tested out because we didn't think it would really go anywhere even though women who have given birth and have seen the placenta can relate to the post. We did some research on women eating the placenta for health benefits. There really isn't any real proof that this phenomenon works for new mothers. None the less, we wanted to put something out there that was bizarre and out of place. So we created this article and posted it on Facebook. The article was posted on August 30, 2016. As soon as the campaign went live, there were 3 likes and 2 shares already. We immediately new that there was something special here as well.

There are some posts we did that flopped. Here is a quick list of the flop campaigns:

If you notice, our reach wasn't that high for the candy campaign. That's because when the campaign started, we didn't see our first reaction for thirty minutes. So we shut the campaign down despite there only being 71 people reached. In reality, you really don't have to waste a lot of money or time trying wait until you catch momentum. You should see results as soon as you post the content. If you don't see any results or very little results within 20 minutes, then you don't have a hit no matter what anyone tells you.

Recent Comments


A great blog, thanks for sharing.
Cheers, Andrew

No problem...thanks for reading

Awesome. Thanks for the detailed break down. I've done some viral stuff in the past, but it was more along the lines of Seth Godin's Ideavirus than using social media. I haven't actually experimented too much with social media advertising. It's great to see how you leveraged the viral side to increase your reach. Thanks for the insights

Thanks numerous....Seth Gordin is awesome with his methods as well...I wanted to do something a little different...later I will do more experiments and even full campaigns to see if I can duplicate the efforts

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