Going Viral?

Hands up wants to go viral?

I’m not on about catching some nasty bug but creating a post, a video, an article that explodes onto the web and gets the attention of a lot of people.

For most people that is the aim of their digital marketing. They think it will help to catapult them into the limelight. But as Andy Warhol said,

“In the future, everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.”

Going viral is just that. It will give fame that is short-lived and can even damage your brand message.

Say for example you are a health food shop. You want to go viral and create a post about how the benefits of kale mixed with various berries will cure you of anything from the common cold to more complex health issues. The promise that it is a cure-all remedy is good for getting peoples attention and will start to go viral. When people read your post or watch your video what are they actually taking in? They are taking in that your brand is associated with this miracle smoothie. Not that you are a health food shop and that you have a lot more to offer. You have just put one thought in people’s minds and closed their thinking to your other offerings.


It’s far better to have a more rounded approach to digital marketing, to create posts and articles that solve problems people encounter, educate them on what they should look for in healthy options (By the way, the key is to eat the right amount of calories for the lifestyle you lead rather than constantly seeking out the next best food type!)

By creating content such as that you are associating your brand with all of the aspects of healthy eating and healthy living. People will recognise your brand as giving good solid information that they trust, and they know they can learn about how to improve their eating habits, and habits in general. That type of content will be around forever (n.b – while it’s still relevant – when it’s not relevant amend it or take it down,) and rather than be a flash in the pan 15 minutes of fame for your brand it will generate more interest in the long run.

Having said that, viral content does have its place. There are times when going viral is needed, especially when you have some content that you want the maximum exposure for in a short space of time. This is usually when new products are being launched, or when you want to explode a certain item. Viral content linked with news items usually happens when content has already been created and develops a link to a news item. People searching for the news item will also find the content you have created; more people view it and share it that way. That content was not created to go viral initially but has found its way into the viral storm.


Any digital marketing agency should give you the same advice about viral content. It does have it’s place but understand the strengths and weaknesses of it;  it might be that you don’t need to spend time (and the extra money involved) on viral content, but you need a more rounded marketing plan that plays to the strengths of your entire brand. Building a plan that is tailored to your brand does take more time, but it means your brand message is unified and consistent.

Content calendars and editorial calendars are one of the best ways to develop a rounded approach to your content as you can see what types of content you are going to post and when they will be posted. If you use an agency content can be sent for approval prior to adding to any content calendar which means you are always in control.

If you would like to talk to us at R55 Digital Media to see if we can help with your digital marketing and content creation reach out to us. We are a friendly bunch and would love to help you out.


  1. Mike left a comment on 15th October 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Great article Russ. A sugar rush is a quick fix rather than a well thought out policy or strategy. These rules apply to many aspects of professionalism. A boost is nice, a plan is better.

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