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What Is Viral Content?

What Is Viral Content

Date First Published: 5th December 2023

Topic: Web Design & Development

Subtopic: SEO

Computer Terms & Definitions

Difficulty: Easy

Difficulty Level: 3/10

Learn about what viral content is in this article.

Viral content refers to content that has received a high level of awareness, popularity, and shares, within a short period of time and quickly spreads around the internet.

Viral content can come in different forms, including blog posts, videos, images, and memes, which have an opportunity to be viewed by millions of people around the world. However, videos are the most common type of viral content because they combine sound, visuals, and movement to actively engage the audience and make them more memorable.

When Is Content Considered Viral?

There is no exact number of views that makes something go viral, but most viral content is viewed by more than a million people in less than a week and attracts a great amount of attention, usually being seen by a large portion of the general public. Extremely viral content is viewed by several million people in less than a week.

What Causes Content To Go Viral?

Viral content can be caused by the following:

  • Trending topics - Writing about trending topics that people are currently searching for and interested in at the moment can cause the content to go viral. Trending topics are currently experiencing a spike in popularity and are mentioned at a higher rate than others for a limited period of time.
  • Topics that have not been explored before - Unique content that contains information that is difficult to find anywhere else is more likely to get social media shares, backlinks, and attention.
  • Very high-quality content - If a piece of content seems to be very high-quality and better than content from competitors, it may result in large numbers of shares and quickly spread across the internet. For example, if someone comes across a piece of content that is very high-quality, they might share it with their friends. If their friends also like the content, they might tell other friends about it and so on.

Going viral can happen when users are naturally drawn to the content and share it with other people or it can be caused by a well-planned advertising campaign. Whether a piece of content will go viral in the future can be difficult to predict, but the three factors above increase the chances of it going viral.

Benefits and Risks Of Viral Content

Getting content to go viral is one of the best things that can happen to a content marketer and creator and one of the best ways to spread awareness of a business due to the high amount of website traffic and massive audience reach. Going viral can bring a lot of attention to the creator, which can lead to increased engagement with content, including more likes, comments, and shares. This can help build a stronger connection with the audience.

But, it can also come with some challenges, such as the need to respond to a large amount of engagement which individuals might not be prepared for, negative comments, and the risk of it being misinterpreted by other people. Once content goes viral, it quickly spreads beyond the creator's control and can be commented on and interpreted in ways that the creator did not intend, which could bring unwanted attention and cause people to get the wrong impression.

In addition, the attention that comes with viral content is often short-term and once the first spike of popularity and engagement is over, it can be difficult to maintain the level of engagement and interest it had when it went viral. This is especially true if it is a trending topic as trends can change over time and the content may not interest as many viewers in the future.


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