The Short Life of Viral Content

In my previous post about viral content, I stated that it can be good or bad. Many companies still strive for this elusive explosion of popularity, hoping to create the next Internet sensation. While that may be an admirable goal, it should not be an endgame strategy because viral content is and always will be a short term solution. No one knows the exact formula to make something go viral; it can be something with a high production budget, like the Old Spice commercials, or it can be something as simple as a bucket of ice. Always keep in mind that viral content has a very short lifespan. The moment it becomes mainstream and expected, it gets phased out and forgotten (until years later when it’s brought up again as a classic).

Going viral is an admirable achievement. Yes, you should see how far you can take it by producing content similar to the original, but remember to stay simple and humble. If it looks like its popularity is dying out, then you should be focusing on your next big project. Otherwise people go from “Wow, check out this new Old Spice commercial!” to “Oh, it’s another Old Spice commercial.” At the end of the day, what you should really focus on is creating quality content on a consistent basis. Virality should be a launchpad for greater things in the future.

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