Alexander Lynn

I help brands build delightful digital products. Currently available for limited consulting work.

Enough With The Viral

Over the past few years, there's been a lot of talk about 'viral videos'. In fact, when discussing marketing strategies, it's not uncommon to hear people say things like_ "I'm going to make a few viral videos" or "the best solution in this case is obviously to go viral". They talk about these videos as if they were a genre that was readily defined by a certain set of characteristics in content, budget, production value or form.

Such airy statements prove that most people really haven't understood the essence of the viral video. So, let's make this clear once and for all_ your video isn't viral just because it's shaky, poorly lit and cheaply produced. In fact, viral videos aren't something you can make! You can only beg for them to happen. The term defines not the content, but rather how its spreads. Here's the point_ your video will only be viral if it connects with people in truly relevant and meaningful ways. Just start focusing on producing content that people can truly relate to and one day, your stuff will maybe go viral. Until then, take Faris Yakob's (chief innovation officer at MDC partners) advice and stop using the term. Few people have expressed this idea more clearly than he has. So here you are. In Faris's own words:

"Let's all agree to stop using the word viral. It's an unhelpful metaphor that is confusing us. Viral is a thing that happens, not a thing that is. There is no such thing as "a viral." The metaphor suggests something is self-propagating, when what we actually mean is that lots of people are choosing to spread it around, for their own reasons. Focusing on what those reasons are is going to be a lot more helpful."- Faris Yakob (@Faris)

This article is my 33rd oldest. It is 299 words long

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