What is Viral?

What’s viral?
Have you ever seen that kind of viral video/image/etc.?

I decided to write about viral after reading post at Mashable: Going Viral Visualized

So what’s viral?

An image, video, advertisement, etc. that is circulated rapidly on the Internet.

TV commercial, youtube video or maybe some funny image people are forwarding to each other. Within short period of time viral content can be spread all over the world – for free. I guess every marketing department dreams to have one of their content become “viral”. Why? it’s the best way to promote something:

  • for free or at least not that expensive
  • millions of people will (for free) “spread the word” and forward that content all over social media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.)
  • buzz – people will talk about it in on-line and off-line world

Many years ago I thought that “viral” videos/images/etc. were something natural and that there was no hidden agenda behind that. Well, few years later I had to changed my mind. It’s not anymore (in most cases) just “by accident” funny youtube video – it’s viral campaign, which was planned and created by many people.

    So is all about the money now? Not necessary, the are many viral campaigns focused on making money (e.g. car dealers, big brands, etc.) but we can find also campaigns promoting a good cause.

Let’s not forget that (most of the time) it’s all about marketing:

Viral marketing, viral advertising, or marketing buzz are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses. It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. Viral marketing may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or text messages.

    I hope that this infographic will open your eyes what’s viral is really all about:

going viral visualized QC2 What is Viral?

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