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How to create viral content

We can all remember our favourite viral video. The one you saw at work and instantly had to send to your friends. Whether it’s the over-confident comedy of the Old Spice man, the infectious silliness and dance moves of Psy’s Gangnam style, or closer to home, the annual sob-fest that is the John Lewis adverts. Excellent viral content has real staying power in our memories.

If you’re considering the next move for your business, a viral video strategy offers many benefits. Maybe you’re looking to increase site traffic, expose your brand to a new audience and attract new customers or leads. It could be that you’re looking to promote a new product, retain or re-engage existing customers. Or perhaps you want to promote your organisation as a thought leader. Viral content is a great tool to achieve these business goals.

That said, viral content is not easy to get right, and for every piece of memorable content that reached the eyes and ears of millions, there are hundreds of thousands of poorly made pieces that fall by the wayside. To make sure yours is a hit, there are some important things you need to get right to ensure your content lands and delivers on your goals.


One of the main characteristics of a viral video is that they are positive and upbeat. That may seem surprising with all the doom and gloom that surrounds us, but people love to share things they think will brighten other people’s days. Even better, if your content is useful – ‘How to’ guides and hacks are incredibly popular.

To encourage people to share your content, you need to tap into what are called the high-arousal emotions. These are awe, anger, anxiety, fear, humour, joy, lust or surprise. An awe-inspiring video of a person overcoming adversity or an anger-inducing video containing an opinion you disagree with are both highly shareable. Anxiety and fear might be caused by a video that makes you feel like you’re missing out on something.

Whilst joy could be inspired by a jaw-dropping video of the natural world. Surprise can be in the form of an unexpected twist, a little known fact or a surprise ending. Viral video statistics have shown that surprise and humour may be the most important when it comes to earning those likes.

The most important thing, however, is ensuring that your content is genuine and relatable in order to portray the emotion and the message you want. Many videos achieve this with strong voice-over narration. Working with an experienced voice-over agency gives you access to a huge roster of impressive voice artists and a professional studio to make sure your audio is crisp, professional and relatable to your audience.


Most important here is that your content is short. Viral video marketing should be no longer than 2 minutes. The drop-off in engagement after this time is significant. Better still, to keep your video between 30 seconds and a minute to ensure your audience remain captivated for the duration of your message.

When writing viral content, remember, you will need a compelling headline. People tend to respond to numerical headlines and anything that promises to solve a problem or tell a secret.

Finally, don’t forget to include a strong call to action. What do you want your viewers to do next? Share your content? Visit your website? Make sure the call to action is received loud and clear visually and back it up with your voice-over. A professional voice-over agency will be able to make sure the two components match up seamlessly.


This one is probably the most important and the main reason why most content ends up languishing at the bottom of the algorithm when it comes to viral video creation. Your content has to be worthy of being shared!

This means producing high-quality, professional content. Your audience watches a lot of online content, and they know when something has been thrown together in a rush with little thought, care or skill.

Invest in a good video production team and high-quality post-production editing to give your piece of content the shine it deserves. Remember, this content is going to be out there representing your brand, potentially even the first thing a potential customer will interact with. It is essential that it builds trust in you as a brand and thought leader.

Spread the message

When your viral video campaign is ready to go, spare a moment to consider your international markets. Taking the opportunity to translate and localise your content for your key overseas customers is a smart move that will earn you many more shares and likes.

Show that you’re an equal opportunities business that cares enough to make your content available to all. Use subtitles and audio descriptions to reach consumers with hearing or visual impairments. Subtitles will also help spread your message on Facebook, where users often watch with the sound off.

A professional translation agency can take the guesswork out of localising your text, subtitles and audio for different markets. By avoiding linguistic pitfalls and creating a seamless finished package that is personalised for each language or country, your content will land just as well in every locale it hits.

Use an agency that is experienced in providing subtitling and audio descriptions to ensure that no portion of your audience loses out on receiving your viral message.

Once your viral video is ready for the world to see, give it the best chance of success by launching at a time of day when lots of your audience will be online. Allow comments and encourage shares, making sure your content is available and linked across all your social platforms. Enlist the help of bloggers and influencers and sites like Reddit and Tumblr to get people talking about your content and continue to re-promote after three days to ensure it doesn’t drop out of the algorithm.

Not every video is destined to go viral. Every week, countless substandard videos fail to gain traction as a result of poor quality or bad planning. The benefits of using a professional service such as Matinée Multilingual for the technical aspects of your viral content, whether it’s a voice-over, subtitling, translation and localisation or post-production will reap rewards in likes, shares and follows.