Definition of Going Viral

Going viral refers to the rapid and widespread sharing of a piece of content, usually through social media and digital platforms. This phenomenon leads to increased exposure, engagement, and potentially conversions for the content or brand behind it. The content often gains popularity organically, driven by user interest and shareability.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Going Viral” in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) would be /ˈɡoʊ.ɪŋ ˈvaɪrəl/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Going viral involves rapid and widespread sharing of content, often resulting in high engagement and increased visibility.
  2. Creating shareable and relatable content, leveraging social media platforms, and utilizing influencers are strategies to increase the chances of going viral.
  3. While going viral can bring positive attention, it can also lead to negative consequences or backlash, making it important to consider the potential effects on one’s reputation and brand.

Importance of Going Viral

Going Viral is an essential term in digital marketing as it refers to the rapid and widespread sharing of a piece of content across various online platforms, reaching a large number of people within a short period.

This phenomenon is crucial for businesses and content creators, as it can significantly boost their brand’s visibility, increase audience engagement, and generate higher sales and revenue.

Viral content often resonates with the audience emotionally or intellectually, establishing a strong connection with the viewers and leaving a lasting impression.

In essence, going viral is a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool that can catapult a brand’s growth and success.


Going viral, a popular term in digital marketing, serves the purpose of maximizing a piece of content’s reach and audience engagement within a short span of time. A vital goal for marketers and advertisers, going viral means that content such as videos, articles, tweets, and social media updates, has resonated exceptionally well with audiences and spread exponentially via likes, shares, and word of mouth.

When a piece of content goes viral, it rides on the powerful wave of social sharing and audience endorsements, helping the brand or the individual behind the content reach a far greater audience than traditional marketing methods. In today’s interconnected world, virality often transcends geographical and cultural constraints, amplifying the content’s visibility on a global scale.

The phenomenon of going viral is harnessed by digital marketing professionals to create highly shareable content that is likely to connect with the target audience, ignite emotions, and generate conversions. This approach can amplify the content’s potential to reach new prospects and lead to increased brand recognition, credibility, and, ultimately, conversion.

By strategically creating content that is intriguing, unique, emotionally charged, or relatable, digital marketers attempt to tap into the psychological and emotional factors that drive people to share content with their networks. Leveraging the power of virality helps brands improve their online authority, establish thought leadership, and generate social proof, which are essential to fostering trust and brand loyalty in today’s competitive digital landscape.

Examples of Going Viral

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (2014): The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge involved participants pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads and challenging others to do the same within 24 hours or make a donation to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association. This viral campaign not only raised awareness for ALS but also raised over $115 million in donations. Celebrities, athletes, and ordinary people alike participated, sharing their videos across various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” Campaign (2010): Old Spice’s advertisement featuring actor Isaiah Mustafa, humorously addressed the viewers about the benefits of using Old Spice products. The commercial quickly went viral on social media platforms, garnering millions of views and an impressive increase in sales. Following the success of the initial ad, Old Spice created personalized video responses to fans and celebrities, further engaging their audience and capitalizing on the viral nature of the campaign.

Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches (2013): In an effort to promote self-esteem and redefine beauty standards, Dove created a campaign called “Real Beauty Sketches.” The video features a forensic artist who sketches women’s faces based on their self-description as well as on the description of a stranger. The contrast between the two sketches showcases how women often view themselves less accurately and less attractively than others do. The campaign gained widespread attention, with the video amassing millions of views on YouTube and sparking conversations about self-perception and beauty standards.

Going Viral FAQ

1. What does going viral mean?

Going viral refers to the rapid and widespread sharing of a piece of content, such as a video, image, or article, on the internet. This tends to happen when people find the content highly relatable, entertaining, or informative and share it with others through social media, email, or messaging apps.

2. How can I increase the chances of my content going viral?

To increase the chances of your content going viral, focus on creating appealing, engaging, and easily sharable content. Use impressive visuals, strong headlines, and relevant topics that resonate with your target audience. Additionally, post your content at the right times, use effective hashtags, and encourage viewers to share your content with others.

3. Can any type of content go viral?

While any type of content has the potential to go viral, content that evokes emotions, tells a compelling story, or provides value typically has a higher likelihood of going viral. Some common content formats that go viral include videos, images, articles, memes, and infographics.

4. How can I measure the virality of my content?

You can measure the virality of your content using various metrics, such as views, likes, comments, shares, and the overall reach of your content on social media platforms. Analytical tools like Google Analytics, social media insights, and website analytics can provide valuable information on your content’s performance. Additionally, you can monitor the engagement rate to understand how well your content is resonating with your audience.

5. How can going viral benefit my brand or business?

Going viral can significantly benefit your brand or business by increasing your visibility, generating more traffic for your website, and potentially attracting new customers. Additionally, viral content can help improve your brand’s reputation, establish you as a thought leader in your industry, and boost your social media presence.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Online Buzz
  • Mass Sharing
  • Organic Reach
  • Exponential Growth
  • Trending Content

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