Today we’re going to cover that mythical ‘unicorn’ of the digital marketing world: viral content.

Did you know B2B brands can create viral content? It’s not just reserved for tween makeup tutorials and hamsters with their tiny birthday cakes!

The mainstream definition of going “Viral” refers to any online video or content that suddenly spreads like wildfire (or a virus, if you will) all over the internet.

Most viral content, while it can be educational, is usually also…

  • Humorous/Witty
  • Shocking/Scandalous, or
  • Adorable/Wholesome

Notice, quality isn’t necessarily as high on the list. Professional videos can get ‘beaten’ by cheap iPhone videos all day long if the homemade content is more entertaining.

You need to create a quality message if you want to connect with your audience, or go viral in any sense of the word.

In the age of instant communication, instant exposure is understandably attractive for marketers. But if B2B brands can create viral content, why aren’t there any examples that spring readily to mind? Many people doubt ‘going viral’ is even a possibility for B2B companies…but that’s because they believe three very incorrect myths.

MYTH #1: “GOING VIRAL” MEANS HIGH VIEW COUNTS

Many marketers aspire to create YouTube videos that suddenly skyrocket to thousands or millions of views in a matter of hours.

But is that really an attainable – or even useful – goal if your total number of buyers worldwide is less than half a million?

What if your niche market is really more in the 100-500-buyer range? Don’t waste time on mainstream audiences with higher populations. Focus your dollars on a smaller, concentrated audience.

Redefine ‘viral’ metrics based on your niche audience size, and gauge success on whether you were able to get in front of the right people.

B2B brands can create viral content within their own industries, and that will be far more lucrative than aiming for the world in its entirety. Remember, view counts aren’t your end-all-be-all metric, anyway. Revenue is.

MYTH #2: “GOING VIRAL” IS INSTANT

If you harken back to the days of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” or Matthew Mcconaughey’s YouTube channel, it might surprise you to know that a large number of ‘viral’ content pieces weren’t instant successes. Look deeper and you’ll discover that many of them were posted and went for months or even years without more than a handful of views.

So what changed?

In most cases, the content was shared by somebody more influential or posted in front of a more targeted, specific audience (like a sub-reddit). Then the spark turned into wildfire.

Don’t be discouraged if success doesn’t come overnight– you have to keep pushing, and don’t quit.

MYTH #3: “GOING VIRAL” IS SPONTANEOUS

Many times, content goes viral after being picked up by a powerful social media influencer or celebrity. However, it might also pick up because of the algorithms on those social platforms.

If large numbers of people start “Liking” or sharing a piece of content suddenly en mass, most sites from Twitter to Reddit to Instagram will take note and start promoting the post as well. Because if people are enjoying the content, they’re more likely to stay on-platform.

And believe it or not, many creators of viral content understand that system and strategize to take advantage of it.

You don’t have to know some big Hollywood star to use this technique, either! Remember, being a B2B manufacturer means your audience is probably a much tighter niche.

Who do you know in your specific field or industry that has a large number of followers? It might be one person. It also might be your own company brand. Go to any and every platform, instead of limiting yourself to just one.

Coordinate with your company staff and industry influencers to support the release of your content; and don’t be afraid to put some ad dollars behind it.

Remember, it’s not how many people you can get in front of– but who they are. B2B brands can go viral– they just need to recognize which unrealistic myths are getting in their way.

Double-check your definition and your strategy if ‘viral’ content is your goal.

Spoiler alert…going viral, like most other successes in life, requires actual work.

 

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