Viral Branded Content Is Not Just a Luck

Viral branded content is a dream for every marketer and brand manager due to its ability to reach consumers with superior ROI. However, unlike ads-free content, making proper branded content viral while keeping the brand still the center of the story, is another league of difficulties. Audiences tend to reluctant to share any content with even a glitch of a commercial message compared with entertainment content. Then the question is how to make branded content go viral?

First of all, for content to be worth sharing, it should trigger viewer’s emotional response. This is due to the brain part of Decision making, memory and emotions were in the same place (Amygdala in the limbic system). This explains why we always remember our most sad, proud, amaze, laugh and happy moment compared with an event that does not involve our emotion. It’s also explained why content with pictures or videos has better chance of going viral due to its ability to trigger emotional response. Once it’s triggered, the nature of our social being will tell us to share the content, so both our strong and weak ties can feel similar feelings hence it will improve the viral coefficient.

One well-known method to boost the emotional response is through riding current trend wave. One of the examples is Shopee Indonesia TVC below. The combination of “baby shark” trending tune with Jokowi look-alike, boost its virality to reach 89 millions of views. This definitely also supported with proper initial seeds number through Youtube Ads or set of influencers prior its viral. The impact, now Shopee is officially no1 E-commerce in Indonesia. Similar viral ads also showed by Burger king in their “Quick Silver ads” below.

How to calculate degree of viral? one of the methods is using Viral Coefficient (VC) which in straightforward way is how many people that will reshare your content after they look at it. Another important number is No of Seed (a). These two numbers, along with the period or frequency of sharing will determine how many eyes and ears that will consume our content. Below table simulate for one content having seed of 1000 and VC of 2 and 0.5.

If the n (degree) is infinite, and the VC below one, we can simplify the formula as

Reach = N / (1 – VC)

In above example, if VC =0.5 and N=1000, then the total reach will be 2000.

In summary, to make our branded content viral, it’s important to ensure that it was crafted to trigger certain emotions that converted into willingness to share. The effort complemented with a proper initial number of seeds either through ads or influencers. The result, high viral coefficient and high seed number which will certainly spread out and bring good ROI towards our brand.