Webiquity Blog

13 Reasons You Shouldn't Try to Go Viral

  1. It’s inefficient.

Some people put tons of work and time into trying to go viral, and then they never seem to produce a hit. The chance of going viral isn’t worth the cost.


  1. It’s uncool.

Like Cara McDonald says in a blog post for Everything Matters, “trying to go viral is kind of like trying to be cool. The second you try, it becomes uncool.”


  1. You’re not targeting a niche audience.

For most brands, it’s essential to target a niche audience with your marketing. Trying to go viral targets a much wider audience, which can be seen as less effective.


  1. There is usually limited ROI involved.

It’s tempting to spend thousands of dollars in an attempt to create the next big YouTube video - but is it actually worth it? Even if the video gets views, it’s unlikely you’ll even make your money back.


  1. You’re in danger of ruining your branding.

If you’re a credit union, should you really be trying to create the next hilarious prank video? As a marketer it takes a lot of hard work to build up a brand that people trust. Your attempts to go viral may ruin all that if you’re not careful.


  1. You might go viral for a reason you didn’t want.

See Friday.


  1. Even if it actually goes viral, it’s unlikely that it will really help you much.

It all depends on your goals with marketing. Are you look for tons of views by people who don’t care about your brand, or would you rather have a smaller amount of dedicated brand loyalists? (Hint: go for the latter.)


  1. It’s more fun to produce targeted, quality content.

Seriously--good, quality marketing is a lot more fun. You get to focus on building trust with a captivated audience instead of fretting about virality.


  1. You will probably look stupid.

It’s not hard to look dumb when trying to go viral. If you need proof, check out these politicians’ embarrassing "viral" videos. Yikes.


  1. No one really understands how to go viral.

Of all the reasons to not shoot for viral, this is perhaps the most important. Going viral is a strange, misunderstood thing, and no one can really tell you for sure how to do it. Anyone who claims they can is lying.


  1. Going viral is ephemeral.

So let’s say you actually make something that goes viral. A week later, people will most likely have moved on. Sorry, but it’s true! There’s so much “viral” content nowadays that most of it ends up being forgettable.


  1. It’s tempting to resort to dubious methods for going viral.

If all you’re focused on is going viral, what’s to stop you from buying views or tricking people? It’s a slippery slope.


  1. In the end, it’s all about luck.

Some people go viral who never tried. Some people try for years and never get a hit. The internet is a strange, finicky thing. If you do end up getting lucky, great! Good for you. But true content marketing is a measured, consistent effort that builds trust and relationships with a targeted audience. Sure, it’s not as flashy, but in the end it’s almost always more worth it than continually attempting to go viral.


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