Most marketers would love to go viral. Who wouldn’t want that amazing pickup, millions of shares, tons of attention, the elusive 15 minutes of fame. But going viral isn’t an effective content strategy because it’s not something you can plan for, nor is it something that’s easily replicated for long-term success.

Most viral content has a very short shelf life. It’s forgotten in a few days or a week or two and then consumers have moved on to the next viral worthy item.

Brands should concentrate on creating long-lasting strategies with content that helps their audience connect and relate to them and their products. It’s not that they’re not trying; it may be that they’re trying too hard. If your goal is to go viral, you may be so focused on your content that it loses its natural appeal and just feels contrived.

Don’t Go Viral for The Wrong Reasons
You could also go viral for the wrong reasons: Mountain Dew’s Puppy Monkey Baby Super Bowl commercial went viral, but it was mostly due to the backlash over how strange people found it and the fact that it was nightmare-inducing. There have been more than 22 million views of the Puppy Monkey Baby commercial on Mountain Dew’s YouTube channel. However, most of the user comments are negative. The sentiment isn’t positive.
But, Mountain Dew may not care — because the reality is that more than 22 million people have watched the commercial on YouTube, more than 10,000 people have commented, and it’s being discussed on other channels across social media.

Focus On Producing Useful Content
Focusing on creating great content that people will enjoy and find helpful is a better long-term strategy. If something goes viral, great. But the reality is, most of what you create is never going to go viral. You can win in content marketing by consistently creating great content that’s useful and relevant to how your audience uses or values your product. You don’t need to have the most popular post to be successful. By focusing on going viral, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

When you try too hard, it shows, and the audience doesn’t like that.

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