#GuruChats Highlights: The Science Of Virality

Yesterday TweetDeck bailed on us, but what’s a win without struggle. We still managed a great chat! This time in #GuruChats we discussed about viral content and viral marketing – in case you missed it, here are the highlights and takeaways.

Our Guests Of The Day

Jen Lehner

Cristina Roman

James Bowen

Jade Alberts

Zala Bricelj

All our guests shared handy tips and tools for you to not only create a buzz with your marketing but also on how to search for shareable ideas and create contagious content.

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What’s Viral Marketing?

The word “viral” sounds pretty gross and negative, especially if you link it to healthcare or computer science; but it is given a high stature among marketers and businesses looking to share their content, experience and brand image with a mass audience.

In his paper The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing, e-Commerce Consultant Dr. Ralph F. Wilson describes this practice as “any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence.” The whole idea of virality is to spread the message (any kind) from one person to another using a befitting medium of communication. GuruChattters described this drill in creative ways easy for anyone the grasp the gist of it.

Types Of Virality

In his article The Five Types of Virality, Josh Elman writes about the different ways a piece of content becomes viral. It can be both organic that is word-of-mouth or paid like referrals.

The reason we categorize viral content is to give us an idea which approach does better or worse. If you’re a marketer, you’ll know nothing we do is out of thin air. Planning and evaluating are two simultaneous actions we are constantly doing.

Nevertheless, the types of virality can also include the channel used to disseminate the content and also whether the content is visual, verbal or written as one of guests James Bowen describes.

The Viral Recipe

What’s a good dish made up of? No need to ask Gordon Ramsay, we’ve got it covered. This recipe of virality is actually divided into three preparations, I’ve summed up below.


First of you need to know what goes into the making of your viral content. All of our wonderful guests came with amazing suggestions. Digital Marketing Strategist Jen Lehner says there should be an element of shareability i.e. a unique selling proposition that triggers people to share it further. Another awesome blend of spices was shared by Digital Marketing Expert Cristina Roman.

And some people focused on segmentation, authenticity and relatability as well to complete the picture.


Two things come under this: a) what can you capitalize on as a content creator, and b) how you can use emotions to drive actions. Let’s deal the two one by one.

a) As a content creator you need to find ways that make your image, video or article go viral. This can include creating unique and interesting content such as those that solve a problem or break a news or choose the right title or strike an emotion – which is the next trick.

b) Emotions are a beautiful gift given to us and the best part is they’re intrinsic. The only thing we as business owners or marketers need to do is to target one kind. So your content can induce sadness, joyfulness, uneasiness, inspiration, positivity or anger etc. It’s better to pick one than to look confused.


Every ideas comes from inspiration and you can quote me on this one. You can’t create without exploring what’s happening in the world. You can’t come up with great content without knowing what moves people. So the right strategy is to use tools that can help you create and monitor.

Risks Of Virality

Nothing comes for free and sometimes the cost you pay isn’t simply monetary. It can be losing your level of trust with your audience or tarnishing your brand image altogether. Jade Alberts was spot on here. In case your message or visual is perceived wrong then you’re doomed. This usually happens when you’re not alert about what an audience within a specific demographic or psychographic is interested in and wants.

So when you’re creating and sharing content with people, make sure it connects with them. Obviously it won’t inspire or entertain everyone, but at least it’ll hit the right chord with your customers for instance. You can see the Storify below for more on this.

Videos For Virality

In July alone Americans spent over a billion hours watching YouTube videos. In 2016, the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg predicted that videos will soon become the most consumed media online. This is why the social media platform is truly pushing video content in its algorithm.

The best part about video is that as compared to text it always seems “easily consumable” as Lehner suggests in one of her tweets. Look at popular publishing websites like Mashable and Insider, they use videos to create hype on social media. In fact, journalists use LIVE videos to cover trending events such as product launches. Companies related to specific niche like travel businesses enrich experiences with video marketing for attention and engagement. There’s a lot of potential in video and they’re definitely taking a huge share of the market.

Well are you a die-hard fan of viral content or you think it’s all bogus?

For updates, follow us on @guruchats and @logodesignguru

A visual design blogger passionate about interactive, experiential and captivating techniques designers, marketers and brands use to accentuate messages, tell stories, and spread awareness. I’m a visual addict like Alice, who finds books (or anything) without pictures boring! My writings focus on graphic and web design, branding, and visual marketing. My hobbies are to write poems, draw zentangles, read mysteries, and watch YouTube videos.

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