It’s safe to assume that everyone wants to leave their mark on this world. Whether it’s making an impact on a global scale or smaller, we all want to be remembered for something. The same goes for businesses. In the age of digital media it can seem as though going viral is the quickest and most impactful way of garnering attention. While the glitz and glam of virality is tempting, the question is whether the short-term attention is really worth the long-term pressure of meeting absurdly high expectations.
When a video goes viral it usually implies two things:
- 1. That you’ve successfully created quality content that resonates with an audience and
- 2. Your next move will not only be highly awaited, but likely, more scrutinized. If you happen to be just as creative as the people over at Old Spice with limitless resources, the former is the least of your worries.
But, unfortunately, virality has often been a double-edged sword for many. Remember Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” Campaign? Rebecca Black’s “Friday”? Or how about Dollar Shave Club’s brilliant “Our Blades are F***ing Great” video? Popular one day, a nostalgic memory the next.
This is not to say that viral videos haven’t contributed to success of the aforementioned businesses or individuals. Virality does have its share of benefits, which include free peer-to-peer distribution, reduced promotion cost, increased credibility due to endorsements from peers, more brand visibility, and a likely spike in product sales, just to list a few. Despite such benefits, creating viral content should not always be the goal for entrepreneurs. Businesses at early stages of development should always prioritize having resources and a team in place in order to create targeted and, more importantly, shareable content. Not necessarily aim for an unattainable benchmark of millions of views.