The challenge facing brands that want to 'go viral' is that without skills and experience in creating compelling content, it's a high-risk strategy that most likely won't deliver a return on investment.
What consitutes 'viral' will be different for every brand. Typically, we define it as content that generates ongoing reach without any paid media support.
From an idealistic standpoint, making content that goes viral means you're truly connected to your audience and know what they'll share. Realistically, you've got to balance business objectives with reaching the right audience.
Successful brands have a long term content strategy that engages their community and influencers. The famous Old Spice campaign was an amazing piece of content engineering that delivered real business results. It's one of the few viral campaigns that has been accountable.
Old Spice marketers didn't just didn't just get lucky. They'd been publishing content on YouTube for years with relatively little success in terms of huge viewer numbers. But over that time, they gained the experience to create the worldwide hit.
Do you - or your agency - really have the chops to create content that will compete with the experts? Maybe you can leverage existing content experts to create it for you, as google has done recently with Lady Gaga and her YouTube Q&A.
Creating something shareable is no mean feat. Community influencers are usually what tips content into the viral realm, so get your social media strategy right first. Who are the influencers in your community? What makes them shout out to their fans? once you know this, then you can go about creating the content.
Marketers should focus on creating content that engages your social community and delivers on your business objectives.
Build a team in your business or agency that can create content your community will love. If it goes viral, that's just an added bonus.