It is nearly impossible to predict what goes viral, but there are certain ways of analyzing each marketing problem that would increase our odds of succeeding. Here are some of the way in which we frame and organize our problems.
Mediums: Text / Photo / Video
Have you noticed that every article now has an image associated with it? This was not the case five years ago. Ten years ago, most articles had no images. This shift was mainly motivated by how people share content on social media. When searching on Google was the primary way people found content on the web, whether your article had an image or not did not matter. But now that viral sharing on social media has become a more effective way to disseminate information, you would want something eye-catching to go with it.
Going further: Have you noticed that everything on Facebook is now moving? Since every piece of content now has an eye-catching image, to draw attention, you now need something moving. It’s a natural progression.
That’s not even enough. Because so much of the content is now consumed on mobile devices, videos need to be optimized for them. Snapchat, for instance, is ahead of the curve in offering the full-screen, vertical video format for their advertising platform. Just as web design has now become “responsive” (layout that gracefully adapts to any screen size and dimensions), videos would have to be responsive also where you produce multiple formats from one shoot.
Mobile vs. Desktop
For many businesses, the difference between mobile and desktop is simply a one of screen dimensions. If so, the issue isn’t about different devices but screens. The difference becomes more relevant, or even critical, if your marketing strategy needs to target people’s behaviors.
For instance, if you need to catch their attention while they are outdoor, targeting mobile devices would naturally work better. Since mobile devices move with the users, you can catch them while they are at certain locations, engaged in certain activities, and are in certain states of mind.
Push (social) vs. Pull (search)
Your content can be pushed to the audience or pulled by them. A piece of content posted on social media is pushed to the audience because they did not specifically ask for it. There is an element of surprise; and as a marketer we want that to be a nice surprise.
When a user searches on Google to find the same piece of content, we can say she pulled it. She was looking for a specific piece of information and you happen to provide it (what Google deems as the best/better answer).
There are pros and cons to both. With pulling (search), you can be connected to people who are looking for something specific. If what you are offering is cosmetic dentistry, then Google can connect you to people who are searching for “cosmetic dentists”. But what you offer may not be something people search for. For instance, most people would not search for novel products and services, simply because they do not even know they exist. Another example would be luxury and entertainment products. Because these are nice-to-have products, not must-have, people are less likely to search for them. These products need to be pushed.