Viral marketing is based on the premise that it is possible to generate a message that is repeated and retransmitted by receivers until it reaches a large population of potential buyers. It is similar to the lottery, while it offers a huge reward for the lucky few who have made minimal effort. But Internet Virality is the Holy Grail of modern digital marketers: all of us seek virality, all of us believe we are about to find it, but no one knows where it is. And the few who reach it try to explain, in retrospect, how they came to it, but no one reaches a reproducible formula.
In this study we have analyzed 40 articles and books that offered an average of 5 keys or secrets for Virality in Internet marketing. In many cases the Keys were repeated, sometimes they are named differently, and in a few cases were unique. After unifying, defining and ordering, there were 15 articles and 15 keys.

We have resisted the temptation to include Luck as a key to virality. If so, it would be pointless to try to learn to be viral. And a thorough analysis of viral success surely reveals one or more of the 15 keys that I mention in my list. Obviously there are cases where luck helps, and some Internet guru reads our article and publishes it on the front page of CNN or Yahoo. But even there, the editors are sensitive to viral factors.

I have discarded many of the “secrets” or “keys” that are old marketing tips but are not required for viral spread of the message. It is obvious that the advertising copy, either as an article, video or other means must be made with quality, within an integrated campaign with continuity over time, with the message optimized for greater impact and remembrance, etc.

One of the articles stresses that virality will be reached if the copy fills a void that no one else covers. Viral spread and commercial success: these two concepts are not necessarily related associated. It is not enough for a fact to be original, or has unique or pioneering nature, to be viral. The fact should be included in a message where form meets content. A message with an abundance of resources, including hundreds of actors, varied landscapes, special effects, etc., can attract attention negatively by excessive effort to convey a poor message. Beyond the elaborate forms, the message must be relevant, valuable and worth being transmitted.

Reverse engineering of Viral Marketing factors in articles or videos

The next step in this research should be to analyse messages that reached the viral level and look for the presence of the factors mentioned so far. Or possibly detect new factors. And the next and most significant, would be to build a message with viral factors and test it in the market.

In a preliminary experiment, we generated a striking page on a character of local politics. We are writing comments in the relevant notes to the newspapers, inviting visiting. Thus, we can compare the number of visitors that are achieved with each post, in which viral factors described in this article are tested.
Virality can be achieved by nurturing the content and carefully pushing it thru the social networks. There are materials that are partially viral and need a push to take off in social networks.

This push can be given by companies that are devoted to this, and have the resources to plant the message in the minds of hundreds or thousands of spectators, who in turn will spread it to reach full viral dissemination.

Finally, we have collected several large documents that have served valuable reference for this research on the viral marketing of articles or videos. They will be available in a later blog post at

The description of the 15 attributes selected in the meta-analysis, in the following article.

Ask for our Excel Worksheet with key references for these viral factors.

By Admin